The Gospel

A Message from the Pastor

Click here for a sermon on Acts 20:21 for a summary of the Gospel (how to go to heaven):

Thank you for visiting our church’s website.  While this site is a brief introduction to our church and how to contact or visit us, we do want to make the Gospel (the Good News of salvation and how to get to heaven: by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone) prominent as it is why we exist, why we are reaching out to you, and how God by His sovereign grace is saving souls.

There are many ways to share the Gospel from the Scriptures with you, as all Scriptures are ultimately pointing to the Gospel as fully revealed in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings.  On that note, I do encourage you to listen to the sermons available on this website.  But I’d still like to briefly share the Gospel with you here, and my favorite place to begin with is Acts chapter 20 verse 21, where the Apostle Paul writes to the church of Ephesus that, both in house-to-house visitation and public proclamation over three years in their presence, he taught them “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” That in a nutshell is the Gospel.

Repentance toward God.

First, the bad news.  You must realize that you are in a terrible state before God if you are outside of Jesus Christ.  We are in a fallen world, and this hardly needs to be proven.  But it is a direct result of the curse because of our first parents’ sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden.  You and I are born into sin, and manifest it as sinners in need of being reconciled with our Holy Creator.  Adam and Eve died as a result of their sin, and death is coming after you and me too.  You and I in and of ourselves are doomed in our unrighteousness which we inherited from Adam and Eve who fell from their created state of goodness and thus were expelled from the garden and God’s presence.  We are born into this predicament with no hope but to trust in the promise of the prophesied Seed of the Woman  (Jesus) Who would crush the head of the Serpent (the Devil) that deceived our first parents (Genesis 3:14, 15).

King David himself laments our situation: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5).  You see, we are morally contaminated from birth by Adam’s original sin.  This explains why you and I hurt each other and neglect the world around us.  It is why we all need to come clean before the Lord and not claim that we have anything good to represent us before God.  We are guilty.  Before our birth, we already needed Jesus the Savior. 

Paul, who persecuted Christians before Christ converted Him, reminds us what the Old Testament tells us: “There is none righteous, no, not one …” (Romans 3:10) and that “ … all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

But Paul doesn’t stop there. The bad news sets up the good news.  Paul then tells us the remedy for our fallen and cursed situation: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26).

You see, you can be declared righteous and acceptable and thus allowed into God’s presence as our first parents once enjoyed.  And that is by believing on Jesus Christ’s righteousness in place of your own, as He alone lived the perfect life on this earth.  And that is by believing on Jesus Christ crucified on the cross to pay for your sins and satisfy the justice of the Father.  Herein we see both God’s justice and His mercy.  He sacrifices neither.  Our works earn us only punishment, but God’s gift gives life to whosoever will believe:  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

You must know that outside of union with Jesus Christ, God’s Son, you are currently under God’s wrath.

John, one of Christ’s closest disciples, tells us that “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).  The question is, do you believe on Jesus Christ to save you?  If you do not, you simply remain under this world’s curse.  If you do, you have everlasting life waiting for you, for He rose from the grave and prepares a place in heaven for Christians.  In Christ, you will make it past Judgment Day and be welcomed into God’s presence in a place that is even better than the Garden of Eden, where “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus came to save sinners.  It is what God the Father and He the Son covenanted to do on behalf of His elect before the beginning of time (Psalm 2, Psalm 110).  You simply need to die to yourself and your own “good works”, and trust in Christ’s righteous life and cross-work to be credited to you.  This is the good news.  You don’t try to earn heaven by your works.  You just have faith in Christ’s work.

Jesus said: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”  (John 3:14-19).

I implore you to be reconciled to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Judgment Day approaches.  Trust not in yourself or in  anything or anyone else to go to heaven.

If God saves you through belief, you will want to sing praises to Him in the assembly of believers and serve along side them until Christ returns in Glory, for “the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”(John 4:23-24).  Jesus, Who said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, is making disciples among all nations to serve Him together (Matthew 4:17; 28:18-20).

If Christ is your Saving Good Shepherd, but you have not yoked yourself to His Church, I encourage you to join us for worship this Sunday.  If you are not a believer, but feel touched by God to want to learn more, don’t ignore your conscience speaking to you.  Come and hear Jesus speaking to us from heaven in worship. Come and see Him living by the Holy Spirit in His Body, the Visible Church, the household and family of God.  Taste and see that, transcending our earthly failings, the LORD in heaven is indeed good! (Psalm 34:8).

Jesus of Nazareth has brought this Gospel to you.  May you personally know His salvation, for “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country” (Proverbs 25:25).  The Lord bless you in seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.

— Pastor Grant

Here are some other Gospel Messages I encourage you to read:

An Appointment You Will Keep, Joel Beeke    |   The Ages to Come, Horatius Bonar