The word “gospel” means good news. The Gospel is good news because it shows us the pathway back to a right relationship with the good and holy God who created us. God’s message to us in the Gospel is that, though His justice demands payment for our sins, His love caused Him to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to bear the penalty of our sins on our behalf.
Why is the Gospel so important? The Gospel is of primary importance because it proclaims how sinful and guilty people can find forgiveness from sin and deliverance from the just penalty of God’s judgment. In fact, the Gospel is the central truth of the Christian faith and the main message of the Bible.
The decision to follow Jesus is the most important one you will ever make. It affects not only your life here on earth, but it also determines where you will spend eternity. The Bible is crystal clear that we cannot earn salvation by our own works or merit: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Attending church, being baptized, or trying to live a better life does not make someone a Christian.
Becoming a Christian involves understanding that . . .
1. You are a sinner.
The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one. . . For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:10, 23) No matter how good we try to be, no one is perfect. Every one of us has fallen short of God’s standards for our lives.
2. You are separated from God.
The Bible says, “Your iniquities [sinful attitudes, thoughts and actions] have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you.” (Isaiah 59:2) Since God is holy and we are sinful, a barrier exists between God and us. As a holy and righteous judge, God cannot just “look the other way” when it comes to our sin. God’s justice demands that a penalty be paid for our sins.
3. You need Christ.
The Gospel of John tells us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16-17)
Christ offered His life on the cross on our behalf. He died in our place. The Bible says that God charged Christ with our sins so that we could be forgiven and have His righteousness placed on our account (2 Corinthians 5:21). In order to receive this wonderful gift of salvation, we must be willing to turn from our sinful and self-centered lives and trust Christ as our only hope of forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) The sacrifice of Christ on the cross on our behalf is the only satisfactory payment for our sins.
4. You can receive God’s gift today!
God’s word says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Even though Christ died for the sins of all mankind (I John 2:1), only those who receive Him by faith will receive forgiveness of their sins and have the right to be called God’s children (John 1:12). The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved . . . Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9, 13)
You can call upon the Lord for salvation right now in prayer. Prayer is simply talking with God. Remember, the Lord is far more concerned with the attitude and intention of our hearts than with the exact words we use.
The following is a suggested prayer that expresses what we should say to God if we desire Christ to be our Lord and Savior:
“Dear Father in heaven, I admit that I am a sinner. I know I have failed to live up to the standards You have revealed in Your Word. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in order to pay the full penalty for all my sins. I receive Christ today and acknowledge Him as the Savior of my soul and the Lord of my life. Thank you for graciously forgiving me of my sins and giving me the free gift of eternal life. Help me to turn from my sinful ways and begin living a life that honors and pleases You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
If you have any questions about becoming a Christian or need help with your new life in Christ, we would count it a privilege to help you in your decision to follow Christ. Please feel free to call us at (619) 424-8444 or drop us a note via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can write us at:
Westview Bible Church, 587 Delaware Street, Imperial Beach, CA 91932