What is the Gospel and why is it good news?
At one point Jesus turned to His disciples and asked, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Peter spoke up. He summarized the cry of all those since who have chosen to follow Him: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”
There are many different schemes and systems, ideologies and religions. All of them purport to reveal the path to eternal life, or to offer some form of enlightenment. But Peter perceived that it was in Christ alone where he would find the way to God. And this is the same claim that Jesus made about Himself: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
The reason these words are relevant to all of us is because we all share a common human condition: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God’s standard of righteousness is perfection. And we all fall far short of that. In fact, “There is no one who does good, not even one,” and, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.”
The result is that, “your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God” and “the wages of sin is death.”
But the God who created and loves us also provides a way for us to be reconciled to Him. John the Baptist said of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” The Son of God lived a sinless life and then died a death He didn’t deserve.
Jesus took our sins upon Himself when He died upon the cross. He paid the debt of our sin. He suffered the judgment of God so that we wouldn’t have to. In Christ alone can we find forgiveness.
“He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God…”
The yearning of the human heart is to be in a right relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth. And this is precisely what God made possible by sending His Son to die, rise from the dead, and give new life to those who call on His name. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.”
A certain man asked, “What must I do to be saved?” The profoundly simple answer he received was, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”
That is the Gospel. And that is the best news!
John 6:67-68, John 14:6, Romans 3:23, Psalm 53:3, Jeremiah 17:9, Isaiah 59:2, Romans 6:23, John 1:29, II Corinthians 5:21, I Peter 3:18, John 1:12, Acts 16:30-31