This may seem like a no brainier to most Christians; that Jesus is the only way to salvation. But what does that actually mean? Just telling someone that Jesus loves you is only telling them half the saving message of Jesus. Tell them to love God is not telling them the full life changing news that they need to hear. So what is the full message that everyone needs to hear in order to be saved?
Acts 4:12 “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.”
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.“
The foundation of salvation is the person and work of Jesus. He is the focal point of true eternal salvation. But not just saying some guy 2,000 plus year ago died for you because he loves you. It is more grand and deeper than that. The person, Jesus, was not just a person. The work of Jesus was not just his miracles and teachings.
“It”, The Message
The message is that Jesus was the only begotten Son of God himself (John 3:16). That means he is directly and intimately related to God himself (John 10:30). He is the only begotten Son because there is no one that will ever exist like him. He is divinely and eternally in union with God The Father (John 1:1). He came into the world for the purpose of being the payment for people’s sin through the cost of his own life (1 John 3:8). Because of who he is, he is the only acceptable payment for sin (1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:23). It is through this payment that people can be freed from their sin and given the right and justified standing before God that no one could do otherwise. As the perfect payment, he appeased God’s wrath and pending judgement for sin. And through this payment, people are no longer seen as unrighteous but are credited Jesus’ righteousness before God (Romans 4:3). Through Jesus alone and his work at the cross, people can become children of God, freed to truly worship and please God, and have eternal life with God. THAT is absolute good news! This is called ‘the gospel’ which means the good news.
Also read Jesus, The Son of God | By Christ’s Work Alone | The Triune God of Christianity | The Amazing Grace of God | Why “Good Friday” is so Good | The Resurrection of Jesus Christ | The Break Down of The Gospel Message
First Thing First
1 Corinthians 15:2-3 “You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you–unless you believed for no purpose. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance“
Mankind’s primary need is salvation. Food, water, belongings, feelings of happiness, status, any anything else you can think of is secondary to our need for a right standing before God. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, “implores” everyone to be reconciled to God first and foremost (2 Corinthians 5:2). There is no need that the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ can’t meet (Matthew 6:33). The Holy Spirit, through Paul, makes it absolutely clear that this message is ‘of first importance’!
Also read All Christians Are Missionaries
The scope of Jesus’ work on the cross is for all people of all time (Romans 1:16). God so loved the world, he gave Jesus (John 3:16). Everyone everywhere is invited to accept and believe in this work of Jesus on the cross. There is no cultural, social, or racial favoritism with God. All need to be saved and all who believe in the Gospel will be saved (Romans 10:12-13; Matthew 11:28). No age limit, no ‘I need to clean myself up first‘ effort; but all those who just ‘come’ to Jesus in faith for who he is and what he has done (Revelation 22:17; Isaiah 55:1)
The value of Jesus’ work is directly related to who he is. The power in the gospel is supremely more valuable than all people, works, and messages. Through faith in it, ALL sins are forgiven. That includes past, present, and future sins (Colossians 2:13). Faith in it, out weighs ALL sin. It is so valuable, it alone justifies us before God; and gives us the eternal spiritual peace we can not have otherwise (Romans 5:1). This justified stance in the sight of God enables us to receive eternal life (Titus 3:7). The person and work of Jesus is absolutely sufficient for the greatest need. It it foolish to some but to those who believe, they experience the absolute power of God in their life through believing the gospel message (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Also read The Satisfaction of Christ Jesus
It is Simple
God is perfectly righteous and holy, man is not. Man needs to be made holy and righteous; but man can not do it on their own. Jesus came and lived the perfect righteous and holy life, for man. He paid for mans unrighteousness and unholiness on their behalf on the cross. He was then risen from the dead to prove the absolute life giving power of what he had done on the cross. Everyone is invited to believe this. To ‘believe’ means to trust absolutely. To believe Jesus is the Son of God and perfect sacrifice for your sin (John 1:12, 3:16, 36; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 10:9-10).
Also read The Joy of TRUTH
It is not merely ‘good’ advice or a suggestion that we try to do ourselves. Only through the divine person of Jesus and his perfect work on the cross; we are delivered from the wrath of God and given the righteousness of God (Romans 1:17-18). When we have faith in the gospel message we are saved by God’s grace and not by our efforts (Ephesians 2:8). It is this faith that credits us righteousness and not by how hard we try to be ‘good’ (Romans 4:22).
Also read; The Self and The Center of Everything
The Simple Break Down of Truth
- Everyone is a sinner (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10, 23)
- Jesus paid for our sin (Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 2:24)
- Jesus rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3)
- Jesus alone justifies us (Romans 4:25)
- Faith in this enables us to please God (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 11:6)
Avoiding The “S’ Word
Some people feel that talking about sin is too ‘negative’ and ‘turns people away’ from hearing the message. This is a sad lie. The existence of sin and the need to deal with sin is one of the primary elements of the eternal life changing message of salvation. If we do not address sin, we do not truly see such a dire need for salvation from sin. God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit (through the apostles) speak of sin. If they speak of sin than it can not be wrong to do so when proclaiming the good news. At the heart of avoiding the discussion of sin; it is really an effort to appease man and not God. It is a fear of offending man and not a fear of the wrath of God over that person. Positivism and Emotionalism has crept its way into the modern evangelical church which has resulted in the view that talking about sin is wrong. Hyper-Grace theology and the pseudo-power of ‘positive thinking’ are the false teachings that resulted from this; which make people feel comfortable about not talking about the whole gospel message.
Faith In The Gospel; not in you.
There is no ‘perfect’ gospel presentation. We are still imperfect humans using fallible human language speaking to people with imperfect minds. You may use the best words, best ideas, and best analogies, but if that person is not meant to hear it; they won’t. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to illuminate hearts and minds. We are just called to proclaim the good news! We need to have faith in God, that HIS message will be used for God’s Will to be done and for his glory; whatever the result may be. Our faith is in God and his truths and not how well we try to present the gospel. We do not lead anyone into saving faith through our gospel presentation; the Holy Spirit does, through it. Even if it is filled with mistakes or we forget to say a specific detail. The Holy Spirit may lead that person to investigate our presentation and lead them to receive it at a later date. Who knows, but only God does. Our work in faith is proclaiming the good news of salvation through the person and work of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior to all who we meet.
Ashamed of The Gospel?
When we purposely avoid presenting the gospel message to someone it is actually because we are insecure about it ourselves. Or we are embarrassed and ashamed of it because in our hearts we think it is silly. Or we fear the opinions of those who we have the opportunity to present it to; out of fear of offending them or being made fun of by them. Either way, the greatest message is not proclaimed because of our lack of faith. It is critical that we preach it to ourselves daily and deeply understand it and trust it! This security of what we know to be true emboldens us to proclaim it to the rest of the world.
The Gospel is NOT a Lifestyle
The gospel is not seen by how we live our lives. People see the characteristics of God himself through us like selfless love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and goodness but that does not explain WHY we exhibit those qualities. The life changing Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message to be proclaimed in words that explains WHY we do what we do. We are to give the explanation of why we have this faith and absolute hope of the future (1 Peter 3:15). Paul made sure he clarified it, proclaimed it as a message to those who heard it, and expected them to pass the message along (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). Faith comes by hearing the gospel message! (Romans 10:17).
Presenting the full gospel message to someone is a form of genuine love for that individual and worshiping God. This is exhibiting faith, that which pleases God; while remaining obedient to God which glorifies God. This exhibits genuine love for that individual even if they do not see it or understand it. It is an act of genuine love in that you are concerned about that persons peace with God and mindful of God’s glory. God allows you to be a participant in an opportunity in that individuals eternal destiny.
Also read: Maximal Opportunities to Desire God
Understanding and believing in absolute faith that Jesus is not only Lord but also Savior from sin, as presented in the full gospel message; saves eternally. Avoid and ignore the need for a savior from sin or Jesus as Lord in your life and the gospel message becomes incomplete. Making the gospel message a secondary message and not priority belittles the power in the message. Not proclaiming the gospel at all will never save anyone. That is why The Gospel is the greatest conversation you need to have with everyone!
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