The word gospel means good news. Christians believe The Gospel is the greatest news that Jesus is the Christ who saves sinners through His life, death, and resurrection. What does that mean, and why is it good news?
Let's start with God. There is one holy, righteous, and just God who created us in His image to know Him and love Him. This God is worthy of all of our worship, love, and obedience.
To rightly understand The Gospel, you need to know the bad news. The Bible tells us that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). None of us give God the full obedience He is due, and as a result; we are under the curse of death as a penalty for our sin against God. All of us die physically and are spiritually dead, separated from God, in our sins. Those who do not know and obey God, “they will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might”(2 Thessalonians 1:8b-9). This is righteous, wrathful justice from a just God, and we are powerless to save ourselves. That’s really bad news.
What is awesome is that, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him”(John 3:16-17).
Jesus Christ is God and is the only begotten Son of God. He came to this world as both fully God and fully man. He is perfect; He is our Savior. The Bible says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Jesus lived a perfect, righteous, sinless life; He was tempted in every way yet did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). He died a sacrificial death on the cross where He paid the penalty for sin He did not commit so that we could be forgiven of our sin. In Jesus’ death the guilt of our sin is taken away from us and placed on Him, and God’s wrath is turned away from us and turned toward Jesus. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Not only that but when we place our faith in Jesus, His righteousness is imputed to us. When God looks on those who have placed their faith in Jesus, He no longer sees the guilt and shame of their sin; instead, He sees the perfect righteousness of Christ. “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus did not stay dead; He rose from the grave and is alive today. Jesus’ death and resurrection reconcile us to God so that we can know Him and have life with Him forever.
This good news demands a response. God calls us to repent and believe (Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Romans 10:9-10; Mark 1:15), to turn from our sin and turn to Jesus, putting our trust in Him and having faith that He alone can save us from our sin (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:5). If we do this, we can be forgiven of our sins and restored to a right relationship with God.
Through His grace, God saves sinners and for those He saves, He promises the gift of eternal life with Him.
That is The Gospel.