Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and
might and honor and glory and blessing!
Although we have all heard this before, it is the most important thing we will ever hear. This is for us. This is for the church. There is an old hymn entitled, “Tell Me the Old, Old Story.” Even if we have heard the good news many times, may it never grow old to us! Sometimes we think of the Gospel as kindergarten, and then we move on to bigger and better things. This is a lie. We should constantly be reminded of the Gospel, increasingly gripped by the Gospel, and ultimately transformed by the Gospel.
The Gospel begins with God because everything begins with God. God has always existed. Ten trillion years before He created the earth, the eternal God exists. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit had perfect fellowship and were perfectly content with each other. Almighty God has revealed some of who He is to us, and so we know something about Him, but ultimately He is indescribable and incomprehensible. He is greater than we can imagine. God is infinitely glorious. Sinless angels who are much greater than we are cover their faces and feet and shout, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” day and night, and they have been doing this for thousands of years. God is glorious. Oh, that we could see this! If we do not see this, nothing in the Gospel makes sense, and nothing in the world makes sense.
This God created man to worship and glorify Him, but mankind as a race did not do this. Nor did you as an individual glorify God. Why not? Have you ever told a lie? Who taught you how to tell lies? Did your parents sit you down and give you 5-point lying lessons? No. Why not? Because you didn’t have to be taught. That is inside of us. All men are born as sinners and are separated from God. We are a race of convicted criminals, simply waiting for the death sentence to be carried out. All men are lost, dead in their sins, rebels against God, and enemies of God. And this God that we have sinned against is the God who will judge every single person who has ever lived. We will all stand before Almighty God. He cannot be deceived, bribed, or intimidated. He is the ultimate judge who always does right. And He always punishes sin wherever He finds it. This is the situation in which we find ourselves, and it is a stark situation. As a result, most of mankind seeks to drown out this reality. We fill our lives with drugs or money or sex or entertainment or religion or “good deeds,” any kind of noise to drown out the reality that we are going to stand before a holy God. If we spend even a small bit of time alone with the conscience, which He has given us, we know that we will be condemned.
The Lord Jesus Christ, Fully God and Fully Man, Atones for Our Sins
But God, in His great mercy, not because of anything good in man, sent His only Son into this world. The Son of God became a man, known in this world as Jesus of Nazareth. He was tempted in all points like we are, and yet was without sin. Jesus lived a perfect life, and then He died on a cross for our sins. God the Father crushed His Son to pay for the sins of all men who would believe on Him. Jesus took the full force of His Father’s wrath against sin on Himself. The punishment that was due me fell on Christ. God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Christ became a curse for us in order to redeem us from the curse. And this Man did not stay dead, but He rose triumphant on the third day. The founders of other religions tell us to follow them to heaven, but their bodies are rotting in a grave right now. The Lord Jesus Christ conquered death and ascended to the right hand of the Father. He is the One to follow!
Response: Repent and Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
What does God ask of us? God commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the Gospel. To repent is to change the mind. It is a change of mind about God and about ourselves. This would be to understand that we are filthy sinners with only one hope of salvation, and that is the way God has provided—salvation through His Son. To believe on Christ is to believe that He is able to save us from the penalty and power of our sins; that He can set us free. Our response is to believe that on the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve. He became sin, He became a curse, so that I might be reconciled to God and be made His son. And so we cast ourselves upon Christ as our only hope, repent of trying to run our own lives, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And whenever a man repents and believes on Jesus, God changes Him. He is justified (declared righteous) in God’s sight. His wicked, unbelieving heart is taken away, and God gives the man a new heart that loves God. All men who are believers love the Lord Jesus Christ and will bear good fruit in their lives. This is not a one-time decision, but it is the beginning of true life. Whereas we were dead in sins, enemies of God, rebels, lost sheep, slaves of sin, now we are reconciled to God, given the Holy Spirit, made sons of Almighty God, and dead to sin. “My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought, my sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Oh my soul.”
God is the Goal of the Gospel
The end of the glorious Gospel is not simply that we go to heaven. The end of the Gospel is that for the believer, we are reconciled to God. We will spend eternity in the presence of the most Beautiful Being imaginable. We are made sons of the most High God and will worship and serve Him forever and ever. All glory and praise to the Lamb who was slain!