The word gospel simply means “good news.” It is the good news of what God has accomplished for the salvation of lost, sinful, and rebellious human beings in his only Son, Jesus Christ. Who are the lost? The answer…everyone, before they trust in Jesus (Romans 1:28-31).
The Bible says that God created human beings (male and female) in his own image and likeness, and they were ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:26-31; 5:1-2). However, as a result of their own choosing they rebelled against God and sinned, failing to meet the perfect standard of righteousness that God’s law demands (Genesis 3:1-24; cf. Romans 3:23). At this point sin, death, and separation from God entered the world and spread to all people, everywhere (Genesis 6:5; cf. Ecclesiastes 7:20). So, there is no one on the earth who is inherently good in the sight of God; and nothing the person does will be viewed as deserving of merit in the sight of God, making it impossible to work one’s way back to God (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Psalm 5:4-6; 14:1-3; 53:1-3).
However, God, being rich in mercy (not giving us what we deserve), grace (giving us what we don’t deserve), and faithful love, sent his only Son, Jesus, into the world to fully and perfectly accomplish all that’s necessary for sinners to be forgiven and be made right with him (John 3:16).
Jesus, the eternal Son of God, being fully God and fully man (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 1:19), lived a life totally free from sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15), and fully and perfectly obeyed God’s Law at every point (Matt. 5:17). Then, according to the eternal plan/purpose of God (Acts 4:27-28; 1 Peter 1:20), died in the place of sinners, and rose from the dead so that by trusting in Him alone (Acts 4:12; John 3:17-18; 14:6), they may have life. That is, on the cross, Jesus willingly took our sin upon himself and died in our place; and through his sacrifice, made it possible for people to receive righteousness and life by helplessly receiving the work he has done for us. This righteousness and life are to be received as a gift. Thus, they cannot be earned, but rather freely received (Galatians 2:16). When a person acknowledges their helpless sinful state, and embraces the work of Jesus in humility of heart and complete dependence, they are “justified” in the sight of God. Justification is simply, by trusting in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God places us in a right relationship with himself by forgiving our sins and declaring us righteous in and through Christ (Romans 3:24; Colossians 2:13-14). Simply, those who believe are saved by what Jesus has done, not what they do. Jesus has accomplished everything God the Father requires for the salvation of those who would trust in him!
Because of what Jesus has done, God is calling people everywhere to repent of sin and believe in Jesus and his work. Repentance means that a person acknowledges and turns from their sin, with the God-given desire to stop sinning. Faith means banking everything on the fact that one cannot work their way to God, but rather trusting that one’s righteousness and life before God are found in what Jesus did in their place. The believer is then freed by Jesus from the power of sin to a life of thankful worship of God by knowing and loving Jesus, while pointing others to do the same.
As this gift of life is received, by believing and trusting (faith) in Jesus alone for a right relationship with God, God places his Holy Spirit inside of the follower of Jesus to permanently adopt them as a child into his family (Romans 8:15), empower them to live life in obedience to Jesus (1 Peter 1:2), and to ensure that the work of life that has begun in them will be completed on the day when Jesus returns (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:14; Philippians 1:6).
If a person does not choose to believe and trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, then the Bible says they face the just wrath and condemnation of Almighty God (Matthew 10:33; John 3:18), spending this life and the next in separation from God presence of blessing, as they have chosen all along (Revelation 20:14).
If you have not found life in Jesus and the forgiveness of your sins before God based on what Jesus did for you, believe in him and helplessly receive his work in your place today!