Editors Note: This is a new series on sanctification designed to help our readers understand what sanctification is and how to grow in Christ.

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What is the Gospel?

The gospel is very simple: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and raised from the dead. Paul states it very clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5:

I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

It’s not enough to just hear the gospel, or go to church, or have been baptized. We have to believe the gospel. Believing the gospel does not just mean assenting to it intellectually, but relying on Christ crucified and risen for our acceptance with God and right to eternal life.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved….Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:9-10; 13).

We enter a right relationship with God through faith alone in the gospel, not as a result of any works we do — before or after becoming a Christian. Good works are a result of having been accepted by God, not the means or basis of our being accepted by Him.

Further, you never get beyond the gospel. Once you become a Christian, you don’t “graduate” on to more important realities. The gospel is always “of first importance,” as Paul says (1 Corinthians 15:3). Christ died for the sins of Christians, too — that is, the gospel is not just something we point unbelievers to, but is something we continue relying on every day as Christians. As Christians, Jesus’ death and resurrection continues to be the full and complete basis of our forgiveness and righteousness before God.

“This is from What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get things Done,” and is posted here with Matt’s permission. Here’s the post as it is on Matt’s blog: http://whatsbestnext.com/2014/04/what-is-the-gospel/