These are two questions that I get from people all the time. There seems to be some confusion amongst new believers as well as mature believers because of the many different ways the word Gospel is used.
The word Gospel means “Good News” and the Bible contains four books called Gospels that share the details of this good news. So what is the Good News? The good news is not a good report about our salaries, which is a report many of us would want. Instead the good news is good report about our salvation, which is a report that all of us need.
Salvation is the act of saving or protecting from harm, hurt, and danger. In the Christian context, salvation is the act of saving a person from hell which is the ultimate penalty of sin. God planned our salvation, Jesus performed our salvation, and now theHoly Spirit protects it.
Sin separates man from God and creates for mankind what is known as a spiritual death. That’s why Apostle Paul wrote, For the wages of sin is death – (Romans 6:23). This spiritual death not only separates people from God, but it also sends people to hell. This is very unfortunate because hell was not in the original plan for man. Hell came about as a result of pride and rebellion. Satan, the fallen angels and possibly many of the people who we interact with on a daily basis will reside in hell because of pride and rebellion, which are sins against God.
But along comes Jesus. Jesus said, I’ve come so that you can have life – (John 10:10). Jesus also said, I’ve come to seek and save those who are lost – (Luke 19:10). Jesus knew from the very beginning, in order for Him to save humankind from spiritual death and give them everlasting life, that He would have to shed His blood and give His own life. So when John wrote, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son“, he’s referring to the giving of Jesus’ life, a life that was given to save the world.
The first thing we should know about salvation is that salvation was a plan. Long before Jesus entered the world, the prophets foretold of His coming and wrote about it in the scriptures. The second thing we need to know about salvation is that it was performed. In the previous paragraph we discussed how Jesus died to saved the world. So this plan of salvation and the execution of the plan of salvation is what is referred to as the Gospel.
Paul writes in 1 Corithians 15, Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
Paul makes it clear that the Gospel or the Good News is that Christ died, He was buried, and He rose again all according to the scripture. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each write their respective perspectives and versions of the Gospel, telling the story of Christ and emphasizing the fulfillment of God’s plan to save the world as carried out by Jesus Christ.
God planned it, Jesus Christ performed it, the Holy Spirit protects it, and iGospelShare wants you to know that it is our job as Christians to promote it.