The gospel is the good news of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). In the beginning of all time, the living God of the universe created all that is not God (Genesis 1). When He was finished creating, God declared all of Creation to be very good (Genesis 1:31). There was no sin, and all Creation dwelt in perfect harmony (Genesis 2:25). Adam and Eve walked in perfect relationship with God. God provided for all their needs and commanded only that they refrain from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Desiring to be like God, Adam and Eve listened to the temptations of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden and disobeyed God, committing the first sin (Genesis 3:1-7).
Adam and Eve fell from innocence, and all of creation was cursed along with them (Romans 8:20). What God had declared to be very good, was now corrupted. Still, God was merciful (Genesis 3:21). The Holy God of all Creation allowed Adam and Eve to live, spiritually separated from Him (Genesis 3:22-24).
Through the sin of Adam and Eve, human nature has been corrupted. All people are born into sin with a nature that is sinful (Psalm 51:5; Ephesians 2:2-3). Every person falls short of God’s requirement and standard of holiness (Romans 3:23). He has given us His commands, and we have all broken them. Being sinful people, we are not deserving of right relationship with God. God would be perfectly just to give us death and eternal condemnation in hell (John 3:17-19).
Still, God promised Adam and Eve the Messiah who would come to crush the serpent (Genesis 3:15), restore creation (Romans 8:20-21), and bring His people back into right relationship with Him (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18). Throughout the Old Testament, God chose people to foreshadow the coming Messiah (Hebrews 8:4-6; Romans 5:14), made covenants that would find their fulfillment in the Messiah (Hebrews 8), created a nation through which the Messiah would come (Matthew 22: 41-46; 2 Timothy 2:8; Revelation 22:16), and spoke through the prophets and the Law of the coming Messiah (Matthew 5:39).
The good news is that the Messiah has come! The promise and prophecy of the coming Messiah has been fulfilled (Luke 4:16-21). God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into this world (John 3:16). Jesus Christ, who reigned with God, as God, from before the beginning of time, stepped down from the throne of heaven (John 1:1-3), in obedience to the Father (Philippians 2:5-11), to be conceived, miraculously, to a virgin, Mary, by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38).
Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. Though tempted in every way as we are, Jesus lived in flawless obedience to the will of the Father by the direction of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 4:1). When the time for His ministry had come Jesus was baptized by John ‘the baptizer’ and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him (Luke 3:22). During His life, Jesus performed many signs and wonders among the people to confirm the truth of the gospel that the Messiah, the Savior of the world had arrived as King, to take away the sins of the world (Acts 2:22-23).
Jesus’ own nation rejected Him (John 1:11). Betrayed by one of His closest followers (Mark 14:10), Jesus laid down His own life (John 10:18), in obedience to the plan and foreknowledge of God, before the leaders of His nation and the Roman Empire (Acts 2:22-23). He was scourged (Matthew 27:16; Mark 15:15). A crown of thorns was placed upon His head (Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2), and being physically exhausted and unable to carry His own cross, a man named Simon carried Jesus’ cross to the place of His crucifixion (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26). Upon arrival, Jesus was crucified (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:33; John 19:18). Hanging on the cross for hours (Luke 23:24), the Father (God) forsook Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34) as He took away the sins of the world (John 1:29) and satisfied God’s wrath (Romans 5:6-11). Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” to indicate the sufficiency of His sacrifice as a sinless, perfect man (John 19:30).
On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead (Luke 24:1-12). Death had been defeated (Rom 6:23; 2 Tim 1:10; Heb 2:9). His sacrifice on the cross had satisfied the wrath of God (Romans 5:6-11). He was the perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 9:13-14). After forty days of appearing to and teaching His disciples, Jesus ascended to the Father in heaven (Acts 1:1-11). After His ascension, He sent the promised Holy Spirit to His disciples who would testify and witness to all they had seen and heard (Acts 2). The disciples of Jesus preached the Gospel to all who would listen, and many people were saved through the Word they preached (Acts 2:42-47).
Those who believe and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9) and repent of their sin (Acts 2:38), by turning to follow and worship Jesus Christ (Mark 8:34-35), are saved from their sin and the coming judgment and wrath of God (Romans 5:9). Instead of eternal condemnation in hell (John 3:18; Romans 5:18;2 Thess 2:11-13) , God saves those who believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15; Acts 15:7; Eph 1:13), by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross (Hebrews 9:11-28), to have eternal life with Him (John 3:14-15), in His Kingdom, enjoying and worshipping Him forever (Romans 6:8; Matthew 21:30-31, 25:33-35; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-13; 2 Timothy 4:18; Revelation 11:15, 4:10, 22:3). Ultimately, the good news is this, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, has come to offer salvation to all who would believe in Him so that the saved people of God, known as the Church, will have all eternity to enjoy, worship, and savor Him.
God the Father, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, has defeated Satan, sin and death. We can do nothing to earn this great salvation that has been offered to us. Our efforts are as filthy rags in the presence of a holy God. We have all fallen short of the glory of God, being children of wrath in our very nature, but God has fulfilled His own requirements of righteousness by the blood and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is only by His grace, His free gift, of salvation to us, that we can be saved. When we believe in Jesus and follow Him, He takes our sin upon Himself at the cross, and gifts His righteousness to us. We need only to repent and receive this free gift through faith in Jesus Christ. When God looks upon a sinner who has been saved by His grace, He sees only the righteousness of Jesus Christ bestowed upon us at the cross. Because of the amazing grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord, we have the undeserved privilege to bow in worship, appreciation, and adoration of our great God.