The Gospel

What Is The Gospel?

The word “gospel” originally referred to news of a great historical event like a victory in war or the ascension of a new king. It was news that would change people’s lives and evoke a response from those who heard it. So, what’s the Christian gospel? The Christian gospel is the good news that God has entered the world in Jesus Christ to achieve a salvation that we could not achieve for ourselves.

This good news is most fully explained in the Bible itself. All 66 books of the Bible point to and highlight different aspects of this one overarching message:

The Way We Were

The perfect Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) made us in his image. He made us to know, love, and worship him by loving one another and by taking his creation and doing creative things with it for His glory and for the common good of one another.

Genesis 1:26-28; Isaiah 43:1-7; 1 Corinthians 10:31

A Tragic Turn

But we sinned by rebelling against God’s good purposes for us. Rather than worshiping him, we worshiped and served created things. We put ourselves before God. This is called sin. Our sin separates us from the perfect God we were made for. It results in our eternal separation from God in both physical and spiritual death and in a broken and corrupted world. All our attempts to fix ourselves and this world on our own fail and only leave us weary and frustrated.

Genesis 3; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 1:21-23, 3:23, 5:12, 6:23; Galatians 3:10

Divine Interventions

In his great love, God did not leave us in this situation. He sent his Son Jesus to rescue his people and restore the world. Jesus lived the perfectly sinless life that no one else has ever lived, he took the punishment for our sins by dying on a cross, and he then rose again from the dead to demonstrate how God’s wrath against us and our sin has been exhausted.

Mark 10:45; John 1:14; Hebrews 4:15; Romans 4:25, 5:12-21; Acts 2:24

A Critical Decision

Jesus did all of that so that we could be born again into a new and eternal life where we are no longer orphans separated from God. He did all that so that we could be adopted as his sons and daughters, brought into his spiritual family (the Church) and restored to do that which we were originally created for. These benefits purchased by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ belong to all those who respond to this news with repentance (turning away from our sin) and faith (receiving and resting upon Jesus Christ alone for our forgiveness and restoration).

Matthew 4:17; Luke 24:45-47; Acts 2:38, 20:21; Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 2:8

A Dramatic Change

And as amazing as all of that is, the good news doesn’t end there! The redemptive work of Jesus on the cross is a two-way street. God now fills the world in new ways as a saving Son, a loving Father, and an empowering Holy Spirit. All those who respond to this news with repentance and faith are united with God the Son, reconciled with God the Father, and are empowered by God the Holy Spirit to live out our new lives and to be his ambassadors to the world. God has invited us into the family business through which he is making all things new. He has given us good work to do and good news to proclaim to all people.

Matthew 28:18-20; John 17:15-19; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Romans 6:4, Ephesians 2:1-10

Where Things Are Headed

The Bible gives us a picture of where all history is headed: a healed and restored physical creation with no more sin, brokenness, or death. When Jesus returns, his people will be raised from the dead and given bodies like his. The restored creation will be a place where God’s people from every tribe, tongue, and nation will dwell together in the presence of our perfect Triune God and where we will joyously know, love, and worship him for all eternity.

1 Corinthians 15:35-58; Isaiah 60; Habakkuk 2:14; Revelation 7:9-12, 21