The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simply this:
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
This is the basis of the Christian faith and the need for a Savior. “All have sinned.” I have sinned, my wife has sinned, my children will sin, and you have sinned. Sin is defined as anything that displeases God. God created a perfect world free of pain, suffering, wrongdoing, and death. But because our first parents disobeyed God, they brought these things into the world. Today we naturally sin intentionally and unintentionally and fail to measure up to God’s moral statutes.
“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” – Romans 6:23
All actions have consequences. Sin is no different. We believe that God is a just God, and like a judge must punish crime, so God must punish sin, or he would be unjust. Even the smallest sin, separates us from God. This is because God is good, holy, and perfect in every way and therefore cannot tolerate wickedness in his presence, no matter how small we think the wickedness might be. In the end, the just consequence of sin is death, not just a physical death, but also an eternal death where we will be separated, eternally, from God and his love.
This leaves us in a pretty bleak situation, but we are not without hope. We can have hope because, although God is perfectly just, he is also perfectly loving. In his love, God offers you and me the free gift of eternal life. We cannot earn it; we certainly do not deserve it; it is a gift from the one true and loving God. And all gifts must be accepted or they are simply attempted gifts.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” – John 3:16
God’s gift to the world is Jesus. Jesus is the means by which we can have forgiveness of sin, and the gift of eternal life. Jesus Christ, the son of God, came into the world to offer himself in our place to bear the just consequences for our sins. And by believing, trusting, and placing our hope in Jesus we can receive God’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
“And Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.’” – John 14:6
Jesus is the way. He is not a way. He is the truth. He is not a truth. There is no way to God the Father other than through Jesus. Many people today do not like the statement that Jesus Christ is the only means of Salvation available to mankind. However, when thought about logically, the statement makes sense. First, truth, by its very nature, is exclusive. If I say, “The sky is blue” then by the very nature of the statement excludes the possibility that the sky is also red. Of course, the statement could be false, but, at noon on a clear day, the sky cannot both be red and blue at the same time.
Also, there is the law of non-contradiction, which states that two opposing statements cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way. If you see an animal and say it is a dog, but your friend says it is a cat, it cannot be both a dog and a cat; it is either one or the other or neither.
Now apply that to the idea that all religious expressions are true. Hinduism believes in thousands of gods, Christianity believes in only one true God. Both cannot be right; either one is right and the other wrong or both are wrong. Because they fundamentally contradict each other, Christianity and Hinduism cannot both be true based on the law of non-contradiction.
Furthermore, if there were any other way for God to save mankind from their sin, why would he send his only Son to die on the cross for our sin? If any other religion is true, then God sending Jesus to save mankind is completely unnecessary.
All other religions are about you trying to earn God’s favor in order to receive salvation. Christianity teaches that we could never earn God’s favor or our salvation, but God, in is great love, sent Jesus to save us from our sin.
“God demonstrates his own love toward us in that, while we are still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
We are sinners and we all stand guilty before the throne of God. We are worthy of eternal punishment. But, because of his great love for you and me, God sent Jesus Christ into the world to take our place and to die the death we should have died. Jesus Christ offered himself in our place to bear God’s just wrath for our sin. No matter what evil you have done, great or small, nothing can keep you from God’s love if we seek him with all our heart.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20
These are the words of Jesus Christ himself from the book of Revelation. To accept God’s free gift of salvation, you must open your heart and allow Jesus to come in. During the time Jesus walked the earth (about 0-33 AD), inviting someone into your home was a sign of respect, friendship, and honor. Jesus wants to come into our lives, save us, and give us a new life in, and through, him. He is not going to force himself in. He is not going to beg. He offers you a choice. Take it or leave it.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth on confesses and is saved… for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. – Romans 10:9-10, 13
Accepting Jesus Christ the lord (master/king) of our life and believing that God sent him to die on the cross for our sin, and that he also raised Jesus to live forever free of sin and death is what being a disciple of Jesus Christ means. This makes you a Christian.
The recognition of your sin and need to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, is the first step in receiving salvation. The only thing left to do is to ask for God’s forgiveness in grace.
Below a sample prayer that is a guide on how to ask Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior. It is not magical, but is a guide. Praying to ask Jesus into your life must be sincere and done whole-heartedly. It means fully surrendering every area of your life to God. If you would like to receive Jesus Christ into your life as Lord, pray a prayer like this:
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner, and need your forgiveness.
I believe that you died on the cross, and you rose from this dead for my sins.
I turn from my sins, and invite you to come into my heart and life.
I will trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior.
Thank you for hearing my prayer and for the gift of eternal life.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer with your whole heart, then you have receive the limitless grace and mercy of God and have been forgiven your sins. You have been reborn to live a new life for the glory of God. Your life now has a meaning that it never had before and that is to serve Jesus Christ and proclaim this good news to the ends of the earth. Congratulations, to your new life!
The next step in your new journey is to get involved in a local church where you can be surrounded by Christians and taught more about what it means to follow Jesus.
If you have any questions, or comments please feel free to comment.