What is the Gospel? We know the word Gospel means good news. Even as the birth of Christ was "good tidings of great joy" (Lk 2:20), so also is the gospel of Christ. But what is the Gospel? What is the Good News?
"I declare unto you the gospel . . . how 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" - this, according to the apostle Paul,is the Good News - and those who with the heart receive and believe it (and thus stand firm upon and hold fast to it) are saved by faith in it (see I Cor 15:1-4; Rom 10:9-10).
The Gospel is the Good News of a loving God providing His only Son as a Savior for dying men. Here is a stubborn fact: "The wages of sin is death" (Rom6:23). Equally stubborn are these facts: "All have sinned" (Rom 3:23); all are "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph 2:1), and all have an appointment with death and judgment (Heb 9:27). But God so loved the world that He gave His holy Son to stand in the place of sinful man. The sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, took upon Himself our guilt and shame, and suffered in our stead God's just wrath and judgment against sin. "Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8). He "gave himself for our sins" (Gal 1:4). He "bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (I Pet 2:24). But the Good News of the Gospel goes beyond Christ's death for our sins. It also tells us of His resurrection and what that means for the believer. For, as prophesied, three days later Jesus arose from the dead. He "who was delivered for our offenses, was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 4:25 - 5:1). Through faith in the gospel, i.e., Jesus' death for our sin and His resurrection to eternal life, the believer is justified and granted peace with God. Sometimes good news is almost too good to be true, but as hard as it is to believe, it is true: God "hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Eph 1:6). All who put their trust in Christ's death for our sin and His resurrection from the dead are accepted by God in Him - and some day He will bring us to God. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (I Pet 3:18).
The Bible tells us that Jesus "abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (II Tim 1:10). The way to (and hope of) immortal, eternal life has been brought to light through Christ's death for our sins and His resurrection unto everlasting life. The gospel has made it clear that forgiveness of sins, acceptance with God and everlasting life are not obtained through human effort. We do not merit these blessings by the good we do or the religious traditions we keep. It is "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Tit 3:5). By His mercy, the Heavenly Father has made it possible for us, through faith in His Son, to be regenerated (born again) by the Holy Spirit and made a new creation in Christ, capable of living a new kind of life. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph 2:8-10).
Among the first and last words spoken by Jesus as recorded in the four Gospels are these: Repent ye, and believe the gospel"; "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mk 1:15; 16:15). Christ calls us to repent and believe the gospel, and then to proclaim the gospel to all people. For the gospel is "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom 1:16).
The God of the Universe created humankind in His image, and although humanity has been corrupted by the fall and sin, God so loved the human race that God the Father sent God His Son in human flesh to satisfy, by His cross death for sin, the sentence of Deity against the sins of humanity, and by His resurrection the Lord Jesus Christ proved His power over sin and death, so that, in response to the convicting work of God the Holy Spirit, all who desire deliverance from sin and death, and trust wholeheartedly in Jesus for this salvation - relying on His atoning death, believing in His bodily resurrection, resting in His gracious promises, and welcoming of His loving Lordship - are declared in Scripture to be forgiven of sin, freely given eternal life and forever reconciled to God. This is the Gospel; this is Good News!