When we speak of "The Gospel," it simply means "The Good News." It is the good news about what God has done for us through Jesus. It is the most important news you will ever hear. There are several key components of the Gospel:
God is completely and perfectly loving, holy, wise, just, and merciful. As a loving God, he created us to bring glory to himself by being in relationship with us.
But every one of us has sinned (done wrong things) against God. Sin includes things like lying, stealing, coveting, and rebellion. This broke our relationship with God. Because God is holy, he cannot tolerate our sin, and must punish it. To do otherwise would go against his nature. The only just and fair punishment for sin against the holy God is death (eternal separation from God). Therefore, we all deserve this eternal death.
In his infinite wisdom, God ordained a plan that would solve our sin problem. He sent his only Son, Jesus, into the world as a man. Jesus came as both God and man, and lived a perfect life without sin--something no other man could ever do.
After a few years of ministry on earth, Jesus was put to death on a cross. But since Jesus had lived a sinless life, when he died, he took the punishment for our sins. It was the perfect show of love, holiness, justice, and mercy. Jesus showed us God's love by dying for us. And since God is holy and just, he was able to punish the sins of mankind appropriately. But because he is loving and merciful, he can now show us mercy and grace because the punishment for our sins has been paid by Jesus.
Jesus Rose Again
The cross would be meaningless if Jesus had stayed dead. Three days after dying, Jesus came back to life. There is solid evidence that historically supports this event. The resurrection proved that Jesus had conquered sin and death, and that he could rightfully offer us eternal life with God.
The Gospel calls for a response from us. Without Jesus, we are dead in our sins. We need God's forgiveness and grace. And God offers this grace as a free gift to us. We can do nothing to earn this gift. All we have to do is accept the gift from God! We do this by admitting that we have sinned, believing that Jesus died and rose again for us, and turning from our sins and living a life of obedience for God.
If you would like to know more or to talk to someone about this decision, please don't hesitate to e-mail or call the church. This is the most important decision you could ever make in your entire life.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16