God is holy and cannot allow any sin in His presence. He must punish every sin. We are all full of sin and cannot do anything to earn God’s forgiveness or gain righteousness. Jesus willingly and lovingly laid down His life as a blood sacrifice to pay our sin-debt in full as our substitute. He was buried and rose from the dead. We need to do two things: repent and trust. Repentance is changing our minds and hearts to agree with God that we are guilty and in desperate need of His forgiveness. Trusting is a deep conviction that Jesus died for all of our sins, in our place, and rose from the dead. This is salvation.
Repentance is changing our minds and hearts to agree with God that we are guilty and in desperate need of His forgiveness. Trusting is a deep conviction that Jesus died for all of our sins, in our place, and rose from the dead. This is salvation.
- Jesus Ascends
After Jesus rose from the dead and explained the significance of His sacrifice, He commissioned His disciples to preach the good news of salvation (the Gospel”) and make disciples to the ends of the earth. He then ascended into heaven promising to return one day to fully institute His Kingdom.
- Faith Alone Apart from Works
The disciples of Jesus boldly preached the true Gospel. Many Jewish people believed that in order to be accepted by God they must obey God’s laws. Many thought that Jewish men needed to be circumcised to be a part of God’s people, as well as, keep many other Jewish laws. However, the true Gospel is that salvation is by faith alone – apart from works. Genuine faith that saves RESULTS in good works, but is not a condition for salvation. Forgiveness or acceptance from God cannot be earned by any amount of religious works. The disciples also taught that salvation is found only in Jesus. He is the only one that made the acceptable payment for sin.
- Salvation Offered to All
Another rather shocking aspect of the Gospel for the Jews is that God’s forgiveness is for everyone. The Jewish people believed that God gave special status to the Jews as His chosen people. Thus, in order to be accepted by God, one needed to convert to Judaism. However, Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and offers forgiveness by faith alone to anyone that chooses to repent and trust in Christ. Conversion to Judaism is not a requirement. Also, anyone that chooses Jesus is given the privileged position as one of God’s children and a part of His family. Just like we learned from creation, God loves unity and diversity.