The Gospel (The Good News)
You might hear “The Gospel” mentioned a lot. We hear it so often the grandeur of it can get lost as it becomes almost cliche’. Ask any man on the street what the Gospel is and you may be surprised at the answers. I will let you do your own research on that one because we want to focus on what it IS, not what it isn’t.
The Apostle Paul says this about the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:
“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,...”
The simplest definition of the Gospel is; it is the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. While this is a solid definition of the Good News, it does beg the question, so what?
To the Christian to ask that question almost seems sacrilegious, but to the lost person, asking that question is the most logical thing to do and answering it should be the natural thing for a Christian to do, even if it is not specifically asked. So how do we answer that question? We have to begin at the beginning, in the Garden to get a clear understanding.
In Genesis God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a perfect place, telling them they could eat of any tree they wanted. Except one. He told them they would die if they ate of this one tree. Long story short, they disobeyed God and ate the fruit from that tree. This is when sin entered the picture, and here we have the fall of man. God kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, they died spiritually and eventually physically. Because we are all descendents of Adam and Eve, we are all born with a sin nature. We sin naturally. We are in bondage to sin and are bound for hell, if we die in this state.
This is where the Gospel comes in. Jesus, who is God, took on humanity and was born to a virgin. He lived on earth for 33 years and was tempted in all ways you and I are but without sin. That’s right, Jesus never gave in to sin! He lived a perfect sinless life.
Even though He was sinless, He was arrested, beaten and nailed to a cross, where He died one of, if not the most horrific death anyone could imagine. Since He was God He could have called for a legion of angels to come and save Him but He didn’t. You see, the reason He came was to die, so that you and I could live! On the cross the Father poured out His wrath on Jesus. Jesus took the punishment for crimes He did not commit. He took the punishment for Liars, murderers, thieves, adulterers, etc. in order to make a way of escape for them. He did this so that through repentance and faith in Christ sinners can be forgiven and be reconciled to God, escaping the punishment they deserve.
That is the answer to the question, so what?
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15