The gospel is the good news that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day. (I Corinthians 15:3-4)
But in order to makes sense of this good news, we need to back up a bit.
Genesis 1:1 says God created the heavens and the earth. Since He is the Creator, that means everything and everyone belong to Him. (Psalm 24:1) As Creator, He has set a standard of right and wrong. He is infinitely holy, and His standard is perfection. (Matthew 5:48)
So, are you perfect? None of us are. (Romans 3:23) When you look at God’s standards like those set forth in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17), you see just how far each of us fall short. Has God always been first in your life? How many lies have you told? Have you always honored your parents? Have you ever stolen anything, even if it was small? Have you ever wanted something that didn’t belong to you? Furthermore, James 2:10 says that if you’ve committed just one of these sins, you’re guilty of breaking God’s entire law. Even a small crime against an infinitely holy God merits the punishment of eternal death. (Romans 6:23)
This is horrible news, isn’t it? If you die without God’s pardon, you will go to hell.
But there is good news! God loves you so much that He did not want to leave you with no hope of rescue. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you in your place. (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
This rescue from our sin is a free gift that God offers to everyone! All you have to do is believe in Jesus Christ and what He did for you, and you will be saved from your sin. (John 3:16-17) You can simply talk to God and tell Him that you recognize that you have broken His standards of right and wrong, ask for His forgiveness, acknowledge that you need Jesus to save you, and ask Him to come into your life to give you His power to turn from your old way of living and follow after His ways. Even if you think you have done something unforgivable, God can and will forgive you and answer your prayer. (Romans 10:13)
A believer is a new creation in Christ and is given the Holy Spirit. The old has passed away; the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 4:6) By the power of the Holy Spirit to guide you, a believer has begun a life-long process of growing in holiness.
To learn more about Jesus, we encourage you to read the book of John in the Bible.