The most important belief in the world...
The Gospel, which means literally "good news," is the most important thing you can ever come to know. For it, and it alone, is the power of God to save sinners from eternal condemnation (Rom. 1:16-17; Acts 4:12).
What is the good news then?
The good news is that Jesus Christ, Himself God (Jn. 1:1; Phil. 2:5-11), became a man (Jn. 1:14; Phil. 2:5-6) so that he might suffer and die on the cross as the perfect and ultimate sacrifice to God as a propitiation (that is, the one who satisfies His just wrath - 1 Jn. 2:2), bearing all the sins (past, present, and future) of all who trust in Him (past, present, and future - Rom. 3:21-26); and that He was raised on the third day (1 Cor. 15:3-4), conquering death and securing eternal life for all who confess Him as their Saving Lord (Rom. 6:8-11; 10:9-13; 1 Cor. 15:49, 54-57).
You might be thinking, "Why would I need my sins paid for? I'm a pretty good person."
But only God can determine who is and is not good; and He has revealed clearly that no one (except for Jesus Christ - Heb. 4:14-16, 7:26; 1 Pet. 2:22) is good:
For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:
According to God, we are all sinners and worthy of death and eternal condemnation (Rom. 3:19, 6:23). And even our "good works" are counted as filthy in his sight because of how sinful we truly are.
Yet the good news is that Christ bore the sins of all who trust in Him so that whoever puts their faith in Him as the perfect and faithful Savior and Lord will not enter into judgment, but will be given the free gift of eternal life (Isa. 53:5-6; Jn. 3:16-18; Rom. 3:21-26, 4:4-8; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Jn. 5:4-5, 13).
Truly, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31). So if you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I adjure you to put your trust in Him. For He and He alone can save you from the Divine just condemnation that we all deserve.
And this eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (Jn. 17:3)
The Gospel in 6 Minutes as Presented by John Piper
This is a video of the beloved and renowned pastor and theologian John Piper presenting the gospel (it only takes 6 minutes to watch).
The full audio and transcript are available at Desiring God.
Their edited transcript is below for convenience:
What’s the gospel? I’ll put it in a sentence.
The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy.
That’s the gospel.
You never, never, never outgrow your need for it. Don’t ever think of the gospel as, “That’s the way you get saved, and then you get strong by leaving it and doing something else.”
No! We are strengthened by God through the gospel every day, till the day we drop.
You never outgrow the need to preach to yourself the gospel.
Here’s an illustration, and I use it not because it’s any big deal to speak from my life, but because it’s what I walked through and where I most pointedly in the last year experienced the power of the gospel to make me strong. (Many of you are walking through things much heavier than prostate cancer—much heavier.)
Do you remember the verses that I shared with you back in February that were almighty for me? It was that moment right after the doctor says, “I think we need to do a biopsy,” when this stab of fear comes. It didn’t last long, mercifully.
And then came—what? 1Thessalonians 5:9-10. It’s just as pure gospel as you can get.
God has not destined you for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,who died for you so that whether you wake or sleep you will live with him.
Settled. Peace like a river.
That’s just gospel—perfectly timed, perfectly applied, perfectly suited to my need. That’s why the Bible is so thick—because there are so many different needs that you have. And there are suitable places where the gospel is unfolded for you, so that if you immerse yourself in the whole book, always with an eye for what Christ has wrought for you and purchased for you in this thick, glorious history of God’s interaction with people, he will give you what you need.
Therefore, everything in me says, and I hope to say until the day I die, “Now, to him who is able to strengthen me, according to Paul’s gospel, to him—to that God—be glory forever and ever.”
God came into history in Jesus Christ; he died in order to destroy the power of hell and death and Satan and sin; and he did it through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I know that there are people reading this who are not trusting Jesus Christ, and therefore can only expect condemnation. So I’m just going to plead with you here at the end, lay down that rebellion. Lay it down. And simply embrace the gospel that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Righteous One, died for your sins. He was raised on the third day, triumphant over all his enemies. He reigns until he puts all of his enemies under his feet. Forgiveness of sins and a right standing with God comes freely through him alone, by faith alone.
I plead with you, don’t try to be strong in your own strength; it will not be there when you need it. Only one strength will be there—the strength that God gives according to the gospel.
Don’t put it off.
[This text is an edited transcript of the audio. It is excerpted from the sermon, “God Strengthens Us by the Gospel.”]