The gospel is the good news of what Jesus did on our behalf through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. It is the work of God that saves, sanctifies, and sustains his people.
- In life, Jesus was perfect (Heb 4:15, 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 John 3:5).
- In death, Jesus shed his blood as the once-and-for-all payment for our sin (Eph 1:7, 1 Peter 2:24).
- Through resurrection, Jesus conquered sin’s curse: death (Rom 6:8-11, 1 Cor 15:21-22).
- Through ascension, Jesus now reigns and rules in authority over creation (Matt 28:18, Phil 2:9-11).
This gospel message is good news! God didn’t need to provide salvation to sinful people. None of us deserve his grace (Rom 3:10-12). But that’s the point: grace is a gift. It cannot be earned and isn’t deserved. Yet, being rich in mercy, God provided Jesus who is fully God and fully man to be the one and only way of salvation (Eph 2:4-9, Rom 5:6-8, John 14:6).
In God’s grace, he gives us a new identity when we believe these truths about Jesus by faith (Rom 10:9-10, Acts 16:31, Gal 2:20, 2 Cor 5:17). He takes us from a spiritual state of death and condemnation, to one of freedom and eternal life (Eph 2:1-10, Rom 8:1-2, Col 1:13-14). He replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh (Ezek 11:19, 36:26).
In this new identity, the Holy Spirit enters us and begins to transform our lives (Eph 1:13-14, 2 Cor 1:22). This lifelong process is called sanctification. By God’s grace in Jesus Christ, he’s making his people new from the inside out and empowering us as representatives of his Kingdom (Ezek 36:26-27, Psalm 51:10, Gal 4:6, 1 Thes 3:11-13).
As we grow in this grace, our words, actions, and motives more fully reflect our new heart. The person with genuine faith in the gospel will grow in obedience, holiness, and Christ-likeness. True faith is evidenced by works that display the character of God (James 2:14-17, 2 Cor 2:8).
This transformation is a work of the Holy Spirit, as he empowers believers to say no to sin, and yes to holiness (Eph 4:17-32). God gives us strength to obey, and strength to endure (2 Tim 2:1, Heb 13:9).
When Jesus returns, he will establish a new heaven and a new earth free of sin, tears, pain, and death (Rev 21:3-4). While we wait, his gospel of grace will sustain us (1 Cor 1:7-9, Phil 1:6). He gives us hope and courage as we face trials in this life (1 Pet 1:10, Heb 4:16, Jer 29:11). He gives us strength, power, and wisdom (1 Pet 1:13, Eph 3:14-19, James 1:5). His grace brings us deep and lasting joy (Psalm 16:11, Psalm 21:6, Matt 13:44, Luke 6:23, John 15:11, 1 Pet 1:8-9).
Through the gospel, believers are united with Christ. His perfect righteousness becomes our perfect righteousness and leads us to eternal life, where we will be fully restored to God in his new creation (Rom 5:20-21, 2 Cor 5:21, Rom 3:22).
Past, Present, and Future Grace
This everlasting gospel of grace is the Christian’s hope and vision, saving us from our past, sanctifying us in the present, and sustaining us throughout eternity (Rom 5:2, 1 Pet 1:13). Believers receive grace (2 Tim 1:9, Eph 4:7), are encouraged to continue in grace (Acts 13:43), and are called to testify to the grace of God (Acts 20:24).
How People Change, by Paul David Tripp and Timothy Lane
Enough About Me, by Jen Oshman
Steadfast, by Courtney Doctor