The Gospel is “good news.”
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a man to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). This is the good news!
Jesus knew we could never save ourselves, therefore, He took the initiative (Philippians 1:6).
The apostle Paul states to the Ephesian church that “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is a gift and not something we work for.
This means that getting to heaven does not depend on how well we live.
All false religions teach that getting to heaven depends on how well we live, yet the Bible teaches otherwise.
The Bible says that if getting to heaven depended on how well we live, then no one would get to heaven, because no one can live well enough to get there. The best we can do is not good enough for God, for “all our righteousness are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
This is why the Bible says that in God’s eyes “there is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). If this sounds hopeless, it is, if you are hoping that you can be good enough for God to accept you.
The good news is that you do not have to try to be good enough.
The good news is that God’s Son, Jesus Christ was, and is, perfect righteousness on behalf of those given to Him by the Father.
Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus lived a perfect life. He never once sinned, not in thought, word, or deed.
Jesus would die a sacrificial death on the cross, taking upon Himself the full weight of God’s righteous wrath due to sin.
Three days after His death Jesus rose physically from the dead and soon thereafter ascended into heaven where He is currently seated at the right hand of the Father.
In response, the Bible commands all people to repent and believe upon God’s Son.
Jesus said, “Repent, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Repentance is to turn from your own self-righteousness, or lack thereof, and turn to Christ, who is perfect righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). It is to 'change ones mind' about who God is and who we are.
Jesus accomplished everything on behalf of those given to Him by the Father. We do not have to do anything in order to get to heaven, save trust in Christ alone.
Does this mean that after we believe in Jesus we don’t have to worry about living good lives?
Does it mean we do not have to obey Christ? Of course not!
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” If our faith in Christ does not lead us to obey Christ, then we really do not have a true faith in Christ; “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17).
A true faith in Christ always produces obedience to Christ.
However, our motive for obeying Christ is not out of fear of going to hell. Rather, we obey Christ out of love and thankfulness because we have already been saved by His grace.
With this good news comes a warning: Beware of false gospels!
“If anyone preaches any other gospel to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9).
All other gospels are accursed.
They are accursed because they say that Christ’s death on the cross is either not necessary or is not adequate enough to get a person to heaven (Christ’s death needs to be supplemented with something else, whatever it might be).
Furthermore, all other gospels are accursed because they take comfort away from God’s people. They make God’s people rely on their performance instead of causing them to rely on Christ alone.
Moreover, all other gospels are accursed because they send people to hell.
They give people the false assurance that they are saved as long as they are trying to be good. That is what the Pharisees thought.
The Pharisees thought they were living well enough to get to heaven. They “trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others” (Luke 18:9). They did not realize that their best was not good enough for God (if our best is good enough for God, then Jesus died for nothing).
We must remain steadfast in the one true Gospel, rejoice in it, proclaim it, and never deviate from it.