What is the Gospel? This is a questions that all Christians should be equipped and ready to answer. The Gospel is the reason for the hope that is within us (1 Pe 3:15).
First thing we have to do is define the word Gospel (Eph 1:13). The word Gospel means glad tidings or good news. For those of us who are Christians we fully understand what the good news is but the purpose of this article is to define what the Gospel is for those who do not know.
Before the good news can be clear to us we have to understand the bad news. All of this begins with the belief there is a God and Creator of all things (Col 1:16) and He has spoken to us through His word the Bible (2 Pe 1:21). The Bible tells us that God is perfectly good (Ps 18:30, 136:1, 145:17). God’s justice (Isa 61:8, Deut 32:4) and mercy (Eph 2:4) flow from His perfect goodness. God himself is the standard of goodness as He is the source of all things. God’s standard of goodness is absolute perfection since He is perfect (2 Sam 22:31). God has revealed in His special revelation (the Bible) what His prescriptive will is for us (2 Tim 3:16). These are the things that we ought to do as His creatures. These are outlined in the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:3-17) and have been summarized by Jesus Himself as loving the Lord God with our whole heart and our neighbor as we love ourselves (Mt 22:37-40). If we have not perfectly loved both God and our neighbor we fall short of God’s standard as He requires absolute perfection because He is good (Matt 5:48, Rom 3:23). God is perfectly just because He is good and therefore He must justly punish those who are unable to and do not meet His standard of goodness (2 Thes 1:8). No man has ever kept God’s standard (Rom 3:10). The bad news is that you most assuredly are under the justice and wrath of God and will be eternally punished by God for your sin against Him (Re 21:8).
The good news flows out of the mercy of God which is also sourced in His goodness (Ps 100:5). In the same way that God is just because He is good, God is also merciful because He is good. The good news is that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Triune God, the Creator of all things, condescended Himself into His Creation and became a man (Php 2:6-7, Jn 1:14). He walked and talked as we do, He suffered as we suffer (He 2:18), yet He never sinned (He 4:15). Jesus actually accomplished the perfect righteous standard of God. He then died at the hands of sinful men whom He created so as to appease God’s requirement for perfect justice (2 Co 5:21, Ac 2:23). Jesus was perfect so he was sufficient as a sacrifice to the justice of God. Jesus did not remain dead but rose again (1 Co 15:4) to provide victory over the curse of death that has passed to all men because of sin (1 Co 15:56-57). The good news is that all who believe in Jesus and place their faith and trust in Him as their Lord and Savior will find that He will perfectly save them from the just wrath of God (Ac 16:31). All who believe in Christ are justified before God as if they had never sinned against God because the righteousness of Christ has been exchanged for their sin (Ro 5:1). All who believe must repent and turn from their life of sin and walk in a new direction of obedience toward God (Mr 1:15). All who have been justified are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God who will guide them to all truth (Jn 16:13). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.