The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ must begin with bad news: all people by nature are dead in their trespasses and sins. Understanding the spiritual deadness of man is key to understanding what it means to be made alive in Christ.
The apostle Paul teaches that sinful man does not have the ability, nor does he even desire, to come to Christ for salvation. Because of this reality only divine intervention can bring a sinner to salvation.
Paul teaches that unrepentant sinners have never been on the path of righteousness. Not only is every person born into this world with a fallen nature (Rom. 5:12–21), but every person willingly sins against God’s law and rebels against Him.
Unbelievers are not only controlled by the sinful desires of their flesh, but they follow after the course of this world. In other words, unbelievers don’t participate in the things of God; rather, they adhere to a worldview that is shaped by the culture.
According to God Himself, before a person becomes a Christian, he lives his life not only in lockstep with the thinking of his age, but also in step with, or influenced by, the devil himself.
Satan earnestly desires to corrupt the true gospel and distort the true Jesus. Satan is not just into paganism and idolatry, although he does thrive in those areas. But he is also involved in distorting and perverting the worship associated with the true God of the Bible.
Paul teaches that all unrepentant sinners—those who have not bowed the knee to Christ—live in active disobedience against God, their Creator. This means that all unbelievers are rebels against a holy God.
There is power in the gospel of Jesus Christ to free people from the controlling, dominating and enslaving power of sin. Such power brings people out of the darkness of their sin and into the light of eternal life found only in Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Jesus Christ operates under a divine initiative. In other words, salvation, from beginning to end, is solely a work of God in the heart of wretched sinners. Only a sovereign act of grace will ever bring a sinner to Christ.
God, in His grace, has made a way for sinners to escape His wrath and the eternal punishment that He promises will come. Such a way of salvation has been offered through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
The grace and mercy of the Almighty God are who He is by nature. According to Scripture, God loves showing His grace and mercy towards those who will come to him in repentance and faith—He will in no wise cast them out!
The apostle Paul teaches that not only are all Christians connected to Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, but also His ascension and exaltation. This means that Christ is our continual representative before God, and he will continue to be so throughout all eternity.
God determined to save sinners from their sin in order to display His own glory. This means that salvation is primarily about the glory of God and the exaltation of His Son, Jesus Christ. This perspective towards salvation helps Christians rightly understand God’s main priority: His glory.
Not only does God save sinners for His glory, but also for the entire world to see. God manifests His saving grace in order that all created beings would marvel at His plan of salvation that He has carried out in Christ.
Not only is salvation a past event orchestrated by the hand of God, but it also has continual results that are ever present in the life of every believer. But it is important to note that all aspects of salvation, from justification to glorification, are all of the grace of God.
There are several flawed views of salvation that are promoted in our world today. What is true about every flawed view is that each one incorporates man’s works and merits into the means of salvation. But the true gospel of Jesus Christ is salvation by grace alone through faith alone.
Because of the salvation that has been brought to every believer in Christ, all Christians are new creations in Christ. According to the apostle Paul, Christians are “His workmanship.”
God had a particular design in mind when He determined to save someone from their sin. That design includes being conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. This includes living a life that is consistent with Jesus’ life and with the whole teaching of Scripture.