18 The True Gospel

The reality is that we alone are to blame for our sin. Make no mistake about it, we are all sinners held responsible by God for our own sin. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The word “sin” literally means “to miss the mark.”[1] It is not now, and never has been, God’s will that we sin. Sin is our missing the mark, or falling short, of what God intends for our lives. It is acting in a manner which is contrary to the will and character of God.


The result of our sin is spiritual death. Romans 6:23 tells us, “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Fortunately, this verse does not conclude by simply informing us of the consequence of our sin. Instead, it announces a wonderful alternative. We do not need to remain in our sin, but can receive the free gift of eternal life.


John 3:16 tells us, “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.” God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as the payment for our sin. Jesus Christ died to save us from our sin. He took the penalty for our sin upon Himself so that, believing in Him, we can have eternal life. All we need to do is believe on Him.


John 3:16 makes it perfectly clear that Jesus Christ died on the cross for everyone. Salvation is made available to any person who is willing to accept His free gift. The apostle John clarified that he did indeed mean that Jesus died for the entire world—all people everywhere—when he wrote 1 John 2:2 stating, “And [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”


Jesus Christ offers us a free gift. He has done all the work for us to be saved. Jesus has made a way for sinful men to be saved. Without Christ, man’s sin will take him to hell, and ultimately the lake of fire (Luke 16:22–31). Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” However, man does not have to spend eternity in the lake of fire separated from God.


Jesus Christ left the glory of heaven to come to earth to suffer and die for the sins of all mankind. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died on the cross as the payment for our sin, was buried in a tomb, and on the third day rose again victorious over death, hell, and the grave—proving to us that as He lives again, so we, by faith in Him, will also live again.


Jesus makes Himself known to us and reaches out to us with the gift of salvation. The Holy Spirit of God, through the Word of God, touches man’s heart to convince him that the message of salvation is true, but man must make the final decision to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. God offers man the free gift of eternal life, but man must use the free will that God has given him to choose to receive that gift. Jesus has done all the work of salvation. The only thing left is for us to accept it.


Romans 10:9–13 makes it clear how a person can be saved:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


The call to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ is made to all people. Acts 17:30, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” Believing that he is a sinner, condemned to and deserving of hell, man must choose of his own free will to turn in repentance to the Lord Jesus Christ to receive Him as the Savior of his soul. From the heart, man can pray a simple prayer of faith to receive the precious and wonderful gift of salvation:

Dear Jesus,

I know that I am a sinner and I believe that my sin will take my soul to hell. I also believe that you love me and died for me. You paid for my sin when you died on the cross. I believe that you rose from the grave. I repent of my sin and want to receive your free gift of salvation. I am sorry for my sin, and I ask you right now to come into my heart to save me. I thank you for loving me so much that you would die for me, and I thank you for saving my soul. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

  1. “Sin,” Strong’s #264, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, 10.


Is God the Author of Sin? Copyright © 2011 by Timothy Zebell. All Rights Reserved.


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