The word “gospel” is one which simply means “good news.” The message of Christ is certainly a positive one. Though we all have sin (Romans 3:10), and though our sin deserves eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23), God sent His Son to save us (Romans 5:8). This gospel message is simple. Even a child can understand it and believe it (Matthew 18:3). Despite its simplicity, it has a wonderful and mysterious complexity. Our rich, elaborate, otherworldly, and magnificent Lord has bathed the salvation process in a multitude of sublime truths. Consider six.
is the basis of our salvation. It is a disposition whereby God shows undeserved kindness towards humanity. It has often been said that grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. The Bible says, “For you are saved by grace” (Ephesians 2:8). Through an act of loving favor, God initiates the salvation process. He knows mankind is sinful, but He extends charity. Salvation begins and ends with Him. It is His gift. He is the initiator and accomplisher. As Charles Spurgeon has said, salvation is “all of grace!”
is a perspective of pity and compassion toward one in need. God possesses such a view towards us. Before the Garden of Eden, He saw the miserable state which our sin would produce. He knew the agony and pain of isolation and separation. He foresaw the devastation of depravity, and the confusion of corruption. In pitiful regard, He chose to ordain a way of deliverance. The Bible says, “He saved us — not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
is a by-product of God’s gospel. It is an experience of soul-oriented tranquility which involves a cessation of all hostiles and an abundance of joy and prosperity. Such is the state of the saved. When one trusts in Jesus for salvation, he or she receives a renewed standing before God. Hostility which existed because of sin is removed (Romans 5:1), and a daily, practical type of peace of mind is possible (Philippians 4:6-7).
is the channel through which God delivers salvation to men and women. It involves a trust and reliance in God’s means of salvation. It is much more than mere believing, or an intellectual assent to God’s existence (James 2:19). Faith is a firm reliance on the person and work of Christ as being the sole means for deliverance from sin and death. The Bible says we “are saved by grace through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
is a forgotten virtue amongst many Christians. But it shouldn’t be. It is in the top three of the most important in God’s book (1 Corinthians 13:13). It involves a confident expectation in a divinely promised future. When a person is saved, he or she has an assurance of a forever hereafter in heaven (Ephesians 1:18). Such hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
is at the heart of the gospel. Because of His great affection for us, God sent His Son to die (John 3:16). No greater love exists than that which God has for us (John 15:3). Because of this love, we can rest and be assured of God’s goodness towards us.
Dr. Patrick Latham