Summary: Why do I need salvation? What do I receive through salvation? These are valid questions that need to be answered. One should understand the benefit of the Gospel.
The Benefit of the Gospel
Ephesians 1: 13-14
Last week we began a series entitled: A Gospel Centered Life. As I began to prepare this series I realized if one is to live a Gospel centered life, one must first understand and embrace the Gospel. We looked at the foundational principles of the Gospel, found in 1 Cor.15:3-4 – For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. Paul summed up the Gospel in one simple statement – Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again. That is the basis of the Gospel.
Among us today are two classes of people – those who have believed the Gospel unto salvation, and those who have not. Many who have yet to receive the Gospel often wonder about the real benefit of salvation. Why do I need salvation? What do I receive in salvation? What are the consequences if I reject salvation? All of these are valid questions that must be answered. I also realize that some who have received the Gospel, being saved by grace, have yet to fully grasp the enormity of their gift. Many believers have the attitude that the Gospel is reserved solely for those who have yet to believe in Christ unto salvation.
While this passage does not completely encompass every benefit received through salvation, it does reveal enough to encourage our acceptance of the Gospel and create an awareness regarding the significance of the Gospel, even in the lives of believers. The Gospel is not something we receive at salvation and then live out our lives without further benefit. There are many benefits that believers enjoy each day through the Gospel. As we discuss the principles revealed in the text, I want us to consider: The Benefit of the Gospel.
I. An Immediate Transformation (13a) – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. This first chapter to the Ephesian church is a rich discourse in the standing believers have with God through Christ. Following a detailed description of that standing, Paul reminded the Ephesian believers that they too had trusted in Christ, and received the same standing. Paul returned to the basis of the Gospel in this passage – faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ to provide our salvation. Such faith in Christ leads to an immediate transformation in the life of the believer. Notice:
A. The Process (13a) – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. It is important to consider the precise wording Paul used as he spoke to the Ephesians regarding their salvation. This process mirrors the passage we considered in our last study, written to the Corinthian church. Paul knew this process was the same for everyone, regardless of their background, religious affiliation, or ethnicity. They first had to hear the Gospel presented, being made aware of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Upon hearing the Gospel, they were obligated to respond by faith.
This fundamental truth hasn’t changed, and it never will. All who have received salvation in Christ, have heard the Gospel and responded by faith. That is why is so important to teach, preach, and share the Gospel of Christ. We cannot receive the Gospel until it is presented. Once we have heard a clear presentation of the Gospel, we are obligated to respond. Eph.2:8 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Rom.10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
B. The Possession (13a) – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Paul emphasized the personal nature of the Gospel to the Ephesians. Like him, and countless others who had responded to the Gospel by faith, they too had received salvation. The Gospel was not just good news that others had heard, but it was good news for them as well, resulting in their personal salvation. I am thankful our Lord provided a universal Gospel, for all who come to Him by faith; and I am also thankful it is a personal Gospel. Had it not been offered unto me, I would yet be in sin, separated from God and without hope!
I cannot consider the saving grace of our Lord through the Gospel without also thinking of the power in the Gospel. Once someone responds to the Gospel by faith, they experience an immediate transformation. We are at that instant, resurrected a new creature in Christ. We are justified in the eyes of a holy God, literally declared righteous. Through His abundant grace, God removes our sin and condemnation, while replacing it with the righteousness of His Son. The saved by grace are no longer viewed as sinners worthy of eternal punishment, but as children, adopted into the family with all rights of a child. Eph.1:5-6 – Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. That is good news for those who have yet to receive Christ, and it remains good news for those in Christ! The Gospel remains relevant for all.