What does the word “Gospel” mean?
The word Gospel simply means “good news.” The Bible is full of good news, but its greatest news is found in Jesus Christ. For this reason, the Bible’s four accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are often referred to as “gospels.”
What is “The Gospel”?
However, when Christians speak of “the Gospel,” they are usually referring to the good news that through faith in Jesus we can be saved from punishment for our sins and reconciled to God for eternity. This message represents the core of Jesus’ teachings to which all of the Bible points. The Gospel can be summarized in this way:
- God: The Gospel starts with God, the Creator and Ruler of all things. God is holy, good, loving, all-powerful, and deserving of our praise and allegiance. (Rev. 4:11)
- Sin: Despite being made and loved by this amazing God, we have all rebelled against God by ignoring Him, disobeying Him, seeking to live life our own way, and treasuring other things more than we value God. The Bible calls this “sin.” (Romans 3:10-12)
- Judgment: Because God is just, our rebellion against Him demands punishment. This punishment includes not only death, but also separation from God both now and for all eternity. (Hebrews 9:27)
- Jesus: Yet, God demonstrated His great love by sending His Son into the world as the man Jesus to live a perfect life and die in our place, paying our debt to God (1 Peter 3:18). In doing so, God made possible our pardon from sin—something we did not deserve.
- Resurrection: As proof that He accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for sin, God raised Jesus to life again, giving us assurance we too can have eternal life with God. (1 Peter 1:3)
- Decision: To be reconciled to God, we must turn to Him in repentance and have faith in Jesus. This will begin a relationship with Him that will never end. (Jn. 3:36)
What Exactly is Expected of Us?
Since there is no more important question in life than how we will respond to the Gospel, it’s helpful to clarify what is expected of those who want to live for God:
Repentance involves agreement with God that you are a sinner deserving of His judgment and a desire to turn from sin, submit to God’s rule, and follow His commands.
Faith in Jesus means trusting in His death and resurrection, believing that God accepts Jesus’ death in place of your own punishment and has forgiven you of your sins entirely because of the work of Jesus.
What Happens Now?
When God saves us, He gives us the Holy Spirit who will work out an ongoing process of transformation in us so that we increasingly live in ways that honor Him.
When God saves us, He also adopts us into His family—the Church. Together we are to worship our glorious God, encourage each other through the study of the Bible, and seek to share this Gospel with others.
Ultimately, this Gospel is good news because through Jesus we can be brought into relationship with God—and nothing can bring us more joy than God Himself.