Resource adapted from Greg Gilbert, Crossway publishing.
There are some important questions that everyone asks at some point in their life. Questions like:
- Who made us and to whom are we accountable?
- What is our problem? In other words, are we in trouble, and why?
- What is God's solution to that problem? How has he acted to save us from it?
- How do I come to be included in that salvation? What makes this good news for me and not just for someone else?
God is the one who created everyone and everything. Everything that God made was good. Because God made us, we are accountable to Him. Because God made us, He gets to set the standard, rules, and boundaries for us to live by for our happiness. God sets his standard for us in his word.
(Genesis 1:26-27; Exodus 34:6-9; Psalm 97:2)
God created man and woman in His image and likeness to know, love, and glorify him. When tempted, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and caused all of humanity to fall into a state of sinfulness. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, all of humanity now shares a sin nature. This means we do not worship and obey God like we were created to; instead, we reject God and are guilty before him. God’s Law shows us our sin, and the penalty for sin is death. Sin cannot be removed by good works or self-righteousness.
(Genesis 2:17; 3:17; Romans 3:19-20, 23)
At just the right time, God sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world. Jesus came on a rescue mission to save his people from their sin. Jesus lived the perfect life that we could never live, and he died the death that we all deserve to die. Jesus never sinned but he was crucified on a cross, bearing the full penalty for sin and the righteous wrath of God. On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave, proving that the penalty for sin was paid in full.
Jesus is fully God, so he alone is able to live in perfect obedience and righteousness like the Law of God requires; Jesus is fully human, so his life, death and resurrection can be applied to humans.
The good news of Jesus requires a response of repentance and faith. Repentance means to change your thinking. It begins with realizing what God has said is true, that I am guilty, I have broken God’s Law and sinned against him, and I have no hope on my own.
Faith means to trust in or fully rely upon. To put your faith in Jesus means you are fully relying upon him to save you: his life and his death is enough to forgive your sins and secure your eternal life forever.
(Mark 1:14-15; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16)