What is the Gospel?
The word gospel means “good news.” To appreciate this good news, we must understand a few fundamental truths:
There is one God, who eternally exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God made everything for his glory. God is the great King who owns everything and rules everything, including us. God made us to know him, love him, delight in him, serve him and obey him. Human life only finds its true meaning and purpose in a loving, obedient relationship with God. As Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” (Matthew 22:37-38).
Rather than serving God, we “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). Sin is rebellion against God the King. We have worshiped other gods, broken God’s laws, and denied God’s truths. We have not loved God supremely or one another sacrificially. Therefore we all rightly deserve God’s wrath and judgment, “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). God is the just King who hates sin and always punishes it. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that God loved this sinful world by sending Jesus Christ to save sinners. Jesus is God in human flesh. Jesus lived the perfect life of obedience, love and service to God that we have failed to live. And then he was crucified and died as our substitute to receive the punishment we deserve. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, and now reigns forever as King over heaven and earth.
We can escape God’s judgment and be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. We must repent or turn away from our sin and we must trust in Jesus and his death and resurrection for our salvation. We cannot be saved by our good deeds, religious observances, or good intentions. Salvation is a gift from God, received by repentance and faith alone. As Jesus said, “Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15). All those who repent and believe in Jesus are forgiven and counted as righteous before God. We receive the Holy Spirit and become part of God’s family, with the sure hope of resurrection and eternal life in Jesus.