The Good News of the Gospel


Chance Howard

Panel taken from a “Wordless Gospel” message showing Christ taking the sin of mankind upon himself.

If you were waiting for a Doctor to give you a diagnosis and he came into the room telling you, “Great news, doctors have developed a cure for (generic life-threatening disease),” your response would likely be, “That’s wonderful, now what exactly is wrong with me”? That is very similar to how it would feel when a Christian tells someone, “God loves you so much,” or any variation of the phrase without presenting people with the seriousness of their sin. What we should do as Christians is walk them through why they need good news, showing them their need for the salvific atoning work of Jesus Christ, just as doctors explain the danger that the patient is in, that the patient would beg for a cure. As Christians, we have the cure to sin and death. We have the key to everlasting life, the Gospel.

To stick with the doctor analogy, the description of the fallen human condition is the sickness diagnosis.

Every person is sinful and wicked, seeking their pleasure rather than seeking God. People commit innumerable sins daily against the creator who sustains their life. Lying, stealing, blaspheming, lusting, and hating. The list could go on, but these “everyday” sins serve as the majority of actions that send people to hell. Sin is offensive to a holy God. Our sin alienates us from God. Despite this, we continue to sin, especially without knowing we are. Not knowing that we are sinning doesn’t work as an excuse. If you don’t know that murder is illegal, you will be charged for it anyway, because you’ve still committed a crime. God, as the Judge, must punish us for our crimes. It would not be just or right for a judge to let murderers and abusers go free, just as it would not be fair for God to let those who transgress his commandments go without punishment.

Good Works and Good People
People trust that they are good people. When comparing themselves to others, this may be true. However, it is clear, both biblically and observationally, that this is not the case. Psalm 14:2-3 states: The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if any who understand seek after God. They have all turned aside; together, they have become corrupt; none does good, not even one. People who think that they are good often attribute this to the wonderful things that they do. They give money to the homeless and to charities. They’ve adopted children. They volunteer at a non-profit organization. While everything listed is great, and something that everyone should engage in, to God, none of these things matter, even in the slightest, in the final analysis. If you were in a courtroom, standing before a judge for the crimes you’ve committed, and you proceed to tell him all of the actions you’ve done to rectify your wrong, it wouldn’t matter, as you’ve still committed the crime, and he cannot legally let you go. Do not trust in yourself or in your works, as they will not save you.

Romans 6:23 says, “ The wages of sin is death…”. Death is what God pays you for your sin. But that isn’t the whole verse. The rest of the verse says, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eternal life is the gift of God if we confess our sins and repent of them.
What is repentance? I’ll let the words of Ray Comfort, a popular evangelist explain, “The Bible says whoever [conceals] his sins shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy (Proverbs 28:13)”. True biblical repentance is a matter of acknowledging your sins and turning from them to God”.

After that description of man’s sickness, here is the cure that God provided, that one may not have to face his eternal wrath.

God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross. Many people know that, but they don’t know why. The purpose of Christ’s death was to be a “substitutionary atonement.” This means that Christ’s righteousness was attributed to us. But isn’t this unjust? I just said that God must punish the wicked, as letting criminals get away with their crimes would be unjust. To use the courtroom analogy again, it would be like if you had a stack of speeding fines and parking tickets that stack up to the ceiling, and the sum of these payments added up to be a number you couldn’t afford. Just as the weight of your situation hits you and you believe you’d be going to jail, the judge tells you that someone paid the fine for you, and you are free to go. The fine was paid. That’s what the judge was concerned about. Two thousand years ago, Jesus paid the fine. If being whipped, beaten, and having nails pierced through his hands and feet wasn’t enough, God poured out his wrath on Christ. This fulfilled the punishment for every person who believed and fulfilled the requirement of justice. A sacrifice for the sin of every person who would believe, a sacrifice for all time.

Confess your sins before God, forsake them, turn away from them, and believe in the man who gave his life for you. Believe in God, who gave you a way to escape your sins. Repent and believe the gospel.