The word gospel comes an old Anglo-Saxon word God’s-spell meaning God’s story or God’s Word. However, it is used in the New Testament about 100 times to translate the Greek word euangelion meaning good message or Good News. That is why we at Grace Baptist Church call ourselves an evangelical church—because we believe that the Bible is God’s message of Good news.
The gospel isn’t just our opinion, or one view among many about the meaning of life. It’s the truth!
Good News or Bad News?
What would you like to hear first, the good news or the bad news? Well there is bad news. Every single one of us has rebelled against God’s holy laws and against our own conscience. We have ignored God our creator, turned our backs on him, and gone our own way in life. The Bible calls this sin, and it results in selfishness, anger, hatred, fear, pain and everything that is broken in this world.
God is perfectly holy, just and true, and will not have anything to do with sinfulness. We have become his enemies, and he will eventually condemn everything unholy and broken in this world to be destroyed in hell. No amount of religion or good deeds could ever make up for our sin and save us from this.
The Gift of Life
Now for the Good News! God Himself can save us! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). 2000 years ago God’s own Son became a human being, born by the miracle of the Virgin Birth. He lived the perfect life no other person ever lived and he said: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Even though wicked men killed him by nailing him to a cross, it was all in God’s plan. Jesus Christ was dying as our substitute; he took our punishment upon himself so that we could be forgiven our sins and reconciled to God. That means we can have a personal relationship with God now, which will carry on in heaven when we die, and it will eventually mean being given a new body which will last for ever. God demonstrated that this is all possible by raising Jesus from the dead. Now can you see why the Apostle Paul could write: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
What Must We Do?
But it doesn’t all just happen automatically. Salvation comes through our response to this message of good news—will we ignore it, or will we listen and do something about it? Only those who believe will be saved. That means more than just believing it’s true; it means trusting that Jesus is able to save you.
If you trust someone, you will do what they say! Jesus tells us that if we want to be saved we must come to him through prayer, repenting of our sins (confessing them and deliberately turning away from them), and hand over control to him as the Lord of our lives. When we do that, he forgives us completely and he changes us inside by sending his powerful Holy Spirit into our lives. He enables us to follow him (that’s what a disciple is), and become more and more like Christ (a Christian).
Good News for You!
The Good News is for everyone who believes. That means you! It’s so urgent that you listen to God’s message, because there is no other way to be saved. Can you see now why, like Paul, we too are not ashamed of the gospel? We want to tell everybody! We are thrilled by it—Jesus Christ has shown mercy to us and saved us.
He will save you too, if you believe and obey the gospel.