The word gospel means good news. The story of Jesus is the embodiment of a good story with good news for people.
Before you can receive this news, you need to hear the bad news. You and I are sinners. We have broken the law of God and the will of God in our lives. We are not good people, and even our attempts at doing good works are flawed. Things like pride, anger, and judgment fill our minds while trying to be nice. Our failures have been caught on video, and we know the truth. Every single one of us has sinned and continues to do so.
Then it gets worse. God hates sin. The one who created us is the same one who gave us a moral law. It was first written on our hearts as confirmed by our conscience. Next, it was written on stone and passed down to us on paper. We read the words and felt our hearts quicken when confronted with the possibility of disobedience the first time. Then we did, and nothing immediately happened, so we did it again. All the time, God looked on with disappointment and anger. When we break the law of man, we must pay man’s debt. When we violate the law of God, what can we give to make it right?
You and I are part of the eternal predicament. God creates us, and we rebel against him. God says, “Do not do this,” and we do it anyway. God says, “Do this,” and we ignore his instructions. We disobey, and our future deserves punishment, and it makes God mad.
This is the story of the Bible. You and I are not good people. We are failures. We make mistakes. We sin and stand as sinners. You and I are not better than anyone as we all fall short. After we swallow our pride and arrogance and accept this truth, then we feel despair, guilt, and shame. It is a humbling reality to admit that you do not have it all together.
One of the obstacles that stand between people and their creator is moralism. We think we are good people trying to live good lives until we die and meet a good God who is much like us. Unfortunately, that is not the story we find in the Bible in with the Old or New Testament.
This is the hard side of the gospel. We are bad people who deserve a death sentence for the way we have treated God’s law.
Once we accept this truth, then we will find ourselves in need of a Savior. And boy, have I got good news for you. There was a man from Nazareth named Jesus, and his followers call him Savior.