The gospel of Jesus Christ is an all-inclusive story dating that extends back to creation with bad news and good news. Part one of this two-part series outlined humanity’s hopeless situation, a.k.a. the bad news.
With this as a backdrop, we realize that every human being will be separated from God forever in a place of punishment unless God chooses to intervene! So what are the six points of good news?
5. God’s Solution Was Sending Jesus to Save Sinful Humans
The situation for every human would be hopeless if God did not take the initiative to save us. While God hates sin, he also loves sinners (1 John 4:16) and is patient towards punishing us because he does not want any human being to go to hell (2 Pet. 3:9).
Do you remember the impassable bottomless chasm between humans and God we mentioned in the last article? Well, because God does love us so much, he chose a surprising way to bridge the gap between sinful humans and himself to mend our broken relationship.
He sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully human, the perfect God-man, the “one mediator between God and men” (1 Tim. 2:5), to pay the penalty for our sin (John 3:16).
6. Jesus Died for Our Sins on the Cross
Too often, Christians say the phrase, “Christ died for us,” without recognizing the breathtaking reality of what Christ’s sacrifice means for every human.
Jesus lived a sinless human life and did not have to physically die for any personal sins (as do all other humans). Instead, he chose to die in our place, taking our sins upon himself--like an Old Testament lamb sacrificed to God for the sins of the people (2 Cor. 5:21).
But taking on our sins meant that Christ had to bear God’s punishment against every human sin ever committed in the past, present, and future and to atone (or cover) all of them (Rom. 5:18).
7. Jesus Physically Resurrected on the Third Day after His Crucifixion
After his death on Friday, Jesus was buried in a tomb. But three days later (on Sunday morning), Jesus resurrected (or physically rose) from the dead through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christ’s resurrection proved two incredible realities:
- That he is God the Son (the second person of the Trinity)
- God had accepted Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf.
Jesus “was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 1:4).
8. Salvation Comes Only by God’s Grace
Grace is an often-misunderstood word. In this instance, it means that God is freely offering you a gift of salvation that you have not earned and do not deserve. While it costs you nothing, it came at a high cost to Jesus.
For example, if someone offers to give you a new car freely and you didn’t do anything to deserve it, they are gracious towards you.
God offers every person:
- The unmerited gift of forgiveness of our sins
- A restored relationship with him
- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit
- And the opportunity to spend eternity with him
But like any freely offered gift, it must be accepted (Eph. 2:8-9).
9. Salvation Comes Through Faith in Jesus Christ
In accepting God’s offer of salvation, three things occur.
- First, we realize our hopeless situation. We cannot get to heaven based on our good works and must depend entirely on God’s offer based on what Christ did for us.
- Second, we recognize that we are sinful and decide to turn from our evil and toward God by asking for forgiveness. This action is called repentance (Acts 2:38).
- Third, and most importantly, we must believe in (or put our faith in) Jesus as our God and Savior (Acts 16:30–31)
By trusting in Jesus as our Savior, we receive God’s full salvation. Anyone can pray in their heart or aloud that they want God to forgive them and to give them salvation now that they are believing in Jesus and want to follow him as their King:
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved … for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:9-13)
10. Salvation Brings Newness
When we place our faith in Jesus, we are saved (Acts 16:31), given eternal life (John 3:16), and forgiven of our sins (Eph. 1:7). We become “new creations” (2 Cor. 5:17) who are now God’s children (Rom. 8:15–16) and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16).
This newness changes our whole lives. Our old lives stuck in sin are gone; we are made new as God’s children forever.
Knowing the bad news and the good news of the salvation message from creation to resurrection will give us a clearer idea of the scope of God’s great love for us. And it will enable us to share this life-changing message with those who need it.
You will find your ability to evangelize is less intimidating and challenging once you have some points to follow. And like any learned skill, the more you do it, the better you become.
Take some time to learn and review these key points and memorize and meditate on some of these Scripture passages so that you can be ready to share. After all, the more comfortable you become with the message, the more excited you will be to share the good news of Jesus with others.