WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?
Ultimately, the Gospel is the good news about Jesus, because Jesus is the only answer to the bad news about ourselves. In the Bible we read that,
All have sinned (Romans 3:23) and that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
The bad news we must all accept is that we’re naturally sinners. We’ve all lied, acted out of jealousy, lusted, harboured bitterness… we’re not as good as we like to think. In fact, despite our best efforts we’re really not that good at all. So we all have a problem of sin and stand guilty before our holy and just God. What’s more, that sin is no small thing—it brings the serious consequence of eternal death and separates us from God.
While our sin means we cannot come to God, the good news is that Jesus is God in the flesh and he has come to us. He lived a truly good and sinless life (unlike us) and amazingly, he laid down his life and went to the cross in our place. He lived the perfect life we haven’t, and still, he died the horrific death we deserved.
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
But the good news is that Jesus didn’t stay dead. It’s true—the wages of sin is death, but as Jesus died without sin, death could not hold him and God resurrected him on the third day.
And so the bad news is we live sinful lives, but the good news is that Jesus lived a sinless life. The bad news is that the wages for our sin is death, but the good news is that Jesus took our punishment for us on the cross and paid for our sins by his perfect sacrifice.
The wages of sin is death… but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
This is why Christians keep banging on about the Gospel! It’s the greatest news we could ever come to know about the greatest gift of God’s grace! The man who is God has come to us, lived perfectly, and willingly stepped in our place and was treated like he lived our life. Because of him, our sin need no longer keep us separated from God, and we can receive his Holy Spirit and be made his children.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship (Romans 8:15).
If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).
Of course, Jesus’ death and resurrection demands a response from us, and not just an intellectual response, but a meaningful heart response. By repenting of sin and living a life of submission to Jesus’ Lordship, and by truly believing in his death and resurrection, we can be saved from God’s just wrath against sinners such as us.
Instead of being God’s enemies we can come to be his children. Instead of sinfully living as lord of our own lives, we are called to repent and submit to and be united with the true Lord, Jesus. And then…
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
That is good news, and that is the Gospel.