The Gospel: by B.R. Graves
The Gospel. This is the blessed God-given good news of truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for sinners. This gospel doesent just end with a dead Savior hung upon the cross, because a dead savior is no savior at all. Christ died for the sins of His people, expiating and quenching the unquenchable, Hell encompassing, fiery, just wrath of the Almighty God. In His death Christ became the propitiation for our sins, spent 3 days in the heart of the earth and was raised to new life,proclaiming victory over death, Hell, the grave and all principalities and powers.
The gospel begins with God.In witnessing, it can begin with the sinfulness and wickedness of man - but man can only see how wicked and sinful he is when he beholds the Standard to which he is measured by, and that Standard is the Holy God. God is Infinitely morally, and spiiritually, of purer eyes than to behold evil and a God who hates iniquity and will not let the guilty go unpunished. In His righteousness He esteems His glory of infinite value and in esteeming His glory He takes pleasure in that which is beautiful and glorious and He consumes and destroys that which is sinful. He does not justify the wicked, for in justifying wicked men He himself would be an unjust judge. This presents a great dillemma, because if all men in Adam are sinful, if all men are wicked and depraved, drinking down iniquity like water, then all men deserve His holy wrath. God in His justice would be right and worthy of glory to consume rebellious sinners who hate him with a passion. But God, in order to vindicate His glory and in order to show His great name, because He is a God of love - He chose out of the good pleasures of His will, not influenced by anyone or anything else outside of Him, God chose to save a people for Himself, so that in saving them He would display His great glory in changing God-hating, rebellious humans into God loving, Christ resembling saints - who will be set apart unto holiness for His purposes.
In this "good news" of the Gospel, God displays His divine forbearance in patiently passing over sins committed by nations and peoples and even His own Israel, who sinned against Him and deserved immediate judgment. Instead, God passes over their sins in accepting sacrifices, the blood of bulls and goats, and even letting wicked idolatrous men live to see beautiful days and enjoy long healthy and lives. In doing this God was holding back His wrath, even making it seem like it was somewhat "acceptable" for men to trample His glory. But justice delayed is not justice denied. Gods wrath had not been quenched and the blood of bulls and goats would not always suffice. Justice had to be served, God's wrath that sinful men deserved must be vindicated.....this was done so in Christ
When men were sinners, enemies of God, God-haters, and helpless to do anything about it, God in His goodness and to display the greatness of His grace, sent His only begotten Son to die as a wrath absorbing sacrifice for the sins of the world. He bore the infinite eternal wrath of God and drank the full cup of God's wrath that men who have been in hell for centuries upon centuries will never be able to finish. He paid for the sins and purchased salvation for those who would believe on Him. His death on the cross didnt just extend an offer to all men - the death of Christ did extend this offer to all, but Christs death actually saved, and actually purchased salvation to those who will believe.
The question of the gospel is not 'Do you realize that you are a sinner?' for all men ought to realize this and in this realization all men ought to repent and cry out to God whether He saves them or not. All men ought to realize the crimes of their sins against a holy God. The question of the gospel is not 'Do you want heaven?' for all men want heaven, streets of gold, trees of life, happiness, no sickness, and eternal life forever. The question of the gospel lies in this 'Do you want God?' Do you realize that because of the crimes of your sins, and your helplessness and inability to do anything about them - you need a Savior, one who will reveal to you that all your good works are as filthy rags and One who will tell you that because of God's grace, the righteousness of God has been fulfilled and met in Him. Do you now esteem Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, His perfect life on this earth, and His daily intercession for His people above all things? Do you hate sins that you once cherished and took pleasure in? Are you willing to forsake all to cleave to this Jesus that paid the price for your sins - not for what you can get out of Him in terms of selfish gain, but because He is worthy of all honor glory and service?
This is the gospel: that God in His goodness, sent His Son to die for the sins of the world, absorbing the wrath of God and laying His life down for His sheep - so that they might have life, abundant life, and life eternal, knowing their Shepherd as One Flock, being made a new creation, a pure and spotless bride, and being made presentable to the Lord Jesus on that Great Day. His death is sufficient for all and made efficient for all who believe. Do you believe on Jesus?