This is how God’s Word defines what the Gospel is, in a highly summarised form:
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
We realise that we are currently in a time where there is much confusion of what the Gospel actually is, how we should communicate it, what God’s part is, along with the required response from mankind.
Because the Gospel is the very foundation of what the church is all about, we believe that it is important to clearly communicate our understanding of it, according to God’s Word.
What we believe about how
SALVATION takes place
We believe that all people are by nature separated from God [Romans 5:12-21] and responsible for their own sin [Romans 3:9-25], but that salvation, redemption, and forgiveness are freely offered by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9-10, Titus 2:11-14].
We believe that God initiates the work of salvation in a person’s life [1 John 4:19, Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 12:2] by changing their hearts through the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration [John 6:44, Ephesians 2:1].
The Holy Spirit then convicts that person of sin [John 16:7-11], while enabling them to turn to God by faith in response to the Gospel, trusting Jesus Christ alone for salvation, as the One who died for their sins. At that point, the person immediately receives forgiveness for their sins, being justified and adopted as a child of God, destined to spend eternity with the Lord [John 3:16, John 10:28-29, , 1 John 3:1, 1 John 5:11-13].
We believe that true, saving faith will always be accompanied by repentance, which is a change of mind, leading to a change in direction away from a lifestyle of sin, and towards a life of obedience and dependence upon God) [Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Romans 10:9-10, 2 Corinthians 7:8-9, 1 John 1:9].
What we believe about how the Gospel should be presented
Before sharing the “good news” of the Gospel with a person [1 Corinthians 15:3-4], we believe that it is necessary to first bring understanding of the “bad news” by clearly communicating the truth about a person’s present standing before God [Romans 3:9-25; 6:23].
The way that we seek to bring a person to an understanding of their sin and guilt before God, along with the just penalty of hell, is by using the Law of God to do so [Romans 3:19-20], knowing that a person will only be responsive if the Holy Spirit is actively at work [John 16:8; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16].
Once a person understands the “bad news” about themselves, they will be more ready to receive the “good news”, that God is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loves us [Ephesians 2:4-7], and that it is by His grace alone, through faith alone that we can be saved [Ephesians 2:8-9].
Once the Gospel is shared with a person, we believe that it is good to encourage a response, rather than forcing a response. We discourage the methods of asking people to “make a decision”, to “pray the sinner’s prayer”, or to “ask Jesus into their hearts”, simply because these methods are not found in Scripture, and because we believe that they have a tendency to lead to false conversions.
Instead, we encourage the Biblical response which is to urge people to trust that Christ died for their sin, while letting them know that this will be evidenced through a change of life [Mark 1:15; Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31].