We must get the gospel right, “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16). Moreover, it is “of first importance,” as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared” to many.
The gospel, the one Paul and his companions preached (Gal 1:6-10 cf. Acts 13:13-52), has four elements revealed in Scripture—God, our sins, Jesus, right response. God is absolutely holy, and created us to have an eternal relationship with Him. But in Adam, we sinned against God and separated ourselves from Him. In His great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a sinless life, and died in our place on the cross, taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of everyone who would ever turn and trust in Him. In accordance with Scripture, Jesus rose again, proving God accepted His sacrifice, and thereby satisfying God’s wrath towards us. Now, the right response to these truths is to turn from our sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of our sins.