What is the Gospel?
The word “Gospel” means good news. The reason, “the gospel” is good news is because it addresses the most serious problem that human beings have in this life.
The most serious problem that human beings have in this life is that God is Holy and we are not because of our sin. In the book of Genesis we see the creation of the world which includes the pinnacle of God’s creation mankind. Prior to Genesis 3, mankind enjoyed perfect fellowship with God. This all changed in Genesis 3, when mankind willfully sinned, thus breaking our perfect relationship with God. Sin is breaking God’s law. God’s law is a reflection of His character and nature which is absolute, perfection which the Bible calls, “Holiness.” When we fail to keep God’s law, we sin thus offending a Holy God. The breaking of God’s law results in judgment, so there is a penalty for breaking the law of God. The penalty for sinning against God is “separation from God – and “death” Is. 59:2 | Rom. 6:23. Because God is Holy, He will carry out a righteous judgment against the sinner. The Bible says that all human beings are guilty of breaking God’s law – Rom. 3:23. This is bad news. All human beings will stand before a Holy and Righteous God and be judged on the basis of our own righteousness (which is none).
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness and obedience to God, not for His own sake but for God’s people. Jesus lived the life that none of us could possibly live, a life of total obedience to God which led to Jesus offering His life as the perfect sacrifice atoning for all our sins, thus completely satisfying God’s justice and righteousness, and culminating with Jesus’ resurrection back from the dead, showing God’s victory over sin and death. This great victory restores the fellowship that mankind wrecked because of sin.
In summary, Jesus addressed the most serious problem in human history (SIN), with His substitutionary atoning death, and resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 says, Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
Here we are told to hold this message of first importance, meaning it should be central and foundational in what we believe because the gospel is the power to salvation to all who believe – Rom. 1:16