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7. The Gospel - What is it?

The Master's Instructions about the Gospel. Luke 22:66-24:12.


While the bad news for man is that his sin separates him from God, the good news is that he can be restored to a proper living relationship with God. The preacher-prophet John the Baptist looked at Jesus Christ and said to his friends: ‘Look, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the

world’ (John 1:29).


Jesus Christ is my sacrifice for sin

Before Jesus Christ came to this world as a man, God had ordered an elaborate system of sacrifices and rituals to picture the way He was going to reconcile man to himself. The Old Testament priests killed animals and offered God their blood to atone symbolically for the sins of their people. You can read about this is Leviticus 4-7, but don’t get side-tracked while

doing it!


John was saying that all the symbolising can now stop. God has provided

His own sacrifice. Blood is about to be shed that will bridge the barriers

caused by man’s sin and will bring people back in touch with God. Although

I could bring no suitable sacrifice to God, God in His love and mercy has

made me ‘holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for

all’ (Hebrews 10:3-10; Romans 3:25).


Jesus Christ is my Substitute in judgement

Because all have sinned, all deserve to pay the penalty for sin which is

death. It is right and just that I should be condemned to eternal

separation from God. But God’s Son, Jesus Christ, took my sin upon

Himself. Although He had never sinned, He became as if He had. What all

men deserved because of sin, Jesus transferred to Himself (1 Peter 2:24).

There is an old song that aptly sums this up in the words: ‘I had a debt I

could not pay; He paid the debt He did not owe.’


Jesus Christ is my Saviour

Because Jesus has paid the penalty for my sin, because He died in my

place, and because God’s justice is fully satisfied, I am saved from having

to pay any penalty myself. If I were to receive an invoice it would already

have 'paid in full’ written across it in blood red. ‘For the wages of sin is death,

but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 6:23,

italics mine).


It was not just for me Jesus died. Hebrews 9:27-28 speaks of ‘many

people’. You are included! No wonder Christians are able to smile. Jesus

Christ is our Sacrifice for sin, our Substitute in God’s judgement and our

Saviour. Excuse me while I shout ... 'hallelujah'!


Some people will tell you that they can earn acceptance from God by a

variety of means – good deeds, charitable donations or actions, religious

observances, living as well as the next person, following the teachings of

other men – but the Bible clearly says that there is only one way for the

man ruined by sin. He should repent of his sin. He should recognise his

Saviour Jesus. He should receive forgiveness from God in the way God

has determined. Only then is a right relationship with God restored

(1 Timothy 2:5-6). This deliverance is the really good news.


Discussion guide on ‘the Gospel, what is it?’

Read Luke 22:66 to 24:12.


1. In our previous lesson we saw that 1 Corinthians 15:22 opened a line

of hope for every human being lost in sin and the death it brings.

Our Bible reading describes the events of Jesus’ trial, rejection,

mocking, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Let God speak to you

as you read His word.


2. Early in Jesus’ public life, John the Baptist had prophesied Jesus

would be “the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world”,

John 1:29. Share what you know about the Old Testament Jewish

system of sacrifices to forgive sin. (If necessary, you can scan

quickly Leviticus chapters 4-5. Look for the phrase, “If (a person)

sins …” at the start of a verse. Then read generally what they

should do. Ignore the detail for now).

Explain what you now understand by Jesus as “the Lamb of God”.


3. Discuss the verses in Hebrews 10:3-10. What was the importance

of Jesus (God the Son) having a human body? What did Jesus

intend to do with His human body?


4. Hebrews 10:10 contains the phrase, “once for all”. What is the

difference this highlights between the Old Testament sacrifices

of animals for sin, and Jesus’ bodily sacrificial death on the cross?


5. Comment on 1 Peter 2:24. Have your Bible open in front of you.

Complete a sentence beginning:

“Since Jesus has done this I ….”


6. Do the same for Hebrews 9:27-28.


7. How would you answer a person who tells you that there is another,

alternative, way of salvation? How do you know it is enough for you

to trust Jesus Christ for your personal salvation? 1 Timothy 2:3-6.


8. Find the line of hope, referred to in question 1 above, in these

verses:

Romans 6:23

Colossians 1:21-23

1 Timothy 1:15-17

1 John 1:8-10

1 John 5:11-12.

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