The word gospel means good news. I have two gospels in my life; I call them my ‘greater gospel’ and my ‘lesser gospel’. The lesser gospel is that you can live barefoot and that living barefoot is more natural and healthier than living with shoes. My greater gospel is that Jesus is the Messiah, the hero who came in and saved the day, the one who reconciles evil humanity to a Holy God.I unfortunately find it much easier to speak about my lesser gospels than my greater gospel. If you wear high heels and drink corn oil for breakfast, I can try to give you evidence that it's a problem, but I don't really care if you don't listen. It's your life to live as you please. We can have a friendly debate, a sharing of knowledge. But if you don't know the saving grace of God, I try to talk to you and my heart is in my throat, because your soul is on the line, and I'm so scared of messing it up, scaring you off, saying it in a confusing way that leads you away instead of towards the good word. The words I know by heart melt away when I try to speak them.
Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:23 (NIV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 John 1:8-10 (NIV)
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
- We are human, and therefore imperfect sinners.
- The return on sin is eternal death. (We all die in the body, but eternal death is a malady of the soul.)
- God, full of grace (giving good stuff we don't deserve) and mercy (withholding bad stuff we do deserve) sent his son Jesus to die in our place for our sins, spending three days in hell in our place. His body rose from the dead and his soul rose from hell.
- No matter where we started out, we all have the free will to accept this gift. We are not saved by coming from a good family, or going to a good church, or having nice "spiritual" experiences, but confessing our sins and throwing ourselves on his mercy.