What is the Gospel? The word gospel means “good news”. In ancient times this word referred to a wonderful proclamation of historic proportion, like the birth of a new king or the end of a long war.
The Apostle Paul explained the Christian gospel in this way: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: 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 Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6 ESV)
The Good News is that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came into the world in fulfillment of biblical prophecy and sacrificially bore our sins, and that he was raised from the dead and was seen by many witnesses. The gospel is the wonderful proclamation of Christ’s death and resurrection. It is Good News!
But before we can understand the Good News of God’s grace that has come to us in Jesus Christ, we must understand the Bad News about our human condition. The Bible says that we were created in the image of God with our body, mind, will, and heart aligned in love to God as our Creator and us as his creation. But we rebelled and sought our own way, and the human race fell under guilt, spiritual blindness, and bondage to sin.
This historical event of Christ’s death for our sins and his glorious resurrection contains our eternal peace, happiness, and salvation, which we are invited to receive in faith: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” (Isaiah 52:7 ESV)
Faith is like an open hand, receiving salvation as a gift from God through his Son, Jesus Christ: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And, “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’” (Romans 6:23; 10:9, 11 ESV)
Read more about how we should respond to the Good News in this presentation of “Two Ways to Live.”