Christians should know the exact meaning and purpose of the gospel, which we often call the “good news”. The Gospel is very important, because without it, there is no salvation. We are encouraged to review and evaluate the definition of the good news from time to time. For that reason, it is vital that we preach the gospel to ourselves every day. Many books have been published regarding the gospel, but what does the Bible actually say about it?
For us to truly understand the meaning of the gospel, it is essential that we open the Word of God and listen to what He has to say about it. After all, it was God who brought us the good news to begin with. The noun “gospel” (euangelion) appeared seventy times in the Greek New Testament. The whole New Testament is essentially about the gospel or the good news. The use of the word gospel varies greatly among the authors of the New Testament. Paul used the word euangelion more than all the other New Testament authors combined. Matthew and Mark also used the word, and there are a few uses in Luke, John, Peter, and James. Regardless of how many times the New Testament authors used the word the euangelion, it is beneficial for Christians to know what God is pronouncing and why the Gospel is considered such “good news”.
What is the Gospel?
Gospel simply means “good news”, which refers to Jesus Christ. When we say sharing the gospel, it basically means sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Clearly, the Bible states that the gospel is divine and came from God. Since the gospel is all about Jesus Christ, we can expect it to be true (Galatians 2:5, 14; Colossians 1:5). We also know that the gospel is gracious, since our Lord and Savior is gracious (Acts 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.). Moreover, the gospel of Jesus Christ is glorious (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Timothy 1:11). The good news in Christianity relates to receiving Jesus Christ and enjoying Him forever.
Since it is about Jesus Christ, the gospel brings salvation to anyone who receives it (Romans 1:16; Ephesians 1:13). The gospel also involves the kingdom of God (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 24:14). Because of this, the Gospel of Christ brings hope to the people of God (Colossians 1:23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.) and motivates Christians toward sanctification (Mark 8:35; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Ephesians 6:15; Philippians 1:27 (ESV). It gives God’s people a new life in Jesus Christ. This is because the gospel is the saving work of Jesus for the entire world. Again, the good news is Christ Himself.
It is vital that the church of Christ preaches the gospel consistently. The word “evangelism” came from the Greek word for the gospel. Evangelism is about making disciples, calling men and women to believe in Jesus Christ, so that they may observe what Jesus taught His people. For the sake of the Gospel of Christ, all Christians must promote true evangelism and everyone should give importance to the Great Commission, which was given by Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20.
Understanding the Bad News
For us to have an understanding of the good news, it is important that we also have knowledge about the bad news. In the Old Testament, the Law was given to Moses (Deuteronomy 5:1 Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.). The Law of God acts as a measuring stick, and anyone who falls short of this standard is considered a sinner. In order for the individual to have good standing with God, they must be able to honor all the laws and must be able to pass all requirements. However, no matter how good or bad you are as an individual, you need to know that every single one of us is innately sinful. We’re all sinful at birth, from the moment that our mothers conceive us (Psalm 51:5). The Bible tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and the cost of sin is Death
The Good News is…
Those who believe in Jesus Christ shall not perish, but will have an eternal life (John 3:16). One can have their sins forgiven and experience eternal life in Jesus Christ, which is a gift from God Himself (Romans 6:23). The Old Testament days required sacrifice in order to cleanse people from their sins. It required a bloody sacrifice, but instead of killing animals and offering them as a sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins (Hebrews 9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.), God gave us Jesus Christ.
In Hebrews 10 (NIV), it is said, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason, it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Burnt offerings and sin offerings were not enough for God. The Good News is, Jesus came to do the will of the Father, and we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all (Hebrews 10:9-10). It is finished! Because of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, as the sin offering to fulfill the Law’s righteous requirement, we are now saved!
Believe in the Good News!
The person, works, death, and resurrection of Christ were enough to save us from eternal punishment and the wrath of God. Jesus Christ was delivered over to death for our sins and was then raised back to life for our justification (Romans 4:25). The victory of Jesus was our victory, and that’s the greatest news ever! (John 14:19). We are called to not be ashamed of the Gospel, since it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). The gospel is a bold and powerful message that reforms our hearts. The good news is, there is now no condemnation of those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). The Good News of Jesus Christ should cause us to celebrate and rejoice. The Gospel of Jesus Christ should make us feel thankful every day of our lives, in both good times and bad.