What is the Gospel?
The gospel simply means ‘good news’. For Christian’s, it is good news of what God has graciously accomplished for sinners through the sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of his Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. This news is the central theme of the whole Bible and should be the central truth of the Christian church.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us,not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7
THE GOSPEL CAN BE UNDERSTOOD AS…
God, the sovereign creator of all things, is both holy and loving (1Pet 1:14-16; 1John 1:5, John 3:16; Rom 5:8; 1 John 4:7-8).
Man, although created perfect and good, rebelled against God and is sinful in both nature and action (Gen 1:26-27; 2:15-17; 3:1-13; Rom 3:23; 5:12; 6:23).
These two realities create a separation between God and man that is irreconcilable by anything we could do (1Pet 1:17-19; 2Cor 5:19, 21; 2Cor 5:2; 1Pet 3:18).
Christ’s righteousness and payment is applied to us freely by trusting in Jesus’ work on our behalf (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom 10:9).
Through the person and work of Jesus we receive forgiveness from sin and are made right before God. The gospel tells us who God is and what he’s done and it tells us who we are, what we’ve done and therefore what we need – forgiveness. The only reason God forgives us is because he is good, kind and gracious. The only way we receive his forgiveness is by placing our faith in the work of Jesus alone, offered to us be his grace alone.
The gospel of grace never ceases to amaze believers! A holy righteous God loves rebellious sinners like us. It truly is amazing grace!
HERE ARE SOME FURTHER TRUTHS ABOUT THE GOSPEL TO BETTER UNDERSTAND IT IN ALL IT’S FULLNESS.
The Gospel is Proclamational
News that is primarily preached, heralded andannounced. (Luke 24:45-47; 2Cor 4:1-6; Gal 1:6-10; 2Tim 1:10-11; Titus 1:1-3; Rom 10:13-17) The Gospel is Historical – News that is factual. Real events, real people and places. Jesusis a not a metaphorical figure but historical (1Cor 15:1-4; 1Cor 15:12-20; 1John 1:1-4).
The Gospel is Personal
It is one thing to believe Jesus existed, died on a cross, was buried and rose from the dead. It is another thing altogether to believe that Jesus died for ‘me’; that he was raised to life for ‘me’, that he has forgiven ‘me’. In this sense the gospel is personal news. One essence of Christianity is personal pronouns (John 4:7-42; Mark 5:24-34; John 5:1-15).
The Gospel is Continual
It is news that is proclaimed continually not occasionally (1 Cor.15:1). The human heart drifts away from faith and assurance into doubt and fear and the gospel is the remedy for a weary heart (Gal 3:1-3; Col 1:6).
The Gospel is Theological
It is good news because of its meaning. Without meaning the gospel is only historical news. With meaning it is ‘good’ news. Christ’s death and resurrection and the implications of such must be proclaimed for the gospel to be proclaimed (Eph 1:1-14).
The Gospel is Central
The gospel is the central theme of the Bible. It is centred in Christ and is the foundation for the life of the church and the Christian (Luke 24:25-27; 24:44-47;John 5:39; 1Cor 2:2).
The Gospel is Powerful
The gospel is the power of God for salvation. It is news that theHoly Spirit uses to bring people from death to life. Christ is the means for justification (Rom1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:18).
The Gospel is Grace (Full)
It is news that is received by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. It is news of what Jesus has done for us not we must do for him. No ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved (Eph 2:8; 2 Tim 1:8-9).
The Gospel is Fruitful
True saving faith in the person and work of Jesus produces good fruit in the life of the believer. While good works do not earn salvation they do show evidence of it. The power of God’s Spirit through the gospel enables us to genuinely and joyfully do what is pleasing to God. This means we grow progressively into the image of Christ as we become fruitful in both character and good deeds. The gospel is necessary for both justification and sanctification (Col 1:21-23; Tit. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:11-13).
The Gospel is Universal
It is good news of God’s redemptive interaction throughout all of history. It is salvation offered to all believers, past, present and future (John 3:16; Heb 1:3).
“Educated Christians like me expect God’s grace to prefer those of greater ability, behaviour and education... God mocks my expectations” Augustine, 354 – 430AD