“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 1:16 KJV
The gospel is the good news of what Jesus has done for you, not what you have to do for Him, and not what He is going to do for you. When we’re preaching the gospel, we’re preaching the good news of something that has happened – it’s all about what Jesus has done for us, and how we can enjoy salvation simply by believing.
The gospel is the news that because of Jesus you are completely forgiven. It’s not the news that you can be forgiven but that you have been forgiven. Other scripture verses confirm this:
“The very next day John saw Jesus coming to him to be baptized, and John cried out, “Look! There he is—God’s Lamb! He will take away the sins of the world!”
John 1:29 TPT
Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb who came to take away the sins of the world. Not just the sins of the believer, but of the whole world. That’s nearly too good to be true, but it is! Every person has been forgiven – the drunkard, the God-hater, the Muslim, the homosexual, the fornicator, the thief, the glutton, the liar, the paedophile, the self-righteous and every sinner in between. All have sinned and all need saving (Romans 3:23). This is the nearly too good to be true news of the gospel, that every sinner is forgiven of past, present and future sins. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross has made us holy (perfect) once and for all time (Hebrews 10:10).
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
1 John 2:2 TPT
Jesus was the payment for the sins of everyone – for the Christian and the non-Christian! This doesn’t mean that everyone is automatically saved goes to Heaven. The Bible clearly shows us that salvation must be received (Ephesians 2:8-9) – we are saved by believing in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead and confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9-10). The unbeliever is as forgiven as the believer, but the believer has believed unto salvation (Romans 10:10) and can enjoy the gift of forgiveness and salvation. The unbeliever has the gift of forgiveness, but they haven’t unwrapped it and aren’t enjoying the benefits of it. The unbeliever is forgiven but they will not feel forgiven and they won’t enjoy the fruit of forgiveness, such as peace in their hearts.
“Our faith in Jesus transfers God’s righteousness to us and he now declares us flawless in his eyes. This means we can now enjoy true and lasting peace with God, all because of what our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, has done for us.”
Romans 5:1 TPT
Our faith (right believing) in Jesus and what He has done for us makes us right (flawless) in God’s sight and this is what enables us to enjoy peace with God. We do not have peace with God through our good works and holy living – you may experience peace with yourself through your performance, but peace with God can only be obtained through putting faith in what He has done for you.