The Gospel of Salvation
The Gospel is preached to all nations that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for the sins of the world. He was buried and rose from the dead on the third day.
1st Corinthians 15:1-4 “Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Acts 16:31 “They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Everyone who believes in Christ apart from their works will receive the free gift of the forgiveness of sins, the righteousness of God and eternal life in heaven.
The Gospel was initially preached only to the Jews who had crucified Jesus Christ.
Therefore, Peter told them to repent by faith in Christ to be forgiven all sins by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:46-38). After a few years the Apostle Peter preached to Cornelius, the first Gentile who was saved by hearing the Gospel and believing in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
Acts 10:38-43 NIV “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Peter preached the forgiveness of sins in Christ. But Paul was the first Apostle who received the full revelation of the Gospel that believers receive both the forgiveness of sins and the righteousness of God as a free gift without doing any works!
Both Jews and Gentiles can now be made righteous by faith in Christ apart from the Ten commandments and 603 ordinances of the Law.
Acts 13:28-33 “Though they found no cause for death, they still asked Pilate to have him killed. When they had fulfilled all things that were written about him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and he was seen for many days by those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people. We bring you good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this to us, their children, in that he raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son. Today I have become your father…
Acts 13:38-39 NIV “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.”
Paul wrote most of the New Testament and explained the Gospel very clearly.
But first Paul revealed the bad news of God’s judgment upon all sinners:
Romans 1:18-32 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity, that they may be without excuse. Because knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, and didn’t give thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, four-footed animals, and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves; who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.”
Romans 2:1-2,5-16,23-24 “Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things. We know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. … But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God; who “will pay back to everyone according to their works:” to those who by perseverance in well-doing seek for glory, honor, and incorruptibility, eternal life; but to those who are self-seeking, and don’t obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath, indignation, oppression, and anguish on every soul of man who does evil, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. But glory, honor, and peace go to every man who does good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without the law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it isn’t the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified (for when Gentiles who don’t have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my Good News, by Jesus Christ. … You who glory in the law, do you dishonor God by disobeying the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you”
The Gentiles in all nations knew God because of the evidence of the creation.
But they responded in unbelief by worshipping nature and the idols – they were practicing all kinds of sin. The Gentiles were guilty of breaking the law written on their consciences. Therefore the Jews were condemning the Gentiles.
But the Jews who knew the written law did not obey it and were also guilty.
Therefore both Jew and Gentile would be judged by their works and only those who perfectly kept the law would be saved. But the truth is that nobody is capable of obeying the law. The law showed that all men were sinners and nobody was righteous.
The truth is that nobody can be righteous by their works (obeying the law).
No human being is as perfectly righteous as God. We cannot enter heaven by our works.
Romans 3:9-11, 20-23 “… For we previously warned both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written, “There is no one righteous; no, not one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks after God …. Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe. For there is no distinction, for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God”
This is why God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ who came in the flesh and never sinned but He died for our sins and rose from the dead. Jesus Christ is the righteousness and glory of God. Now apart from the works of the law, we can be saved by faith. The Gospel is that everyone who believes in Jesus Christ without trusting in their own works, will receive the Righteousness of God by grace through faith.
All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and righteousness.
Therefore, God gives His righteousness as a free gift to all who believe in Jesus Christ without trusting in their works – this is the Gospel of Grace.
Romans 3:24-26 “being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God sent to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance; to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.”
Jesus Christ took the full punishment for our sins and therefore the righteousness of Christ can be legally transferred to us freely by faith in the divine exchange!
Therefore, God is righteous in making the believer righteous.
When people trust in their works then God must judge them as sinners.
But if a person believes in Jesus Christ and does not trust in his own works then God is fair and just in giving the righteousness of Christ to the believer!
It is because the believer does not trust in his own works but trusts only in what Jesus Christ did. This is why God will never judge the believer because He has made us righteous through faith in Christ by grace and not our works.
Can you believe this good news?
You will be forgiven all sins and receive the righteousness, glory and holiness of God as a free gift if you simply believe (trust) in Jesus Christ alone!
Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, because it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek. For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”
The Gospel is not about human effort but it is the power of God that saves us!
This is why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation!
We freely receive salvation by hearing and believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The power is not found in our good deeds but only relying on what Jesus Christ did.
The Gospel is not about our faulty self-righteousness but God’s perfect righteousness that we receive by grace through faith in Christ.
The one who trusts in his works will receive the wages of death because the law judges their sins. But those who believe in Christ will receive the gift of eternal life because Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In the world, we receive wages for our work in employment (jobs) so that we can live on earth. Without doing the work, we cannot live on earth.
But regarding salvation, God’s ways are opposite to the world.
If we work for salvation then we will receive condemnation.
If we don’t work for salvation but trust in Christ, then we are saved because God gives us the wages of Christ’s finished work that He did on our behalf.
Romans 4:4-6,24-25 “Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as something owed. But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works,….,to whom it will be accounted, who believe in him who raised Jesus, our Lord, from the dead, who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.”
The person who trusts in his own works cannot receive grace because he receives the wages of eternal condemnation and judgment given to everyone who broke even one of the commandments of the Law.
But if we do not trust in our works but believe in God who makes sinners righteous by faith in Christ, then we receive the righteousness of God.
It is because Jesus died for our sins and was raised to make us as righteous as God.
We are righteous only by Christ’s perfect work of His death and resurrection and not by our imperfect works. We are not saved by combining God’s grace and our works.
Grace (salvation) can be received only if we stop trusting in our efforts and believe in Jesus Christ our Righteousness.
Romans 9:16 “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy.”
Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.”
Romans 4:6-8 “Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin.”
There are three blessings for the believer who trusts in Jesus apart from works:
- God gives us His righteousness apart from our works and despite our sins.
- Our sins are forgiven once and for all.
- God will never count our sins against us – we will never be condemned.
David knew a lot about sin and judgment.
When he sinned, he paid the price with the death of his own son (2nd Samuel 12).
It was a symbol of God who paid for our sins by the death of His own Son Jesus Christ.
He rose from the dead to prove that we are made righteous!
We are so blessed to be living in the New Covenant.
Righteousness is given to those who don’t try to attain it by works.
The Israelites who were under the Law tried to be saved by works but the Gentiles who never wanted the Law became righteous by faith.
Romans 9:30-32 “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who didn’t follow after righteousness, attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith; but Israel, following after a law of righteousness, didn’t arrive at the law of righteousness. Why? Because they didn’t seek it by faith, but as it were by works of the law. They stumbled over the stumbling stone;”
Jesus did not come to call the righteous but sinners to salvation.
It is only the self-righteous who reject Christ but those who accept that they are sinners will come and receive the free gift of grace in Christ.
Mark 2:16-17 “The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Matthew 21:28-32 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ He answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind, and went. He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I’m going, sir,’ but he didn’t go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into God’s Kingdom before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him; but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn’t even repent afterward, that you might believe him.”
God is righteous and will never condemn the believer.
How can we be sure of this? It is because God has already judged Jesus for our sins.
2nd Corinthians 5:17-21 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, NOT reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
The old things have passed away for believers.
- We are not condemned by the law.
- We are not dead in sin
- We are not under God’s wrath
Christ is the Son of God who never sinned and yet He became sin on the cross so that we who never did anything good have become the righteousness of God by faith in Christ. This is why God will never condemn believers! This is the glorious divine exchange!
Christ took our sins and freely gave us His righteousness!
The believer will never be condemned because Christ was already judged for our sins and was resurrected so that we have His eternal righteousness not by our works but by faith. This is why the old things have passed away.
All things are New for the believer.
- We are God’s beloved children in Christ
- We are perfectly righteous in Christ without our works but only by grace through faith.
- We are forgiven all sin.
- We will never be condemned.
He already condemned our sins on the body of Christ on the cross so that He gave His perfect righteousness and holiness to us freely by grace.
Therefore, if anyone is a believer in Christ, then he/she is a new creation – completely righteous in Christ. The old things of law, sin, condemnation and death have passed away for the believer. The believer is no longer under the curse of Adam but now in the righteousness and blessing of Jesus Christ.
The believer is no longer a sinner but has become as righteous as Christ Himself.
Jesus Christ became sin on the cross so that the believer became the righteousness of God in His resurrection.
Jesus did nothing to deserve becoming sin on the cross and therefore we did nothing to deserve becoming the righteousness of God. This is why the Gospel of Christ is the most glorious grace and love ever known to mankind.
The believer is righteous only because Jesus is righteous!
God will never take away the gift of His righteousness from the believers!
His gift of salvation cannot be taken back.
Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
This does not mean that we live in sin. The believer’s righteousness is not simply positional. It is the actual righteousness and glory of God given to the believer – and that is why we are called the children of God – because He has given us His Spirit.
We should walk in His righteousness (1st John 2:28-29, 3:7-10).
Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.”
Christ’s righteousness is everlasting and therefore our righteousness is permanent.
He gifted His eternal righteousness to us by faith.
Adam’s disobedience made us all sinners. But now, Jesus Christ obeyed perfectly and therefore we are righteous by His death and resurrection alone through faith.
Romans 5:19 “For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one, many will be made righteous.”
The righteousness of the Law was based on man doing all the works and failing.
But now in the New Covenant, Jesus Christ never sinned but died on the cross to fulfill the law so that God’s righteousness is given by faith when we hear the Gospel.
Romans 10:4-11,17 “For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness of the law, “The one who does them will live by them.” But the righteousness which is of faith says this, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down); or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart;” that is, the word of faith which we preach: that if you will 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 resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed …. So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
The righteousness of the law could give eternal life only to those who obeyed everything but no man could do it. Jesus was the only one who obeyed the Law perfectly.
The righteousness of faith is all about man hearing and believing what Jesus Christ has already done on our behalf.
Faith comes by hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is the Word of God (John 1:1-3).
The Law condemns all who trust in their works
but Christ makes righteous all who trust in Him.
Romans 4:13-16 “For the promise to Abraham and to his offspring that he should be heir of the world wasn’t through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect. For the law produces wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience. For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the offspring, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.”
Righteousness is not by the law but only by faith just as God told Abraham (Genesis 15:6). Therefore, the blessing is always by God’s grace through faith and not our works.
Salvation is a matter of the heart. There are people who know that Jesus Christ existed but they have not trusted in Him with their hearts. They also know about right and wrong like Adam but they have not eaten from the tree of life in Christ.
They have not stopped trusting in their works. True faith in Christ means that we trust in Him for salvation and do not trust in our works.
Salvation is not a matter of knowing a doctrine but it is a heartfelt personal union with Christ in the spirit. When we hear the Gospel and personally trust in Jesus Christ, we become one in spirit with Him in our hearts because we receive the Holy Spirit.
We will be filled with joy in our hearts knowing His love for us. It is about knowing and trusting in Christ as the living God and not just a historical figure of the past.
It is about a personal relationship with our bridegroom Christ who loves us so dearly.
The unbeliever is dead in sin under the Law. But when we believe in Christ, we were made alive with Christ because His death on the cross forgave all our sins by fulfilling the demands of the Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law by obeying it perfectly on our behalf.
He also fulfilled the Law by dying on the cross for our sins.
The believer is forgiven all our sins because we are not under Law anymore.
But the unbeliever is still under the Law and its condemnation.
Colossians 2:11-15 “In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us. He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. Having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
If you believe in Jesus Christ then you will be forgiven all sins and God will never condemn you because He has declared you righteous in Christ.
John 5:22-24 “For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him. “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”