If asked about the Gospel, do you think you would be able to give a reason for why you believe? If you were asked some other questions related to the Gospel, but perhaps not the ones most talked about, would you be ready?
Last week, I shared reasons why it is important to know the Gospel. We need to be able to explain it in simple terms and we also need to be able to explain the Gospel in-depth, as well. At the end of the post, I shared a list of questions for those desiring to further their study. For a refresher, these are the questions.
- What is the Gospel?
- Why should I care about the Gospel?
- What is sin? What does it do (including what it does to our relationship to God)?
- What is the cost of sin?
- What does it mean to be a sinner?
- Who is Jesus?
- Why did He have to be the atonement sacrifice?
- What makes Jesus different than any other man? Why not Moses or another prophet?
- Could any man atone for sin?
- Why should I care about Adam’s sin? What relevance is that to me?
- How does Adam’s sin connect to Christ?
- What are works?
- If I do works then does that mean I’m saved?
- Are works bad?
- What is legalism/ Works-based theology, what is it?
- What is propitiation?
- What does imputed righteousness mean?
- What did Christ experience on the cross?
- What is the wrath of God and why should I care about the wrath of God?
- How can Jesus be both God and Man?
- What is the Trinity?
- Did Christ pray to Himself?
- What does it mean to be redeemed?
- What does it mean to be justified?
- What is grace?
- How is Christ connected to the High Priest?
- What types and shadows in the OT point to Christ dying on the cross?
- What does it mean to seek forgiveness from God?
- What does it mean to repent?
- If we say the sinner’s prayer, does that mean we receive salvation?
And here are my answers to the questions.
- The Gospel is how God sent His Son to deliver us from sin. Jesus lived a perfect life being both God and Man and because of this He was able to die in our place on the cross. We deserve to be punished for our sins. But Jesus died for us. He took our place, while we were still a sinner, and His sacrifice took on the wrath of God. Christ redeemed us by His blood. Jesus was resurrected and through Christ alone, we, too, can die to sin. We are justified by Christ. (John 3:14-17, 1 John 4:9-10, Romans 6:16-18)
- The reason why we all should care about the Gospel is because Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is the only way to eternal life. No matter what anyone else says there is no other way. No other gods, goddesses, or philosophies are going to save us. We all are born in sin, and Christ died for the sinner. (John 14:06)
- Sin is what separates us from God. Sin rejects God’s will and authority. Sin is what makes us choose ourselves over God and others. Sin delights in pleasure and self-indulgence. Pride. Anger. Gossip. Sexual immorality. The “easy” way. Slander. Selfishness. Sin is the opposite of love because God is love and sin is against God. (Romans 1:28-30, 1 John 4:07-09)
- The cost of sin is death. Our bodies are corrupted and die. We get weak. Life is hard. And death for the sinner is eternal death in Hell. Eternal punishment where gnashing of teeth takes place. It’s void of all things good, as God is good. It’s torture and agony. (Romans 6:22-23, Genesis 3:16-17, 1 John 4:15-19)
- To be a sinner means we reject God’s truth and we sin. All are born in sin. (John 3:18)
- Jesus is God. He is the Son of God. He is the Son of Man. He is Living Water. He is the Bread of Life. He is Beginning and End. He is the word of God. One Person of the Trinity. Christ is not the Father and He is not the Holy Spirit. (Luke 9:26, 2 Corinthians 1:19-20, John 4:10-14, John 6:35, Revelation 1:17, Revelation 1:16)
- Jesus had to be the atonement sacrifice because there was no mortal man who could be the atonement sacrifice. All men fall because of original sin, from Adam. In order for the wrath of God to be appeased, God needed to provide the sacrifice. Christ was the answer. He took on humanity so that there would be a Perfect Man in order that a sacrifice for sin could be given to God. (Romans 3:22-24)
- Jesus was different than any other man in a few ways. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary. This is what allowed Him to be both God and Man. Before, Christ had the God nature, and in the New Testament we see Him take on the human nature as well. No other human has a God nature and human nature. No other human was born perfect, everyone else was born in sin. Scripture says no one is righteous, this is why we needed a Savior. (Luke 1:34-35, Romans 3:22-24, Philippians 2:05-09, John 1 :04, Romans 8:03, 2 Corinthians 8:09, 2 Corinthians 13:04, Galatians 4:04, Hebrews 2:17)
- No, as stated it is impossible for any other man to atone for sin.
- The reason we should care about Adam’s sin is because this is how the human race became a sinner. Adam and Eve were sinners when they had children. Their children were born as sinners, and every other bloodline that came from them was also born in sin. Which is what makes the birth of Christ very unique. (1 Corinthians 15:44-45, Romans 3:22-24, Romans 5:12)
- Adam’s sin connects to Christ in this way. In the same way one man (Adam) caused many to sin, one Man (Christ) redeems many by His atonement sacrifice. Christ is referred to as a second Adam. Through Adam, we all are made sinners. Through Christ alone, we can die to sin! We can overcome sin through Christ. Jesus alone redeems many! (John 5:21, John 6:63, 1 Corinthians 15:47, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, Romans 5:12-17, Hebrews 9:28 Revelation 3:05)
- By Biblical definition (Greek), “works” are defined as deeds or toil. (Strong’s Ephesians 2:10)
- Christians are created for good works, but doing good works alone does not give us salvation. (Ephesians 2:10)
- Doing good works is not bad, but the reasons behind why we do good works can be wrong. That’s why understanding the true Gospel is important. False teachers will mislead people into works-based theology instead of faith alone and grace alone in Christ. (Note: Christians are to grow, be refined and sanctified. But this comes out of salvation in Christ.) 2 Peter 2:01
- Worked-based theology is the teaching that good works earn us salvation. This is when good works become legalistic and a set of rules. As scripture shows us we become under the Law, and the Law is there to show us no one is good enough. Our best works are filthy rags in comparison to the righteousness we need for salvation. Jesus is the only way to salvation. We need His righteousness. (Romans 2:13-16, Galatians 2:16)
- Propitiation is a word all Christians need to know. The Greek shows us it means an atoning sacrifice. Jesus is our propitiation. He is our substitute. He took our place and drank the wrath of God on the cross, instead of us. (1 John 4:10, 1 John 2:02, Romans 3:25, Hebrews 2:17)
- Remember the answer to question 15, we need the righteousness of Christ? The only way to receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ is through His righteousness being imputed to us. Impute means to attribute or ascribe. Many translations use the word “credited to.” We only receive the righteousness of Christ being imputed to us when we put our faith in Jesus and what He has done on the cross for us. We must believe in His atonement for our sake and we need to be sorrowful over our sin. (Romans 4:24, 2 Corinthians 7:10)
- Christ experienced something no other man would. He was whipped (flogged). He was forced to carry the cross to the location He would die. A crown of thorns was shoved on His skull. He was stripped and humiliated. His clothes were gambled over. Nails pierced His hands and feet. The weight of His body pulled Him down on the cross so that every breath was hard to make. Please do not misunderstand this pain He went through. But that is NOT the worst. No. On the cross, the human nature became a curse. He took on sin as the atonement sacrifice and the human nature was separated from God. Christ was still God. He still had the God nature. But the other 2 Persons of the Trinity did not experience what the Son did on the cross. This is why Christ can call out, “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?” The Son experienced the wrath of God so that others could be redeemed. He, the Perfect and Righteous One, who was innocent, paid our price. Someone had to pay the price of our sins and Christ took the wrath of God (what we deserve) on the cross. All who put their faith in Him have been bought with His blood. (Galatians 3:13, Deuteronomy 21:22-23, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53:12, Romans 4:25, Romans 8:03, 1 John 3:05, 1 Thessalonians 5:09-10)
- The wrath of God is separation from God. It is punishment for all of our sins. As a sinner, we are under the Law, and the Law points out how imperfect we are. We do not always keep the rules. We do not always obey the Lord. Those under the Law are condemned and receive the wrath of God. Hell is where the wrath of God takes place, and Hell is later thrown into the Lake of Fire (the second death) where Satan and demons are punished, and all those who are in Hell. Scripture indicates this punishment is eternal, meaning souls do not cease to exist. (Matthew 8:12, Revelation 22:15, 1 Corinthians 6:09, John 3:18, Revelation 21:08)
- Christ can be both God and Man because Christ was always God, and then He took on humanity’s form by being conceived as a babe. The Holy Spirit (One of the Three Persons of God) overshadowed Mary. This allows Him to have both a God nature and human nature, which He will always have.
- The Trinity explains the Three Persons of God. While the word Trinity is not used in the Bible, we do see the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We see in scripture how the Father is not the Son, and He is not the Holy Spirit. We see how the Son is not the Father, and He is not the Holy Spirit. We see how the Holy Spirit is not the Father and He is not the Son. Video and Article Recommendations: Mike Winger Can We Defend The Trinity Biblically? Chris Rosebrough The Holy Trinity Clearly Explained & Bowman’s Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity
- Christ did not pray to Himself in the garden because He is only One Person of the Trinity.
- Redeem in the Greek (Galatians 3:13) means buy up, ransom, or rescue from loss. Christ redeemed us by His blood because He took our place.
- To be justified in the Greek (Romans 5:09) means to be rendered just or innocent. When Christ redeems us He imputes His righteousness to us and the righteousness of Christ is what makes us justified. Christ took the payment for us.
- Grace means undeserved. It means favor. The love of the Savior’s atonement is given to us because of grace, not by our works.
- The book of Hebrews explains how Christ is our High Priest. Jesus’ death on the cross is the final sacrifice that was needed. All sacrifices prior that the high priests offered in the Old Testament could not suffice for sin. They would need to be repeated.
- Types and shadows are discussed in the book of Hebrews. They point to what was to come. One type and shadow we see in the Old Testament of Christ’s death is when Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son. God provides the sacrifice and Abraham does not have to sacrifice his son. In the same way, God provides His Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Another type and shadow of the Savior’s death in the Old Testament relates to Passover. The blood of a lamb over the door posts is why the Lord passed over the houses of the Israelites. They did not receive the judgment of losing the first born. Christ’s death happens during Passover, and Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God.(Genesis 22:09-13, Exodus 12:13, John 1:36, John 18:28, Revelation 7:17)
- To seek forgiveness from God means we understand why we need to seek forgiveness. If we do not understand, then seeking forgiveness does not make that much sense, does it? We need to see how we are a sinner. We understand that by our own works we cannot save ourselves. We understand that Jesus took our place for punishment, and that it is only through Christ we can be saved. It is only through Christ we can be imputed His righteousness. We need to be forgiven for our sins. We need to repent. We should experience godly sorrow that leads to repentance. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
- To repent means we turn away from what we used to do. So, let’s say a kid seeks forgiveness from the Lord, and repents from stealing candy. But then the kid continually steals candy, over and over, is that true repentance, no. Is it okay to keep doing the same sin over and over and seek forgiveness, knowing the same sin will be committed, no. Becoming a Christian does not mean we will never sin, but it does mean we are convicted of sin. We do not want to sin. Christ helps us overcome sin because in Christ sin does not rule over us like it once did. (Romans 6:05-07)
- Saying a prayer does not mean we have received salvation. We are saved only through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ. Prayers are wonderful. They can be helpful guiding tools. But prayers alone do not save us. Yes, we are to confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and confess our sins. But that does not mean He was never Lord to begin with. We do not “make” Him Lord and Savior. He IS Lord and Savior, even to those who reject Him. Confessing our sins is good, but if we have no faith in Christ those prayers are useless. Our words are not going to stop us committing sin. We need Christ. He is the only answer. Faith alone in Jesus Christ through grace alone given to us by God because of the atonement sacrifice of Jesus is how we receive salvation. (Romans 10-09-11, 1 John 3:18)
I hope the questions have been helpful and thought-provoking. I hope my answers were sufficient. I broke the post up because the answer portion took a lot more length. There are a number of you who were probably like me. You grew up in church, but couldn’t explain the Gospel in detail. You accepted the truth of Christ. Nothing wrong with that at all 🙂 But when you were questioned, well, you did not have the best answers. Maybe you talked about having faith, but you couldn’t explain that well enough, either. I used to be the same, and I just want to encourage you it’s okay if you do not have all the answers. I certainly didn’t and still do not have all the answers. But I hope you see the need that we can further explain our faith, scripture, and the Gospel overall so that when people have questions you’re better prepared with answers. I rejoice in understanding the glory of my Savior and what He has done for us. He is so precious and He did so much for us. The best is yet to come!
Faith comes from hearing the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
I recommend reading the book of John for seeing the connections of how Christ is proclaiming Himself to be God, as well as others proclaiming Him to be God. 1, 2nd, and 3rd John all have valuable information about the Gospel. Hebrews explains the priesthood and helps connect the types and shadows of the Old Testament pointing to the Savior. Romans explains sin and how Christ breaks the bondage of sin for all those who put their faith in Him. Of course, all of the Bible is recommended and I encourage you to make sure you are reading through everything, not snippets and pieces.
Monthly Scripture To Memorize/Meditate On – (ESV) Romans 5:08, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Community Prayer – February ‘21