What is the Gospel?

It's okay if you don't know the answer to that question. Good Shepherd is a church that meets people where they are and helps them understand the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ and then grow in applying God's truth in their lives. If you have questions or are uncertain about anything, we’re glad to talk with you. 

What does it mean to be a Christian?

Some say a Christian is a good person; others say you must go to church to be a Christian. So, if you are a good person who goes to church, does that make you a Christian?

Well, Scripture tells us, first of all, that God is holy, just, loving, all-powerful and all-knowing. Also, He is the Creator of all things, including humans. In fact, humans are made in God’s image, but that image has been tainted by the fall into sin. Romans 3:23 tells us that, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  None of us can live up to the standard of moral perfection that is in God, though we can perform humanitarian deeds, acts of kindness, etc. As a result, we are people both of dignity and depravity in the sight of God, and our sin separates from peace with God and the full life that comes from knowing Him. What can we do?

In all honesty, we can't do anything, but God intervened to deal with our sin. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also suffered once for our sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.” Jesus, in His perfect person and work, bridged the divide between us and God caused by sin, as the diagram below illustrates.

How does someone become a Christian?

Salvation (becoming a Christian) is by faith alone in Christ alone. This is possible because of God's grace (undeserved favor) towards us. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Also, we understand that true faith will result in genuine repentance (or turning from sin). Jesus calls us to this. Mark 1:14–15 says, “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’”

So to answer the two big questions above, a Christian is someone who, by the grace of God, has trusted in Jesus Christ. You may wonder, "What does it mean to 'trust' in Him?"  Well, Jesus was born a humble birth, lived a sinless life, and died a sinner’s death, doing those things in the place of those He came to save. Then He rose from death to immortality. Trusting in Jesus (or having faith in Him) means admitting to God that you are a sinner and believing in Jesus as your Savior from sin and death and your Lord (or King) of your life. Trust in Him, and then follow Him! He raises spiritually dead sinners to new life in Him.

I've trusted in Jesus! What's next?

Great question! When you become a Christian, life will still involve many ups-and-downs; but here are two wonderful promises you can trust. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Also Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  God has given Christians everything we need to know Him and live for Him. We have His Word in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, we have His Holy Spirit within us, and we have the Church. Make the most of these, and keep looking to Jesus, "the founder and perfecter of our faith." God bless you!