What is the Gospel? 

Mark 1:1

The Basic Meaning of the Term

The term gospel is the translation of the Greek noun euangelion "good news," and the verb euangelizo, meaning "to bring or announce good news." This is translated a number of ways in the Scripture. Bringing good tidings, to show, or to preach the 'good news' or 'gospel'. Both words are derived from the noun angelos, "messenger." In classical Greek, an evangelist was one who brought a message of victory or other political or personal news that caused joy. The use of the words for 'gospel' developed a distinctly Christian use and emphasis because of the glorious news announced to mankind of salvation and victory over sin and death that God offers to all people through the person and accomplished work of Jesus Christ on the cross as proven by His resurrection, ascension, and session at God's right hand.

Modifying Terms

While the word 'gospel' is often found alone, it is also often modified by various terms that focus on a particular aspect of the gospel. In the New Testament, the various modifiers bring out some aspect of the gospel that is being stressed in the context and is a part of the good news of what God offers us in Christ.

(1) The gospel of Jesus Christ / of His Son. is the 'good news' of deliverance from sin's penalty, power and presence through the two advents of Christ.

(2) The gospel of God reminds us that God's message of Good News was promised in the O.T. and was fulfilled through His Son, Jesus.

(3) The gospel of the grace of God emphasizes that salvation in all of its aspects is on the basis of grace rather than on some meritorious system of works.

(4) The gospel of the kingdom is the good news that God will establish His kingdom on earth through the two advents of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(5) The gospel of peace describes how this good news of salvation in Christ brings peace in all its many aspects (peace with God, the peace of God, peace with others, and world peace) through the victory accomplished by the Savior. Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

(6) The everlasting gospel expands our perspective of gospel as we normally think of it.

This gospel, as proclaimed by the angel, has several key elements of gloriously good news that are developed in three commands and two reasons:

In this message the angel is demanding that mankind reject the beast and formally turn to God to worship Him.

Limiting the Meaning of the Gospel

In 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul summarizes the most basic ingredients of the gospel message, namely, the death, burial, resurrection, and appearances of the resurrected Christ. Note the four clauses introduced by 'that' in verses 3-5:

These verses give us the heart of the gospel message. The reality of this message can be verified by the Scriptures and by the historical evidence of the empty tomb and the eye witnesses.

However, we shouldn't limit it to only the message of how one may receive eternal life through faith in Christ. Paul declares that there is much more to it than that.

Note the context of these verses.

The Gospel gathers together all the truths that are found in Romans.

Receiving the Gospel

The fact that God offers us salvation as a free gift through faith in Christ is good news beyond description. Paul links the gospel with faith in Galatians 3:6-9.

Why is this such wonderful news? Because it guarantees justification with God based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Warnings About 'Another Gospel'

One of the beautiful and joyful aspects of the message of salvation in Christ that makes it such good news is the element of grace.

Salvation is the free gift of God to be received by faith alone in Christ alone.

But the message of grace goes contrary to the heart and thinking of man who intuitively thinks in terms of merit.

After all, you can't get something for nothing-at least not if its worth anything.

Man has always had a problem with grace and this is easily seen in the book of Acts.

So, the apostle warned of those who offer a gospel of works for salvation rather than grace.

We should remember, as Paul teaches us in Romans 4 and 11. If it is by grace, it is no longer by works and if by works, it is no longer by grace (see Rom. 4:3-4; 11:6).

So in reality, any time someone offers a gospel of works, it is not the gospel-a message of good news. Instead it is bad news, it is false, and a terrible distortion.

So any message that is distorted by rejection of the truth that all God does for us in Christ is by grace alone through faith apart from works.

Or if it is a denial of who Jesus is, then it is different gospel, which is in fact, no gospel at all.

So what is the gospel?

It is the message of the good news of salvation, the word of truth offered to mankind by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

It is a message not only of eternal life, but one that encompasses the total plan of God to redeem people from sin, death, and the power of Satan.

The world is blinded to the gospel by Satan who wants to keep people from seeing the glorious nature of the gospel of Christ.

As believers we should never be ashamed of the gospel nor should we hesitate to share it with others

Because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.

And the righteousness of God is revealed to us through the gospel.