What is the gospel?
The gospel is literally good news. Specifically it is the good news of a Savior. The Savior is Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who came into this world to save us from sin (Lk 2:10-11).
What is sin?
Sin stems from a failure to love God with all of my heart, soul, and mind, and sin is a failure to love others the way that we love ourselves. At the very heart of sinfulness is selfishness. It is living a life for ourselves, rather than solely living a life for God’s glory and the well-being of others (Matt. 22:36-40).
Why do we need to be saved or delivered from our sins?
There are consequences to our sinful disobedience. There is shame, loneliness, and punishment, just to name a few. Because of our sin, our fellowship with God has been broken, and our relationships to others are filled with heartache and misery. When we die we are permanently separated from God (2 Thess. 1:9) and His people (Luke 16:26).
But God in His love and mercy reaches out to us. He invites us to have a new relationship to Himself, a relationship that the Bible likens unto a wholesome relationship between a father and a child. In this relationship, God loves, cares, and provides for us, and we seek to love, honor, and be obedient to Him (Jn. 1:12; 1 Jn 3:1-3). This results in a new relationship to God’s people wherein we now are brothers and sisters in Christ and love one another (John 13:35).
How does Jesus save us from our sins?
Jesus makes this new relationship possible. Jesus, in absolute love for God and for us, unselfishly thought not of Himself, but voluntarily experienced the consequences of our sinfulness through His life and death on the cross (Phil. 2:3-11). That is, He took on Himself our shame, endured forsakenness by God (Matt. 27:46) and others (Isa. 53:3), and suffered the full punishment that our sin deserved (Isa. 53:4-5). All this was accomplished so that we would have an entirely new relationship to God (Rom. 5:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:15) and others (Eph. 2:19).
The good news is that Jesus conquered sin and death by physically rising from the dead. He ascended into heaven and was welcomed into the very presence of God the Father.
In trusting in what Christ has done for us, through His life, death, and resurrection, we experience complete forgiveness from God (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Our relationships are transformed. We enjoy a never-ending fellowship with God both in this life and for all eternity (Jn. 17:3). Likewise, we have a new fellowship with other Christians now and for eternity (1 Thess 4:13-17). Instead of the selfishness that once ruled our hearts, we now seek to honor and serve God and to be a blessing to others. In short, we extend to others the love and forgiveness that we ourselves have experienced from God through the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20; Eph. 4:32).
How do I trust Jesus to be my Savior?
We offer this suggested prayer as an example of the kind of prayer one can pray to accept Jesus as one’s Savior.
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and am in need of a deliverer. I need forgiveness for having failed to love You with all my heart, soul, and mind and for failing to love others in the way that I love myself. I know that my sins have alienated me from You and others. I want You to deliver me from my sinful self-centeredness. I desire a truly loving relationship with You as my Father and others as my brothers and sisters. I trust in Jesus, and Jesus alone, as the only one who can save me from my sins.
Now that you have received Christ as your Savior we encourage you to develop that personal relationship to Jesus Christ. We grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through Bible reading, prayer, and worshiping with others. We also encourage you to develop a love for your fellow believers through an active participation in their lives and mutual service for the Lord by participating in a Bible-believing church. We at the Lebanon Bible Fellowship Church would be honored to assist you in being a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have any questions, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.
Calvin T. Reed, Senior Pastor