The Truth... What is it?

The Best News Ever
Level 3 Explanation

The "Good News"...Gospel...of Jesus the Christ (the Messiah)

Did you know that the Bible never records Jesus telling a sinner that, "You are going to hell!"? As C. S. Lewis has pointed out, "The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God." The Bible is the Word of God and contains The Truth about God. But the Devil is in the details and has lead to widely differing beliefs over the past 2000 years!!

What is Required?

Prior to very modern times, mankind fought for territory; and the conquerors either wiped out those conquered or came up with deals for survival. So, for many thousands of years, all of mankind has evolved into the deeply set mindset of seeking favored positions...often with contracts or covenants or even the many individual ways humans attempt to gain favor with unequals. It was a mindset that could not comprehend any such truth as over-arching love and grace for mankind. So, God spoke & acted in what they could comprehend. They could not comprehend any such thing as a prophet announcing an all-encompassing canceling of all debts that mankind accrued against God. Around 2000 years ago, an expert lawyer posed to Jesus the continuing most important question in the world (Luke 10:25), "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"  The next verse speaks to what you should do (Luke 10:26-27) (but who can truly do that?). Right! No human can live a sin-free life of obeying and doing right that can be perfect enough to justify eternal (afterlife component of "eternal") residence with God in Heaven. So, mankind needed a Savior! Therefore, the wonderful news...the what God (in His perfect love & grace) did for His created "mankind" its fallenness...had/has always said "no" to His Grace. And He did it for every human (past, present, and future): He provided that perfect & blemish-free Savior who died for us, shedding His blood on the Cross because we all say "no" to the love & grace of God! BUT...God, in His refusal to accept our resisting refusal, brought about the resurrection of Jesus!

Obtaining your full (present earthly life component AND afterlife component) salvation is much more than a calculated intellectual embracing of an "insurance policy". A person must be willing (Matthew 23:37) to hear (and to actually hear...have ears to hear) about the Savior & what is possible through Him, be willing to believe The Truth, believe what he/she hears is The Truth, make a decision to claim (come to belief in) Jesus as Savior, and then claim Jesus as Savior. All you have to do is claim Him! God gives you the faith to believe (initial belief on through maturing belief) through His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). More on how this happens ("election" of the Elect). In this process, (1) a person agrees with God about that person's own sins (confesses), (2) intends & desires to quit sins (repents), and (3) intends to be about the things of God (intends to die to "self"...take "self" off of the "throne" and put God rightfully on the throne & live righteously (moving more & more toward living in right relationships). [claim Him...come to now!]

God's Covenants (contracts) with mankind:

Up until that long-ago time of Jesus, the chosen people of God (Israelites) were religiously & culturally under The Law delivered by Moses from God which required them to keep The Law & to make a variety of official animal-blood sacrifices to off-set (atone for) their inevitable be true at keeping The Law (Bible Old Testament).

In those ancient times, almost all people groups around the world of any size were "ruled" or controlled by a person who assured group order and protection, provided that the person (a "subject of that ruler) kept the rules. If battles...either defensive or conquest types...happened between groups, at least the conquered males were eliminated. Later came the concept of making slaves of the conquered people rather than killing them. That is, slavery was social progress! In many regions of the world the conquering group, culture, or nation began to have "treaties of unequals" between the conqueror and the defeated (a "suzerainty treaty"...the idea behind the word and meaning of "covenant") along the lines of "I'll do this for you if you do that for me". If the subject failed, he/she was either killed or performed an atonement. Under The Law, the atonement was a blood sacrifice. This was the mindset of "the world" (the fundamental concept of all human thinking) when Jesus came to Earth. The death of Jesus, a Jew & always a Jew, on the cross invalidated the apparent need for such a physical, animal-blood atonement system under the God-mankind covenant of the Old Testament. The Bible's Old Testament contains the old Covenant (contract...promise) between God & man ("the Law") and its revelation (recorded example after recorded example) that no human...on his/her own effort...can be perfect (or even to rule-based merit or worthiness) and blemish-free to qualify for eternal life with God. God, of course knew that this would be the case. But He desired to lay down the proof of a lengthy historical record. Old Covenants: God's requirements & promise (The Law) & man's promise and man's failed effort. The Bible's New Testament (the Gospel Covenant) records the story (since the Old Testament record so clearly proves that man cannot keep his/her part of the Covenant contract) of God's new Covenant/contract with mankind and bears the hope for mankind through Jesus...The Gospel (the good news) and the stiff warning and hope-filled promise of John 14:6, as follows...spoken by Jesus Himself, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father [to a full & complete eternal life] except through me." New Covenant: God's saving & guaranteed full & complete gift through Jesus in exchange for man's acceptance of that gift. Jesus is the hope for the lost.

Needing a Savior:

This "good news" (Gospel) all hinges on trusting in the truth of God's Word as in the Bible. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23)! The Bible has commandments and directions for all people. But no human can follow all of these directions to the perfectly...that their performance defines them as righteous and worthy of eternal residence in Heaven with a spotlessly righteous and holy God. In other words, the sin of each and every human (that is, rebellion against God) should send him/her with a one-way ticket to Hell! Everyone needs a savior, & Jesus is the only one in history offered as an eternal savior and truly (1) claiming to be God (2) and the savior of mankind!

The Judgments:

Yet, the good news is that the truly saved aren't going to get any of the judgment consequences that all humans deserve! That is, if you become one of Jesus' own, you'll be guaranteed to be "justified" in the eyes of God...judged into Heaven by legal declaration (spiritually cleansed and made right by Him). As believers: we'll stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ...the Bema Seat. And, if our names are in the Lamb's Book of Life, we had "saving belief" (II Cor. 5:10). As nonbelievers, there is another judgment by Jesus: the Great White Throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). All humans will come before Jesus (at the Beama seat or the White throne) for that final judgment...Jesus will give the final judgment on every human being (John 5:22-24). Where in scripture do we see Jesus condemning anyone? Jesus clarified God's dominant characteristic as love...and as fatherly a perfect Father.

What's the Deal?:

Sadly, you aren't ready for this good news until you are in touch with (and accept) the bad news. Since Adam and Eve, there has been an ongoing battle between God & Satan for the souls of each and every person, "...and all have sinned and fall short..." (Romans 3:23). No one is personally...on his/her own...justified in spending an eternity in Heaven with the spotlessly sin-free and holy Trinitarian God of Abraham. So, what's the deal?

  1. Our problem: (Romans 3:23). Sin: to "miss the mark"...the target being the perfection of God to the glory of God...bad news: every person is a sinner and/or sins!
  2. The predicament: All humans are innately imperfect. It is impossible to do anything on our own to personally warrant (1) an earthly "walk" with God & (2) eternal residence in Heaven (Gal. 2:16) with a totally & perfectly holy & pure God...our best efforts at righteous acts are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) one is good except God (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19; Romans 3:10  "there is none good, no not one").
  3. The penalty: is death (meaning separation from God and the eternal separation in Hell...souls don't cease to exist)... Romans 6:23. When a person rejects (on hearing, fails to come to belief) God's eternal Son (Jesus), the Savior, who died on the cross in redeeming payment for the sins of the entire human race, then that person  must personally make his/her way in life on earth separated from God. Unless...
  4. The provision: God didn't provide the global-status forgiveness just because He loves us...He has other attributes (such as justice) which also apparently could be satisfied via the means He planned.
    God sent His Son to earth on the ultimate (and totally successful) commando raid against the power of Satan to force us to sin. So, the TRUTH is that the general battle for the minds of mankind has already been won...Satan was defeated upon the resurrection proof of Jesus!  No Jesus believer "has to" sin! But the "mop-up" operation continues until Jesus returns at the end times. Satan no longer has truly irresistible power over the believer (unless a believer gives the power to Satan by choosing not to resist Satan). But, Satan still can tempt, seduce, lure, trick, coax, con and try to persuade us to commit sinful acts.
    When Jesus ascended (some weeks after His resurrection) to Heaven, He "morphed" or transformed from His man-self back to His spirit-self. He provided:

       The Way of "grace": He provided a special way in forgiveness for all humans because He loves us, Romans 5:8. God provided the solution...the way of escape (the get-out-of-jail-free ticket from Hell) from the penalty...& deserves all the credit for salvation. John 19:30 "It is finished!" As recorded in the Greek, the words for "it is finished" meant the release from the penalty of Hell was "paid in full". In order to secure our salvation, God's holiness and justice had to be satisfied out of His grace: that's called "propitiation"...sacrifice...the one not deserving the penalty stepping up and paying it (blood from a perfect one had to be shed). So, Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because you & I had (would have) a debt that we could not pay (our blood would not be from a perfect one)!

    Redemption: Then there had to be redemption. A payment had to be made to buy us (all of mankind) back from the slave market of sin. Jesus hung on the cross, weighed down by all the sins of mankind...not personally guilty...hanging as if He were the world's greatest sinner (the sacrificial lamb, He substituted His perfect, blemish-free, shed blood in place of each human's shed blood)! The cross is such an important symbol in Christianity because it symbolizes this redemption by the shedding of the perfect blood of Jesus.

    Justification: Upon being redeemed, we also experienced "justification", a divine, legal declaration of salvation that...because of coming to belief in Jesus...the Believers are now righteous in God's sight and, therefore, the saints of God.

    Imputation: Salvation also involves imputation...the crediting of Jesus' righteousness to the Believer's account
    • so that the goodness of Jesus is applied to each Believer.
    • so that He could both sit at the right hand of God and intercede with God on each believer's behalf (intercede & be an advocate to God for each believer); and,
      be the universally-available Shepherd to the worldwide flock of His sheep (believers), the "Church universal" (His bride, the communion of saints, The Church).so that the Holy Spirit could come to the believers on earth (the Holy Spirit could not come into them until Jesus physically left earth [John 16:7])...Christianity being the only religion offering the leadership, comfort, help, and power sources of the indwelling Holy Spirit to the faithful.

  5. The pardon: As detailed above, the death of Jesus satisfied the demands of a just God against the sin of all people for all time! But this general pardon is only effective and beneficial on earth to those who claim it (coming to belief & transforming it into a personal & earthly pardon) through the act of being truly saved [what is "truly saved"?] by claiming Jesus as their personal savior! The general pardon is sufficient for all of mankind but is only effective on earth for those who "truly believe" and make it personal.
    • "Believe" (in Biblical language) means an intellectual mind and heart agreement/assent that is of such a degree as to lead to thinking (and it may not be perceptible to casual observers) and behavioral change growing in the direction of being in line with God. In due time, the change may become visible to others and serve as your witness and life testimony for Jesus.
    • The Resurrection (there were over 500 witnesses) is the proof of God's satisfaction with the deal that He devised...that Jesus had properly substituted and properly paid for the sins of  mankind. If Jesus were still dead today, He could not be your savior!

The great, #1, good news: the truly saved Jesus believer is saved (1) on earth & (2) into eternity in Heaven (there is one true God who has His Kingdom [Mark 1:14]). When truely saved, you have the eternal indwelling of you by the Holy Spirit of God. And, God provided that Savior for you...Jesus (no other religion provides a savior).

Good news #2: this eternal salvation is secure (once saved, always saved)...a truly saved person cannot lose it (though he/she may not partake of it)! The indwelling Holy Spirit in the true believer will NEVER leave you. The believer, though not yet arrived in Heaven, already has the "citizenship" of Heaven (Philippians 3:19-20). Though your "fallen", earthly self may rebel as your spiritual self changes to look more like Jesus, God is faithful & trustworthy & will never disown you! The empty tomb proves that Jesus IS NOT dead and lives.

Good news #3: because Jesus is instantly "in" the true believer by way of the Holy Spirit, that believer's position in this earthly life instantly changes to that of the valued saint, the child of God, adopted co-heir to the eternal inheritance from God with His son Jesus. That is, that change in position results in an INSTANT, immediate change in your identity. You are now a child of God, a joint heir with Jesus to the Kingdom inheritance, and a saint (no longer an innate..."natural man", slave-like, robotic sinner)! As such, you can grow a personal earthly relationship with God that (1) meets God's purpose for man & (2) grows & matures to bring a peace in you that cannot be logically explained... fulfillment that everyone on earth yearns for starts becoming yours (is yours). The evil of humanity comes from within (Mark 7:15), and the good news is that the former sin "closed circuit" gets broken through your eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit! Would God ignore the fervent and righteous prayers of His very own children? No!! As one of His saints, will He be there with you through all of life's...this is still a "fallen world"...inevitable pain & hard times?...Yes!

Good news #4: as to the Jesus believer, Satan has no authority...he/she is no longer an automatic slave to sin. The Resurrection of Jesus 3 days after his death on the cross eflected the cancelation of that iron-clad slavery. The believer is divinely indwelled by the Holy Spirit as an all-around help for the remainder of his/her life on Earth! You are not the same person you were before, in spite of what you might continue to do! Yours is a new ("reborn") life, and you are a new creation (a new creature). In the afterlife, your being eternally indwelt by the Holy Spirit allows a perfect communion between you and God!

When Satan tricked Adam & Eve in the garden of Eden, Satan got power & authority through the introduction of sin (distancing of relationship with God) into the world. Easter celebrates when Satan was generally defeated as Jesus died and then arose from the dead. God thereafter has put all authority on Heaven and Earth in the hands of Jesus (in the words of Jesus Himself, Matthew 28:18). So the only power Satan has now is in his role as the father of lies (John 8:44...the great deceiver)...he tempts & cons & gets us to believe lies...especially those which hinder us from becoming believers with "saving belief"!

Good news #5: Upon being a true, reborn ("born again") Jesus follower, it is actually God (in His person as the Holy Spirit), Himself, who works in you to (1) make you desire to "do right" and (2) to actually do it..."do right"! It is no longer only the combination of your personal determination and personal is now God's power working in you (Philippians 2:13). And this brings about regeneration of the believer...Christianity being the only religion promising regeneration. This leads to the hope of mankind being able to organize society for the greater general benefit (all humans) of people:  example, the covenantal form (USA) of representative democracy.

Good news #6: As a true believer, you are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1) for any past, present, or future sin. Guilt should do nothing more for you than to cause you to turn again to God and repent...say you are sorry...and glorify God by following His life-giving ways. By your belief in Jesus, God has declared your sins to be out of His mind and as far away as the East is from the West (Psalms 103:12). He remembers them no more (Jeremiah 31:34)!

There is no one so worthless or bad that Jesus would not take him/her in as one of His (as a true believer)...right now, immediately (if you ask & claim Him...see how to do it, below). All of the above being activated/actualized and in play for the believer, that believer  is supernaturally enabled to meet the purpose of God! On "believing", life is worth the living because He lives in relationship with YOU!


Now there is a huge amount of evidence in favor of the reality of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Upon being "elected" and "drawn" (God chooses don't initially just choose God), "belief" gets down to nothing more than your being WILLING to believe!!! [see a few Hound of Heaven testimony personal stories] If you will just quit resisting and claim/accept the love & grace of God as the way of escape from the penalty of sin (the get-out-of-jail-free ticket) that Jesus (acting as a savior) has provided for you...come to belief, great good follows. Then you GUARANTEE (Acts 4:12) an eternity for yourself with God on earth & in Heaven! [Remember: by the true believer possessing the eternal indwelling personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that true believer will have eternal afterlife communion with God in a state of perfection of communion relationship!] You do it strictly through God's loving grace which drew you into your position on the coat-tails of Jesus, the Savior. Consider all of those in the past 2000 years who've claimed salvation and believed. Now, take courage and you go ahead and receive God's invitation into His family by having faith and believing!

Check out those already chosen to be/as the faithful...the concept of  The Elect: that God already knows those who will be saints for eternity (and how it is that they come to belief). And, always be ready to explain the basis for your hope (I Peter 3:15-16).

Check out this outline: "I am a Christian". Christianity is the only religion (1) offering/declaring a personal savior [above...Gospel news #1] plus (2) earthly regeneration [above...Gospel news #5]. So, since a person is a sinner by nature & therefore in need of a Savior, it is the only eternally effective religion! As Pastor Erwin Lutzer has said, "Only this message that offends the world will save the world." You have a GREAT opportunity!!!

***Here's how to ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you and be your Savior!***

[simple lead-in Gospel introduction] [go back to briefest Level 1 Gospel recap]  [go back to intermediate Level 2 Gospel outline]

AND, I have collected a number of stories of what the power of this good news has done to dramatically change the lives of real people [HERE].

***give me your comments about this page***

check out the Highest TRUTH

(posted April 29, 2002; latest revision 9 December 2015)