What everybody needs
Are you living with a sense of guilt and hopelessness? The relief and hope every human needs only becomes ours when we believe what the Bible calls the Gospel. The word gospel simply means good news. The gospel is the good news that, though sinful and imperfect, all people can be forgiven, restored and accepted by God through faith in Jesus.
The message of the gospel does not start with humans but with God. In the beginning of history, God created the heavens and the earth. Everything God created was absolutely perfect. Though everything God created was initially good, you know that things are very different now in the universe. Where harmony, peace and safety once permeated the natural world, decay, and devastation reign in the world today. Where peace, acceptance and equality once characterized human relationships, fighting, exploitation and domination are the day-to-day experience of us all.
Why corruption and chaos exist
How did corruption and chaos infiltrate our universe? The answer is sin. Sin is the cause of our need for the forgiveness and restoration the gospel brings. To sin is to violate God’s commands in our thoughts, will or actions. The term that is translated sin in the Bible is an archery term that carries the idea of missing the mark, or missing the target. As far as morality and holiness goes, the bulls-eye on the target we were created to hit is a state of total moral perfection. Both the Bible and human experience reveal that all people fall tragically short of hitting the mark of moral perfection and holiness. None of us comes close to perfectly honoring God in everything we do. In the Bible God said that of the human race that, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23 NKJV). If we are honest, our daily experience of normal life proves the Bible’s description of us to be true.
The moment our first human parents, Adam and Eve, sinned, they experienced radical spiritual corruption. In that tragic moment they opened a proverbial doorway through which sin, and the death and decay it brings, were allowed to enter into our universe. As spiritual descendants of Adam and Eve, all people became sinners by nature and choice.
We cannot get angry with Adam and Eve over the fact that we share in the consequences of their sin. In response to temptation, we have all individually sinned against God in thought, word and deed. Every day we sin through acts of omission in which we do not do the good we should, as well as through acts of commission in which we do what we should not. No human will go to hell and experience eternity without God primarily because of Adam and Eve’s sin. We are held accountable for our own sin. Specifically, we are held accountable for whether or not we believe the gospel and receive God’s remedy for our spiritual crimes.
But why begin explaining the Good News of the gospel by talking about our sinfulness? The reason for this is that we cannot understand how wonderful the good news of the gospel is unless we first understand the bad news of our sin and guilt. When we grasp how much we need the forgiveness Jesus has provided for us, we can then understand how gracious He is, and how amazing it is that we can have a way to be accepted by Him.