What is the gospel? The word gospel literally means "good news" and appears 93 times in the Bible, exclusively in the New Testament. In Greek, it's the word euaggelion , where we get our English word evangelist , gospel and evangelical . The gospel is, in general terms, the totality of the Scriptures; More narrowly, the gospel is the good news about Christ and the way of salvation.
The key to understanding the gospel is knowing why it is good news. To do that, we must start with the bad news. The Law of the Old Testament was given to Israel during the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 5: 1). The Law can be considered as a yardstick, and sin is anything that is not "perfect" according to that norm. The just requirement of the Law is so strict that no human being could follow it perfectly, in letter or in spirit. In spite of our "goodness" or "badness" in relation to others, we are all in the same spiritual boat: we have sinned, and the punishment for sin is death, that is, the separation from God, the source of the life (Romans 3: 23). In order for us to go to heaven, the abode of God and the kingdom of life and light, sin must be eliminated or paid in some way. The Law established the fact that cleansing from sin can only happen through the bloody sacrifice of an innocent life (Hebrews 9: 22).
The gospel involves the death of Jesus on the cross as the sin offering to fulfill the requirement of the righteous of the Law (Romans 8: 3-4; Hebrews 10: 5-10). According to the law, animal sacrifices were offered year after year as a reminder of sin and a symbol of the coming sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 10: 3-4). When Christ offered himself on Calvary, that symbol became a reality for all who believe (Hebrews 10: 11-18). The atonement work is finished now, and that's good news.
The gospel also involves the resurrection of Jesus on the third day. "He was handed over to death for our sins and resurrected for our justification" (Romans 4: 25). The fact that Jesus conquered sin and death (the penalty of sin) is good news, in fact. The fact that He offers to share that victory with us is the best news of all (John 14: 19).
The elements of the gospel are clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 15: 3-6, a key passage related to the good news of God: "From what I received, I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures , that he was buried, that he rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom still live. " Notice, first, that Paul "received" the gospel and then "passed it on"; This is a divine message, not an invention made by man. Second, the gospel is "of prime importance." In all the places where the apostles went, they preached the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. Third, the gospel message is accompanied by proofs: Christ died for our sins (proven by his burial), and rose again on the third day (tested by eyewitnesses). Fourth, all this was done "according to the Scriptures"; The theme of the whole Bible is the salvation of humanity through Christ. The Bible is the gospel.
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to all who believe: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile" (Romans 1: 16). The gospel is a message daring , and we are not ashamed to proclaim it. It is a message powerful , because they are the good news of God. It's a message from salvation , the only thing that can really reform the human heart. It is a message universal , both for Jews and Gentiles. And the gospel is received by faith; Salvation is the gift of God (Ephesians 2: 8-9).
The gospel is the good news that God loves the world enough to give his only Son to die for our sin (John 3: 16). The gospel is good news because our salvation, eternal life and home in heaven are guaranteed through Christ (John 14: 1-4). "He has given us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and in an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or vanish. This inheritance is saved in heaven for you "(1 Pedro 1: 3-4).
The gospel is good news when we understand that we do not win (and can not) our salvation; the work of redemption and justification is complete, having been finished on the cross (John 19: 30). Jesus is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2: 2). The gospel is the good news that we, who were once enemies of God, have been reconciled by the blood of Christ and adopted into the family of God (Romans 5: 10; John 1: 12). "See what great love the Father has given us, so that we may be called children of God! And that's what we are! "(1 Juan 3: 1). The gospel is the good news that "now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8: 1).
To reject the gospel is to embrace the bad news. Condemnation before God is the result of a lack of faith in the Son of God, God's only provision for salvation. "Because God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. He who believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is already condemned because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God "(John 3: 17-18). God has given good news to a condemned world: the Gospel of Jesus Christ!