The gospel. That’s a word that you’ve probably heard, but maybe no one’s ever explained it to you. The gospel literally means “the good news.” And the gospel is what the Bible is about. In fact, at one point a friend of mine said, “You know what? I’ve found a verse that summarizes the entire Bible, the entire gospel.” I said, “One verse? Which one is it?” He said, “It’s Romans chapter 6 verse 23, which says, ‘The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’” Then he sat me down and said, “Let me show you how it summarizes the good news, the gospel.” And that’s what I want to share with you, if you’ve got a few minutes.
Here’s our verse: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I want to draw a picture for you — [draws two opposing cliff sides] — a picture like this of a great chasm. And on this side of the chasm is you. [Draws a stick figure on the left cliff.] There you are. Maybe you’re a lady. [Adds a second stick figure with a skirt.] But there one of you is, right? And on this side we have God. [Writes "God" on the right cliff.] And there’s a problem: God is over there and you are over here. You are separated from God by this huge chasm. But what brought this chasm about? Well, the verse tells us. It says “the wages” — let’s write that here. [Writes "wages" in the chasm.]
A wage is something that you earn, right? If you work for two weeks, you expect to get a paycheck; you expect to get your wages. If your employer said, “You know what, I’m not going pay you this time,” you would have a gripe. You would say, “No, that’s not fair. If I’ve earned it, I’ve earned it.” Well you have earned something. Everyone has. So what is it you’ve earned?
First, we need to talk about where this wage comes from. It comes from sin. [Writes "sin" underneath "wages."] This is why you earned something. Sin is quite simply rebellion against God. There are sins of omission and sins of commission. Sins of commission are when God tells you not to do something and you do them anyway. Sins of omission are choosing not to do the things that God has asked you to do. But when you put it all together, it’s just rebellion against God, and Scripture teaches that all of us are all born rebellious. We have all sinned and fallen short of his glory and his perfect standard. Because we have sinned we’ve earned something.
What is it that we have earned? The wages of sin is death. [Writes "death" under "sin."] Death in scriptural terminology simply means separation. Death is separation from God. It’s this huge chasm. God is out there and we are here, and we have no intimacy with him, no relationship with him. God longs to be one with us, to be intimate with us. But the verse isn’t done yet. I love this word right here, “but” because it says, “Okay, we’re changing directions now. [Writes "but" in the middle of the chasm.] There’s something else you need to know.”
The gift — well, a gift is different from a wage, isn’t it? [Writes "gift" in the chasm.] A gift is something that is simply given to you. If I were to tell you I’m going to give you this pen, you would simply receive it. If you were then to say, “Well, let me pay you for it,” I would be offended. You don’t pay someone for a gift; a gift is given. So this is different from something I’ve earned. This is something that is given to me. The gift of whom? The gift of God. [Writes "God" under "gift."] Sin has gotten us death — separation from God — but God has intervened, and he’s given us a gift. He’s given us something for free.
What is it? Eternal life. [Writes "life" under "God."] True life is being in union with God. True life is having the Life of Jesus in you. It’s the way you were designed, and until you have bowed your knee to Christ, you don’t live that way. But as soon as you do, you get this Life that is eternal — it goes on forever and ever and ever — and it’s a gift. So instead of wages, you get a gift. Instead of sin being your ruler, now God is your ruler. Instead of death — eternal separation from God — you receive Life.
But how does this happen? Well, it’s a gift of God in Christ Jesus. [Draws a cross bridging the chasm between the two cliffs.] Scripture teaches us that Jesus Christ came to earth. He was fully God, and he was fully man; he lived a perfect life. He never sinned once. And then he voluntarily went to the cross and he sacrificed himself there. He died. He shed his blood, and he died. He was buried, and then he rose again and came back to life. This is what the Bible teaches. And Scripture also teaches that if you bow your knee to him, if you come to Jesus and say, “Jesus, wash my sin away. Come and live inside me,” — in that moment you are transformed. In that moment you are changed forever. It’s the gospel. It’s the good news. In that moment the gift of eternal Life in Christ Jesus is given to us. [Draws an arrow connecting the cliff sides.] Then you get to live forever in union with God.
This, my friend, is the gospel. It’s the good news. If this is something that you would like, I’d like to pray a simple prayer right now. And you, right there listening to me, on whatever device you’re listening to me on, can bow your head and repeat this prayer quietly in your heart, or out loud if you want, to receive this gift of eternal life. So go ahead and pray with me.
Lord Jesus, I recognize that you are God. I realize that you lived a perfect life and that you died for me. I know that you also came back to life so I can talk to you now. Lord Jesus, I bow my knee to you. Wash me clean of my sin. Lord Jesus, come and live inside me, I pray, and by your Spirit transform me from the inside out. Give me this Life that goes on forever. And I pray it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you just gave your life to Christ, a supernatural, spiritual transformation just took place. We cannot wait to talk to you about it! Please, get in touch with us; let us know how we can help. Let us know how we can help you grow. I’m so glad you took the time to listen to this. God bless.