I'm a New Believer

Now that you've entered into a relationship with Jesus, you're saved from the penalty and life of sin you once lived, and you will hear the word "gospel" a lot. It's one of many new words you'll discover as a Christian, much like learning a new sport or diving deep into a hobby, there is a vocabulary that’s specific to whatever you're learning. The word 'gospel' literally translates as "good news". We've found it helpful to unpack what "Gospel" means through these 5 words that sum up the good news of Jesus Christ!

GOD

What do you know about God?

Perhaps you know very little about Him or even still have some doubts about His existence. Maybe you have never thought much about God, or you have thought about Him, but always have made excuses to ignore him. Whatever your view of God, it doesn’t change the fact that He wants YOU to know Him.
God’s character and nature are AWESOME. He’s always existed and always will exist. He is unique. The Bible says “there is no one besides Him”. Although you might have heard of other Gods, He is the One and True God. He’s holy – meaning he is set apart and distinct in every possible way.
But there’s something else you should know: God created everything in this world, including you. God personally designed you because he wants a relationship with you.

To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.

Deuteronomy 4:35

SIN

If God created me to be in a relationship with Him, why does He seem so distant and far away?

Relationships are tricky. They’re messy and easily broken. Usually, relationships are damaged when one individual makes things more about him or herself than about the other person. In a similar way, we’ve all done the same thing to God. Despite the fact He created and loves us, each of us have chosen to make life about ourselves. As a result, we have not given Him His rightful place in our lives. We are born wanting to live a life that’s more pleasing to us than to God. This selfish tendency is called SIN. Believe it or not, everyone is guilty of this. The Bible is clear: “all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God”.
Sin separates us from God. Although God wants to have a relationship with us, our sin makes it impossible. Our sinful nature is a barrier between us and God’s holy character and nature. His perfection can’t be blemished by imperfection, and no matter how many good deeds we do, we all fall laughably short of perfect.
This gap between us and perfection leads to a massive debt to God which requires payment. What’s the currency for sin? How could you repay God? Well, the Bible says ‘the wages of sin is death.” Bad news: you are helpless. Someone or something has to die, and it has to be perfect. So, if and when you find a perfect person, better get your best sales pitch ready, because they have to die for you.
Unless you’re rescued, your debt will be judged and punished by eternal separation from God.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

SUBSTITUTION

Did you know God is love?

Here’s what that means for US. God loves every person. Unconditionally. Because of His love for you and me, God had a plan for us to escape judgement and punishment for sin. What we could never do for ourselves, He chose to do for us. His plan provided a substitute to take our place.
The Bible says, “For our sake, [God] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.” Translation: Instead of leaving us with a debt we could never pay, God transferred OUR debt to His perfect Son Jesus Christ. Incredibly, God then took the perfect life of Christ and credited his perfection to all who would follow Him. And as a result, Jesus received the punishment for your sin – which meant He had to suffer and die on a cross.
But the plan didn’t end there. Three days later, Jesus died in our place, God confirmed Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient to pay for our sin by raising Him from the dead.
Thanks to God’s amazing love, we are able to receive forgiveness for sin and have our relationship with God restored through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

BELIEVE

“Good,” you might think, “God’s plan took care of things for me.”

Well, not exactly. Yes it is true God had a plan and made it possible to be in a relationship with Him. However, do you personally believe that plan? Have you acknowledged the reality of sin in your life and turned away from it? Do you personally accept that Jesus took your punishment and died in YOUR place on a cross? Jesus said, “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.”
Believing doesn’t necessarily mean you have all the evidence and data you need. Nor does it mean you have everything figured out and have no further questions. It does mean more than agreeing and saying, “I understand.” True belief is when you personally acknowledge you are a sinner, that Jesus paid for your sin, and you ask for and receive His forgiveness, trusting He rescued you from the debt you could never pay. In response to Jesus taking on your debt, true belief means choosing to live for him rather than yourself. The same power that raised Him from the dead will give YOU the power to do it.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 5:24

LIFE

The benefit of believing in Jesus is much more than having your sins forgiven. It is also about receiving true life.

Jesus said he came to earth so that “they may have life and have it abundantly”. For some, life is about making money, taking vacations and pursuing pleasure, finding friendships, or achieving great things. While none of these are wrong, true life is SO MUCH MORE. It’s about finding your purpose, significance, and meaning in God. It’s having hope for every day and beyond. It’s experiencing freedom from things that control you.
 Only when you live for God will you find true life.
This is the life you were created for, the exact purpose for your existence, and personal belief in Jesus Christ makes it all possible. The Bible says,”Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Simple enough, right?
But it gets better. This life you just received, its eternal. That means the true life we receive through Jesus Christ is never-ending. Yes our life in this world will end, but Jesus gives us life even after death. That life is FAR better because there will be no more suffering, no more sin, no more struggles. Eternal life is lived alongside Jesus forever and ever.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

1 John 5:12

This is the Gospel.
It’s THE foundation of our faith.

Check out our next Foundations class to learn more.

Let us know if you’re interested in attending the next Foundations class by emailing Mark DeNooy at mdenooy@bravechurch.co.