In the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry, as Mark 1:14 records, “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
So, in simpler terms, to become a Christian you must believe the gospel message of Christ and surrender your life to His loving care and lordship. But, you may ask, “What is the gospel and how can this message offer us salvation and bring us into God’s eternal kingdom?”
The word gospel simply means “good news,” and the good news of this gospel message can be best explained in the following five words: God, Man, Sin, Christ, and Response. Here is a brief overview from the storyline of the Bible of how each of these five words help us understand and respond to God’s gospel of salvation to become followers of Jesus Christ:
1) God – God is Creator of heaven & earth and is infinitely loving and holy.
2) Man – Man was created in God’s image to be a perfect reflection of His love and holiness.
3) Sin – Man willfully disobeyed God’s will and sin entered the world, tainting His image of love and holiness and bringing death and a curse to all of creation.
4) Christ – Jesus Christ came as God in human flesh as the ultimate expression of God’s love and holiness, to live the life man should have lived and die the atoning death that man deserved because of sin. His life earned our righteousness; His death satisfied our punishment; His resurrection fulfilled our promise of new birth; and His second coming will complete our restoration.
5) Response – As Christ earned our righteousness through His perfect life, and made atonement for our sins through his sacrificial death and supernatural resurrection, all of mankind is now called to respond to this message in repentance, faith, and obedience to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
The Apostle Paul explains more practically in Romans 10:9-10 how we must respond to this gospel message to receive God’s offer of salvation. He states, “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
If you are willing to confess that you have sinned against God through your thoughts, words, and actions that violate His will and nature, and you place all of your faith and trust in Jesus Christ who was perfect on your behalf, you will be saved from damnation and reborn to a new life of transformation. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 promises all Christians: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
If you have just made a decision to repent of your sin and trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, we want to encourage you to obey Christ’s command to serve Him as a covenant member of a local church. If you do not have a church family and would like to know more about possibly making Cedar Street your church home, please contact us at (912) 685-5352 and let us know what questions you might have and how we can best serve you!