1Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.—1 Corinthians 15:1-4
First Corinthians 15:3-4 summarizes the Gospel. Hopefully you can quote it by heart: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” That’s the Gospel plainly and clearly stated.
You say, “Well, how do I get the Gospel?”
Romans 10:13 says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
“Saved from what?” Saved from sin.
Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death . ” Death is what you get for what you’ve done. Every person on your street, in your office, and at your school is getting death for their sin. And not just physical death; that wouldn’t be much of a prediction, right? Physical death and eternal death; separation from God in a place called hell. That is where everyone is going.
But some people get . . . saved! One minute they are headed toward hell with everyone else and the next they are headed for heaven.
You ask, “How does that happen?”
Second Corinthians 5:21 explains, “For our sake he (God) made him (Jesus Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus wasn’t sinful. But He became sin for us on the cross. That’s good news for us.
The Gospel in two words: substitutionary atonement. Substitutionary means in your place; in my place. Atonement means making payment.
You owed a debt you couldn’t pay. Christ paid the debt you owed. He took your place! He became our perfect substitute.
The Gospel in four words: Christ in my place!
You say, “I get it. This makes sense. I need it. Now what?”
The answer is found in Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved.” If you’ve never done that, do that right now. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t wait until next week. As it says, “Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord. Believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead and you will be saved.” Believe it with your whole heart and confess (tell someone else) with your mouth.
Now that’s the way we respond to the Gospel.
Prayer - Heavenly Father, what an amazing thought that You would make Your Son Jesus to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him I might become the righteousness of God. Thanks for giving to me the righteousness of Christ so that I never have to claim a shred of righteousness of my own as the reason I can expect Your forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. Even this prayer I express to You under the permission given to me by Your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray, Amen.