The gospel in one sentence is that you are a sinner and that you must place your faith in Christ alone to be saved. What does that mean? Here is what I have heard from preachers and believe that the Bible says and testifies about as to what true saving faith is.
- When the Bible says that you are a sinner it means that you are committed to yourself as lord of your life and you are driven by your needs and goals and feel that it is your right to attain them (Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:9-20; Romans 10:3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). You are in rebellion as God to your master and are a slave to your other master who is Satan and he is lord of sin and rebellion. So all who are rebels are slaves of sin and ultimately Satan (Romans 6:20-22).
- For this, you are promised eternal separation from God in hell after you die and the absence of his covenant grace in this life (Hebrews 9:27, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 2:3, Philippians 1:28).
- To be saved you must surrender the control of your life to Christ to follow and serve him for as long as you live and vow to live your life in obedience to whatever he tells you to do from now on (Romans 10:9-10, Luke 6:46-49, Luke 9:23-25, John 12:25-26).