“11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Colossians 1:11-23 (ESV)
Here in Paul’s letter we have a distinct and fairly concise explanation of the true gospel:
- First of all, our salvation is a work of God: “For he has delivered us…and transferred us to the kingdom…”(vs. 13). See John 15:16.
- We have the forgiveness of sins through Christ. (vs. 14) ALL who believe: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” (John 1:12)
- Jesus IS God. He’s not just a great prophet, or a being God created as a helper. He IS God. (vs. 15-19)
- Christ is the “firstborn from the dead”(vs. 18). I.E. – He died on the cross and was raised to life.
- The purpose of Christ was to bring reconciliation and peace “…by the blood of His cross.”(vs. 19). He died in order to take the punishment for our sins so that we might have peace with God and not wrath.
- We were separated from God in our very nature, and showed it with out evil deeds (vs. 21). We weren’t simply stray children, but ENEMIES of God in our very being.
- But Christ, with His death, has changed our nature and made us holy before God (vs.22)
- If we truly are children of God, we WILL continue in obedient faith by holding steadfast to the true gospel (vs. 23)
All of this, the true Gospel, can be summed up in this simple phrase: God saves sinners.
- God: the Holy, Omnipotent creator of the universe who IS Jesus Christ, who IS the Holy Spirit; the ultimate Authority and Savior
- saves: effectually, completely, by grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Christ on the cross, bringing us out of being the enemy of God to being at peace with God as His child
- sinners: people completely opposed to God in their very nature, who were in bondage to the domain of darkness in their sins, who had no hope of redemption but by the merciful grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
THIS is the gospel.
This is what we must contend earnestly for. (Jude 1:3)
This is what we must champion against false teachers and false prophets who preach otherwise.
I pray that you would accept this Christ and His sacrifice for you! Won’t you come and see how wonderful and loving and beautiful and gracious and merciful and GREAT my God is! I implore you! Be wary of men who preach ANYTHING other than this. Galatians 1 says that anyone who preaches anything other than THIS gospel is cursed. Be wary!
May God bless you, and bless you indeed!
Soli Deo Gloria