“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” (Romans 1: 16)
Christians, like the apostle Paul, are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has chosen to offer a loving way to save man from the destruction of his own sins.
In the New Testament the word “gospel” never means a book (one of the four gospels); instead it always refers to the good tidings that Christ and the apostles announced. It is called “the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1); “the gospel about Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1); “the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15) and “the gospel of your salvation.” (Ephesians 1: 13)
Salvation is a good word. It denotes the purpose of God by which He justifies His people, first by pardoning their offenses and accepting them as righteous in His sight. Then He progressively transforms Christians, little by little, through the Holy Spirit and the written Word of God, into the image of Christ.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Titus 2: 11, 12)
The truths relating to the application of God’s great salvation are grouped under three headings: 1.) Justification; 2.) Regeneration and 3.) Sanctification. The truths relating to man’s acceptance of God’s great salvation are reflected through repentance, faith and obedience.
Many in the U.S.A. claim belief in Christ and call themselves Christians, yet they bring question to God’s Word and to true Christianity by the way they live. It is a duty to all who call themselves Christians to examine themselves concerning their spiritual state. The Bible says to “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course you fail the test?” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
The first step in examining ourselves is to understand the three aspects of salvation found in Christ Jesus. First is justification. Romans 5:1 says; “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Greek word for justified is a legal term taken from the courts. It pictures man on trial before an all knowing holy God. Man is seen as having committed the most heinous of crimes. He has rebelled against God and broken his relationship with God. The evidence is so overwhelming and true that the man, realizing that truth, confesses his sin to God. God then brings in our “Advocate,” Jesus Christ, who’s atoning sacrificial blood paid the price for the sins of the world. (1 John 2: 1,2)
For everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, God in His mercy and grace gives them a “pardon,” setting born again Christians free from the punishment of eternal death.
The first aspect of salvation is justification. You can be completely forgiven of every sin you have committed. God sent the gospel of Christ to you today so you can be saved. Repent and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you and invite Him into your life and heart. Receive God’s pardon found in Christ.
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Chris Appleby on Oct 18, 2000
Those who are outside the people of God are in rebellion against Him and are therefore spiritually dead. But God makes them a free offer to bring them back to life. All that’s needed to receive all of the bounty that God offers is to believe his promise,