Good News

The word gospel literally means “good news,” and this is exactly what the message of Jesus is, it is good news. The specific news that the gospel refers to is the message about what Jesus, the son of God, has done for us through his perfect life, atoning death, and miraculous resurrection. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul explains the essence of the gospel message.

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
— 1 Corinthians 15:1–4

Everyone is Broken

The gospel is all about what Jesus has done to provide salvation for the world. We need salvation because we're all broken people. And Jesus has made a way for us to be forgiven of our sin and to have fellowship with God. Jesus wants to fix our brokenness. The Bible explains that everyone in their natural state is a sinner and an enemy of God.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
— Romans 3:23
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
— Ephesians 2:1-3

Friends of God

Though we are broken, God loves us. And though we are naturally enemies of God, and our sin has separated us from God, Jesus came to earth to die an atoning death so that we could become friends of God rather than enemies.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.
— Romans 5:10
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.
— John 3:16

The Gospel is Better Than Religion

The Gospel is different from religion. Religion is all about what we do for God, but the gospel is all about what Jesus has done for us. Religion produces guilt (if we can't measure up) or pride (if we feel we're doing pretty good). Conversely, the gospel is not earned, but is offered to us as a gift. All we need to do is receive this gift by faith in Jesus. The truth is, none of us could never do enough good things to earn salvation, so God says "Just believe." 

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
— Ephesians 2:8-9

You Don't Have to Clean up Your Life

Receiving Jesus by faith is more than just an acknowledgement of the facts of Jesusʼ life, but a decision to turn over your life to Christ. Accepting the gospel means letting Jesus take control of your life; it means letting Him be Lord.

…that 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; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
— Romans 10:9-10

Furthermore, letting Christ be Lord means that we must confess our sin and repent of our previous way of life. We do not have to clean up our lives, or get everything "right," we must simply be willing to admit that without Jesus our lives have not been pleasing to God. If we accept Jesus, then He will come into our lives and begin the cleanup work. Jesus doesn't want perfect people to embrace His gospel. Perfect people donʼt exist! Jesus wants us, sinners, to embrace His gospel and be saved.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
— 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Calling Upon Jesus

All that is required to become a Christian is believe and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. So, Pray! Even if it's the very first time you've ever prayed. All you need do is:

  • Acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of a Savior—this is to repent (turn away) from Sin

  • Believe that God raised Jesus from the dead—this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my Sin

  • Claim Jesus as your Lord and God—this is to surrender control of your life to Jesus

  • Receive Jesus as your Savior forever—this is to accept that God has done for me and in me what he promised

…for “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
— Romans 10:13

Here's a sample prayer to help you get started:

Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life.

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