The Gospel and Baptism. Part 1: The Gospel

The Gospel and Baptism. Part 1: The Gospel

People need to be okay. To be okay you have to either earn it (this does not work) or be given it. Being okay only comes from God. Only God can do this consistently and correctly. God reaches out to us to restore us.

I. There are two ways to be okay with God.
A. Earn God’s favor through good deeds. This is our default approach to thinking. If we do enough, it’s only fair for God to tell us we are okay. This does not work because we mess up a lot and even one stumble makes us guilty (see James 2:10). We are all going to fall short (see Romans 3:23).
B. Be given God’s favor through grace. Grace is the opposite of fairness. God gives us something we don’t deserve, but need very much.

Romans 3:24 states:

and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.

 

To justify is to make okay.

II. The gift of God’s favor is called grace. Grace is a gift that brings joy.

A. Grace comes by Jesus Christ. See John 1:17; Acts 15:11a; Titus 2:11; Acts 4:12.
Most religious systems are based on what you must do, but Christian faith focuses on is what God has done for us, not what we do for God.

B. Grace comes by the cross of Jesus Christ. The main thing about Jesus is what he did. He died on the cross to pay for our sins. Jesus got what he didn’t deserve to give us what we don’t deserve. 2 Corinthians 5:21 states

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

C. Grace comes by faith in the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross does not automatically provide salvation. A person must individually claim this for themselves. Romans 3:25a states:

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.

Romans 10:10 states:

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Ephesians 2:8-9 explains that we cannot earn salvation and it’s a free gift.

Conclusion – Do you want to be okay?