Now after John was arrested, 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.” Mark 1:14-15 ESV
Now after John was arrested, 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.”
Early on in His ministry, Jesus began proclaiming the Gospel of God. The word “Gospel” means “good news.” He told people simply, “repent and believe in the Gospel.”
Step 1: REPENT
Repent carries the idea of stopping and changing direction and going a different way. When the Bible speaks of repentance it means to forsake the wrong ways and go the right way. This can only happen when we look at ourselves and become convicted that we have chosen our own way instead of God’s way. God is the One who makes us become troubled and restless over our self-centered nature and conscious of how wrong it is. This troubleness, which we call “conviction,” is the beginning of the process of turning, or repenting. God will give us the power to change what we cannot change ourselves. In fact, He is the One who makes us aware of our sinfulness in the first place.
Step 2: BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL
Most people think the way to salvation is by trying to improve ourselves and help people. This equates to a trust in themselves–their faith is in themselves. They hope that as long as they are not too bad, they are good enough to one day be welcomed into heaven. Nothing could be more wrong. The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Our good deeds can never save us. They can never make up for our sinful actions. Each of us stands guilty before God.
This brings us to the reason that Jesus Christ came into the world. Jesus is fully God and like God the Father, He is eternal. Around 2,000 years ago, he also became a man when He was born of Mary in Bethlehem. He lived a sinless life in every way. Yet he was hated and despised and ultimately crucified on a cross. Though he died as a sinner, it was not for his own sins, because He was without sin. The Bible says He was being “pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities.” That means He was being punished for OUR sins. The Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Had Jesus stayed dead, we would know that His death availed nothing. When He arose from the dead three days later, fully alive, appearing to hundreds, He was proving that He had succeeded in forgiving sins once and for all.
This is the essence of the Good News! We are hopelessly sinful, but Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid the price for all our sins. The price Jesus paid on the Cross is sufficient for the sins of all people, but not all are saved, because not all REPENT and BELIEVE this Good News. They continue to trust in themselves, hoping for the best.
To all who do repent and believe in what Jesus has done for them, God forgives their sins in entirety and adopts them into His family. We become children of God immediately upon believing. One day, when our life here is over, Jesus assures all believers that He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us, so that we may be with Him for all of eternity.
This offer to repent and believe is offered to all people, no matter what. Now we understand why the Gospel equals Good News!
If you are making a decision today to turn from your self-centered ways and trust that what Jesus did upon the Cross is able to pay the price for your sins, welcome to the Family of God! Contact us and let us know of your decision!