The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ.

God is good and he made the world good.

But humanity sinned. We don’t just sin once in awhile but we sin as a way of life. In the things we do (in the good things we should do but don’t do), in the desires of our hearts and the things we think about others. We sin.

Think about the most basic element of Christian morality. The Ten Commandments.

Ever told a lie? That’s on there.

Ever taken the name of the Lord in vain? That’s on there.

Always honored your father and mother? That’s on there.

Ever stolen? Even as a kid taken something that didn’t belong to you? That’s on there.

Ever worshipped something besides God? We all have one thing that is more important to us than all other things. For some, that’s a career or a certain status. For others, it’s family. Those are all good things but they aren’t meant to take the place of God in our hearts.

We sin. And we can’t erase our own sin. We can’t make our own sin right. “All sin and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

We can’t simply do enough good to outweigh the bad because we continue to sin and to do more bad. God is a perfect God.

But being forgiven for our sins comes at a cost. All true forgiveness costs something. If someone breaks something of yours, either they have to repay you (they bear the cost). Or you could replace it yourself (you bear the cost). Or you could not replace it and just go on without that which was broken (you’re still bearing the cost). Or you and the offender could come to an arrangement about how to both chip in in replacing the broken item (you both pay some of the cost).

But in either case, there is a cost and someone has to pay it.

For our sin, there is a cost but it’s so great that we can’t pay it! We’ve dug ourselves a hole so deep that we can’t climb out of it. We can’t get to the top of the mountain but God lifts us up when we place our faith in Jesus.

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus took the penalty for our sins. He paid the price for sin.

Jesus is without sin. He willingly gave his life in the place of sinners. Jesus is the Lord and because he is Lord, he is a worthy sacrifice for our sins. He lived the perfect life we could not live and died the death we deserved.

God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

That is the gospel. We sin, Jesus paid it. We are saved by trusting in Jesus, the Lord who takes away the penalty of our sins. It’s an incredible gift of God that we can have forgiveness through Jesus.

And because he’s God, he’s so good that he can forgive any sin. He’s so good that he can forgive anyone who comes to him. No matter what you’ve done, how you’ve sinned, it’s not too great, and it’s never too late. But place faith in Jesus today. Know that he is the Lord who died for you. You were a sinner who was so far from God that you couldn’t make it right on your own. But God came into the world and died so that the relationship could be restored.

Trust in Jesus and in the eternal life that he promises.

For more, listen to this sermon from Galatians 2

May 28, 2017

It’s so natural for us to believe that our right standing before God is based on our own obedience and morality. In some ways, we like that sense of control. But the Bible is clear that we cannot earn the grace of God. It is freely given to all who accept it. The gospel isn’t to “just basically be a good person.” It’s to turn from sin and turn to Jesus, and when we accept that free gift of grace, we are forgiven of our sins.