The following is plain truth. It is meant not only to save any wandering sinner from death, but strengthen the weary saint to press onward. The gospel is the person and work of Jesus Christ. His work has perfectly completed all that’s needed for your right-standing with God to be received. Here, I want to keep things simple—slowed down—if you will. Let’s take a breather. Let’s look at the simple, refreshing gospel.
The good news is that it’s finished. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, has come to earth as a man. He lived the life that we should have lived, and died the death that we should have died. Because of this, we don’t have to die the death we once deserved to die, because Christ died in our place. This is called sacrificial atonement. Christ’s blood-spilling death atoned for sin—it paid for our sins. Jesus was sacrificed on the cross to pay for our sins. Regular, stained, spotted blood is not able to atone for sin, but Jesus’ blood was pure and powerful enough to do this (cf. Heb. 10).
Rest assured, payment has been made. “It is finished.” Debt erased. Sin pardoned. Gap closed. Veil torn. Furthermore, he was raised from the dead, leaving death in the grave that he left. Even death has bowed down.
In Christ, you don’t have to climb a ladder to get to God; He has come down to you. In Christ, you no longer need to offer sacrifices to God to erase sins; Christ was the final sacrifice for sin. In Christ, you are no longer the mission field; you get to be on mission.
To put it as simply as I know how: we are saved by grace, through faith, in Christ alone. This statement has many deep implications and trails to venture upon. It also contains many answers too if we will look. For the theologians, and Bible students, you already know the weight of this statement. You know it’s implications. You know it’s truth; it’s freedom; it’s simplicity. All the while, it is still refreshing.
By grace because it is not a work that we, who receive salvation, have earned. It is only because of the grace of God. He chose us before the foundation of the world, to be drawn in to himself, and saved. Even while I was in rebellion, he died and granted me free access to closeness with God.
Through faith because a belief upon Christ is required. The person and work of Jesus Christ is fact. The gospel is an announcement of real history. Because this news is fact, and because it’s an announcement, means there’s now an opportunity for you to do something with it. The Word of God requires a response. Even demons can believe Christ exists (cf. James 2:19) but a faith and belief that is placed on Christ as your own personal, final sacrifice for sins, makes one righteous in the eyes of God. We receive right-standing with God when we place our faith upon Christ as Savior (cf. Romans 3:21-26).
In Christ alone because there is no other way to the Father (cf. John 14:6). Furthermore, there is nothing to add to the saving work of Christ. This not only means no other saviors exist, but also that we hold no righteousness of our own next to the cross. As the hymn, Rock of Ages, states, “Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to the cross I cling.” We are not saved by our own good works, but we are saved for good works. We do good works out of a love for God—a proper response to the finished work of Jesus.
For me, this is all refreshing.
Take it in.
Let not your response be simply to respond to the knowledge of the content here—being only hearers of the word. Let not your response be to leave unchanged, entertained by idols and lesser goods. May we receive help from God, himself, to hear, feel, and experience the heavy weight of the gospel. Lord, help us. Save us and sanctify us for your glory alone.