Did you know that God loves you so much that He has already begun a relationship with you? God has forgiven all of your sins - every one of them, for all time! He did this because He wants you to know His Son, Jesus. And, knowing Jesus is not religion at all; it is new life. New life means that the old inner you (your inner nature) will be taken away and a new inner you will be given to you, one that is filled with God's own life. How do you find this new life? Trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior. This is the Good News!
(Read on for more details.)
1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ begins with the truth that all your sins were forever forgiven by God on the Cross of Jesus Christ. You, not somebody else, are forgiven because of Christ's sacrifice, not because of your response to it. Forgiveness is God's grace that reaches all people for all time (Colossians 1:20). Everyone, believers and unbelievers alike, is forgiven of every single sin (past, present, and future) except unbelief. Unbelief cannot be forgiven because rejecting Christ is rejecting His eternal life (1 John 1:2; 5:11). This is why believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and your Savior is essential for salvation (1 John 5:12).
Mark 3:28; Romans 6:10; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 9:26b; Hebrews 2:9b
Forgiveness for everyone confuses many because of the incorrect belief that forgiveness is the same thing as salvation. All are forgiven, but not all have Christ's eternal life (1 John 5:12b).
2. The second half of the Gospel, the part that is often missed, is this new life that is in Christ Jesus. Here is what happens: when you trust Jesus as your Savior, God literally removes your old sinful inner nature and replaces it with a brand new heart (a new nature). You are now a completely new person on the inside; the old inner you is gone, dead and buried forever (2 Corinthians 5:17). You have been rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Note: Heart, spirit, and nature all mean the same thing and are used interchangeably.
Ezekiel 36:26; Ezekiel 11:19; Romans 6:6; Colossians 1:13
3. Since your new heart is clean and without sin, it is a suitable dwelling place for the Spirit of God. Jesus joins His Spirit eternally as one to your inner spirit. You are now forever free from sin in your born again heart since Jesus lives in you. Your inner spirit is the real you, the part of you that will live on into eternity. Your body is a temporary "earth suit" which will go to the grave when you die.
("Earth suit" was coined by Bill Gillham)
1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 6:22; 2 Corinthians 4:7
4. As a believer, you are now a righteous spiritual person living in a not-yet-redeemed and not-yet-righteous mortal body. Your "earth suit" is still dead because of sin; it does not have the capacity to be righteous. But, in your born again heart you can never sin because Jesus in you can never sin. Yet, you can still sin in your outer mortal body. This is the reason believers live by faith. Faith is different than you might think; it is not how much faith you can muster up in order to get God to do something. Rather, it is the faithfulness of Jesus Christ in you as He lives out His righteous life through you.
2 Peter 1:4; Romans 8:10; 1 John 3:9; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Galatians 5:16; Galatians 2:2