The Simple Gospel
Christian Message in Plain Language
The bold announcement of Christianity
is this: there is hope for humanity,
access to the living God, restoration for
those who have gone astray. In short, the
Biblical message is good news! But what
is genuine Christianity? And what, of
major consequence, does it offer to men
and women today?
While desiring to be neither trite nor
overly detailed, the basic answer is
found in a person, Jesus Christ. This Jew
from ancient Palestine claimed to be the
promised King and Deliverer of His
people. The Bible affirms that He is
fully humanlike us in all ways,
except that He never did wrong in the
sight of God (see Hebrews 2:14-18). But
He is also fully divineequal with
God and eternally existing (see John
Furthermore, being such a unique
person, He was qualified to truly
represent both God and man. He was able
to, as it were, connect heaven and earth.
But how exactly did He bridge this gap?
By what means did He bring God and man
together into intimate fellowship?
Jesus stands unparalleled in that He
alone obeyed God without exception. All
others since the dawn of time have
violated God's requirements on many
points. Because the Bible declares that
only those who have kept God's commands
have access to Him, Jesus obeyed the
divine law for those who haven't. His
life then was lived in a substitutionary
sense. He lived life as God originally
Likewise, His death also carried a
representative significance. That is, He
suffered as an innocent victim so that
those who were guilty of many faults
would go free. Jesus experienced the
rejection of God as He hung upon a Roman
cross. In His sufferings He swallowed up
the anger that guilty men and women had
incurred through their disobedience to
the divine regulations.
Jesus Christ lived, died and, finally,
He rose again from the grave. The bodily
resurrection of Jesus was the capstone of
His mighty career. His conquest of death
was a declaration that He was indeed who
He claimed to be, God become man. It was
also God's stamp of approvalHis
work on the Cross was accepted. This was
the climax of all that preceded, the
exclamation point on the life and death
of Jesus Christ.
But how is it that these events from
long ago become meaningful to us today?
In what ways can we benefit from Jesus'
great accomplishment? One fairly obvious
starting point is the reality of human
need. All of us have done precisely what
God has forbidden. We have, in a variety
of ways, ignored and gone against the
wishes of our Creator.
Our lives can't hold up to the
scrutiny of a perfectly impartial God. In
fact our wrongs have placed us in a
rather precarious position. We have
revolted against the God who knows us
completely and judges us
uncompromisingly; it is impossible to
hide from Him, and He doesn't bend the
The bottom line is that we plainly
don't measure up. Thankfully, Jesus does.
Therefore, we need Him!
The good news, then, is very simple.
Those who take Jesus Christ are rescued
from the penalty and enslaving influence
of their crimes. And taking Him involves
trust. Those who place their unqualified
confidence in Him are made friends with
Personal merit (how good I think I am)
and religious endeavors (how spiritual I
believe myself to be) are of no avail in
the sight of God. Any who desire a right
relationship with Him must forsake all
other hopes of pardon and embrace Jesus
Our best deeds are sadly lacking, but
Jesus' deeds serve as a perfect
replacement. The courtroom of heaven
would banish us forever, but on the cross
Jesus took our punishment for us.
Childlike reliance upon Him, unmixed with
human effort, results in an unshakable
standing and unmatched friendship with
God. All else, from ethics to worship,
flows out of this basic elementtrust.
If you would have Him you must plead
His undeserved kindness; you must rest in
Jesus Christ. Those who cast themselves
upon Him, relying only on His merits,
find peace with God. This is the good
newsand it is yours for the taking
if you will abandon yourself to Him!