By His Cross Jesus defeated sin, and by His resurrection Jesus conquered death. This is the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ in one brief sentence.
Because of the Cross of Christ, God forgave all of your sins - every one of them, for all time ... even if you are not a believer. God did this because He wants you to know His Son, Jesus. Knowing Jesus is not religion; rather, it is new life. Religion, sadly, distorts who God is because religion keeps the focus on sin instead of on Christ's victory over sin and death.
New life is made possible because Jesus conquered death by His resurrection, never to die again. When you trust Christ as your Savior, your old inner you - your inner nature - will be completely taken away and a new inner you - a new nature - will be given to you, one that is joined eternally to Jesus Christ. Since eternal life is found only in Christ Jesus (1 John 1:2; 5:11), you now share His eternal life because He is one with you in your new inner spirit. This is the Good News!
Read on for a more detailed explanation.
1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ begins with the truth that all your sins were forever forgiven by God on the Cross of Jesus Christ (Mark 3:28; Colossians 1:20). Everyone, believers and unbelievers alike, is forgiven of every single sin (past, present, and future) except unbelief (Hebrews 2:9b). Unbelief cannot be forgiven because rejecting Christ is rejecting eternal life that is found only in Him (1 John 1:2; 5:11). This is the difference between believers and unbelievers; both are forgiven but unbelievers do not have Christ's eternal life dwelling in them. This is why believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and your Savior is essential for salvation (1 John 5:12).
Romans 6:10; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 9:26b
Note: Forgiveness for everyone confuses many because of the incorrect belief that forgiveness is the same thing as salvation. Salvation is Jesus Christ and His eternal life dwelling in your born again heart.
2. The second half of the Gospel, the part that is often missed, is this new life that is in Christ Jesus. Here is what happens: when you trust Jesus as your Savior, God literally removes your old sinful inner nature and replaces it with a brand new heart, a new nature (Romans 6:6). You are now a completely new person on the inside; the old inner you is gone, dead and buried forever (2 Corinthians 5:17). You have been rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13).
Note: Heart, spirit, and nature all mean the same thing and are used interchangeably.
Ezekiel 36:26; Ezekiel 11:19
3. Since your new heart is clean and without sin, it is a suitable dwelling place for the Spirit of God. Jesus joins His Spirit eternally as one to your inner spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). You are now forever free from sin in your born again heart since Jesus lives in you (Romans 6:22). Your inner spirit is the real you, the part of you that will live on into eternity. Your body is a temporary "earth suit" which will go to the grave when you die.
("Earth suit" was coined by Bill Gillham)
2 Corinthians 4:7 ; Romans 6:7; Romans 6:18
4. As a believer, you are now a righteous spiritual person living in a not-yet-redeemed and not-yet-righteous mortal body (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 8:10b). Your "earth suit" is still dead because of sin; it does not have the capacity to be righteous (Romans 8:10a). But, in your born again heart, you can never sin because Jesus in you can never sin (1 John 3:9). Yet, you can still sin in your outer mortal body. This is the reason believers live by faith. Faith is actually the faithfulness of Christ as He lives out His righteous life through you (Galatians 2:20); it is not you mustering up faith like it is a muscle to be developed. Just follow Christ as He lives through you, and you will live a righteous and productive life.
2 Corinthians 4:16; Galatians 5:16