What is the Gospel?
Often when people with a Christian background hear the word “gospel”, the picture that comes to mind is the story and events in the life of Jesus as told in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The idea of the events of Jesus life being the Gospel is not incorrect, but it is incomplete and doesn’t completely convey what Jesus wants us to know.
First, the word “gospel” comes from a Greek word that means “good news”. People can have “good news” occur in their life without ever reading about Jesus, so the Gospel which the Bible is talking about must be referring to a special type of “good news”. Specifically the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are trying to tell us about “the Gospel of Jesus Christ” or “the Good News of Jesus Christ.” The Gospel is not just “Good News,” but “the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
The Gospel Summarized
The Bible gives a summary of the essence of the Gospel in I Corinthians 15:1-4. The apostle Paul says,
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;”
This passage from I Corinthians brings out three main points in the Gospel: 1) the death of Jesus Christ for our sins, 2) the burial of Jesus Christ, and 3) the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The question could be asked, “Why is the death of Jesus good news?” The answer is, “The death of Jesus Christ is good news because he rose from the dead.”
What is Importance of the Resurrection?
The resurrection is important because it proved that Jesus was sinless. Since the time that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, all men have been under the curse of sin, and death has reigned in the world. The resurrection of Jesus means that for the first time since the beginning, there was a man without sin. That is why Jesus is also called Savior and Redeemer. Here are some scriptures to consider.
Genesis 2:17 – “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23 – “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.”
Romans 1:3-4 - Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. The Spirit of holiness (God’s Spirit) could find no fault or sin in the humanity of Jesus, so the grave (death) could not hold him.
Jesus died as a substitute for the sins of all humanity. Since the penalty for sin is death, blood was required to pay for sin. The sinless blood of Jesus provides payment for all humanity. The book of I Timothy puts what Jesus did this way, showing that he was faultless (justified in the Spirit).
“…great it the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (I Timothy 3:16)
Applying the Gospel in Our Life
The Bible declares that all men are sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We are all sinners except Jesus. The Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. On the Day of Pentecost when the church was born (Acts 2:1-4), the listening crowd also asked what they needed to do. Peter stood and told the people,
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
Peter was proclaiming the Gospel and telling the people how to apply it to their lives. Here are the three steps as we should apply them in our lives to identify with the Gospel and get saved.
When we receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we rise again by the power of the Holy Ghost in a new life (John 7:37-39, Rom 8:9-11, II Corinthians 5:17).