The Gospel

 

Gospel

Greek: euangelion (εὐαγγέλιον)

Noun

Definition: good news

-Strong's Concordance

The Gospel is the meaning of this life. The Bible verses listed here are only a few of the many and are listed in blue font. What are the words in the Bible? They are the Word of God.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. -John 1:1-18

In the English Standard Version Bible I find 90 verses that include the word "Gospel". The prefix to the Greek word euangelion is eu. It means good. The angelion root word is the same word we translate "angel". An angel is an angelos because his primary function in the kingdom of God is to be a messenger, to announce a message from the throne of God. The prefix eu together with the root angelion gives us euangelion meaning "good message", or good news

There are three ways the word gospel is used:

1. Literary genre: In the new Testament we find the Epistles and the four Gospels. They are called Gospels because they teach us about the Person and work of the One at the center of the Gospel: Jesus Christ.

2. Announcement of a kingdom: The term Gospel functions in the New Testament, particularly early on with the advent, breakthrough, intrusion...the coming of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not just in the future, it was established by Jesus Christ many years ago. Though the consummation of the kingdom of God has not yet occurred, in a very real and powerful sense it has already come. In preparing for Jesus to begin his public ministry, John the Baptist said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” -Matthew 3:2. And in Matthew 3:10, Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. "Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." John the Baptist was emphatically proclaiming the Master and His kingdom were very near, and that the religious leaders hearing his message were not ready for the kingdom. They needed to repent and be baptized.

3. The Gospel of Jesus Christ: By the time the epistles were written, the term gospel had become the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel then had clear content to it. This gospel is the announcement of who Jesus was and what He had accomplished. It is the announcement of who Jesus is today, what He is doing now and what He will do. 

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -Romans 1:1-7

Paul's usage of the words "gospel of God" draws attention to the message of God and not about God. This announcement belongs to God, authored by God, and is owned by God. It is His announcement, His message.

The Gospel is, in biblical terms, the good news of the Person and work of Jesus Christ. It is the message about the incarnation of God, which incarnation was promised beforehand by the prophets. Jesus is the long-awaited Christ, the Messiah of Israel. Jesus is the Mediator, the God-Man who is the incarnation of God. Jesus is the Lord of everything! Those facts are integral to the Gospel.

THE BAD NEWS

When good news is given there is usually some kind of bad situation or bad news in contrast. What is the bad news? Genesis 1:26-27 states:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; 

male and female he created them.

Then, in Genesis 3:1-19:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 

 

The LORD God said to the serpent, 

“Because you have done this, 

cursed are you above all livestock

and above all beasts of the field;

on your belly you shall go,

and dust you shall eat

all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring;

he shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel.”

 

To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;

in pain you shall bring forth children.

Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,

but he shall rule over you.”

 

And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife

and have eaten of the tree

of which I commanded you,

‘You shall not eat of it,’

cursed is the ground because of you;

in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;

and you shall eat the plants of the field.

By the sweat of your face

you shall eat bread,

till you return to the ground,

for out of it you were taken;

for you are dust,

and to dust you shall return.”

Adam and Eve were constructed and placed in a garden where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flowed from. The Old and New Testaments clearly list all human (our specific bloodline) generations from Adam to Jesus. For us humans, we were specially created by God in His own image. Think on that for a moment. God's interest in people is of great importance to Him. We are not important because we like to think highly about ourselves, we are important because God created us specially for His service and fellowship. 

Genesis chapter 3:1-19 is very bad news. In fact, it is terribly sad and disastrous news. The original state that the first two people were in was beautiful. They were built to serve and fellowship with their creator and to not die. As a result of their disobedience (sin), they were ousted from Eden and began aging. That aging resulted in their eventual death. Death is separation from the living God. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned -Romans 5:12

Sin is a disease that spread to all of us through birth. Sin marks the human family. ​We are related to Adam and Eve by birth. Therefore, our bodies die. This isn't some form of mythological description of a scientific condition! It isn't mere dogma trying to make sense of the lying, aging and dying nature of humans. No. It's the actual history and current condition of our family, our race. But that isn't the worst of the bad news. Notice God said to the serpent:

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Who is the offspring of the devil?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God -Romans 3:23

Even religious people are born into sin: 

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. -John 8:42-44

Put simply, everyone born into this world, except Jesus Christ, is born under the bondage of sin and therefore under the bondage of Satan. From birth we speak the native tongue of our fallen master: lies. That's why we don't have to teach children how to lie, it simply comes to them naturally, by birth. It is the truth that must be taught. Likewise, people do not naturally gravitate toward the light, where our secrets and failures are revealed. We must understand how bad we are before we can appreciate the good of God and His Gospel.

It gets worse. Everyone who dies in sin and isn't saved by the Gospel will not only die but suffer eternal punishment: When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was  a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” -Matthew 25:31-46

The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” -John 12:48-50

Above we learn that Jesus Christ is the supreme judge. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment -Hebrews 9-27

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.  

- Revelation 20:15

The Bible is very clear regarding the state of all people: we are totally, 100% depraved, 100% spiritually dead. Only God can make us alive again. That is called being born again. Being born again is no more possible for us to achieve than our first birth in the family of Adam. Only God can give life because He is the living God. There is hope and that hope is the Gospel. The Gospel (or, good news) is the most important message we people can hear and accept. The Gospel is not something we deserve or can achieve in our works. The Gospel is of God alone. Do you see and hear these words? If so, it is because God has given you eyes to see and ears to hear.

 

THE GOOD NEWS

The following verses concern the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

Jesus Christ is the Son of God

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. -Mark 1:1

And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. -John 1:34

but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. -John 20:31

and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, -Romans 1:4

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. -1 Corinthians 1:19

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. -Hebrews 4:14

Jesus was conceived by God and born of a virgin

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. -Isaiah 7:14

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). -Matthew 1:23

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. -Luke 1:34-35

Jesus lived a perfect, holy life

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. -Hebrews 4:15

He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. -1 Peter 2:22

Jesus prophesied about his death and resurrection

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” -Matthew 17:22-23

But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee. -Mark 14:28

Jesus was punished, executed by crucifixion for the sins of His people

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. -Philippians 2:8

by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. -Colossians 2:14

 

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures -1 Corinthians 15:3

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh -Romans 8-3

For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. -Romans 6:10

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. -1 Corinthians 5:7

The blood of Jesus Christ was shed for the forgiveness of sins

How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. - Hebrews 9:14

and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood -Revelation 1:5

After His death, Jesus was buried in a tomb  

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. -Matthew 27:59-60

So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. -John 19:42

And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb  

-Acts 13:29

Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven

And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

-Matthew 28:2-6

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” -Luke 24:1-8

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, the was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” -Acts 1:6-11

No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. -John 3:13

Jesus is Lord

As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),

-Acts 10:36

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 6:23

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.-Romans 10:9

As sinners, where do we start?

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” -Matthew 4:17

The word Jesus said (μετανοεῖτε) is translated "repent". Its definition is to change one's mind or purpose

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

-1 John 1:9 

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

-John 3:3

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live 

-John 11:25

Jesus said in Matthew 6:9-15,

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Baptism

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. -Matthew 28:19-20

Gathering

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. -Hebrews 10:24

The Gospel is the power for salvation

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. -Romans 1:16

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. -Ephesians 2:1

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Roman 6:23

The Gospel is not anything that we can achieve in ourselves. The Gospel is not a "get clean" message like some self help program. Many people hear the Gospel and immediately think that "if I just live a good life and believe that Jesus is lord then I will go to heaven." That kind of thinking (and preaching) turns the Gospel on its head and misses the actual good news. Remember that people are 100% depraved and cannot have a relationship with God without God's sovereign grace. That is, though we do not deserve to be forgiven of our sins, God provides his sovereign forgiveness through the punishment that Jesus suffered for us. That fact should produce real respect and humble trembling in us. It should also produce new sense of discarding our will and seeking God's will. We trust God and His Gospel by faith alone.

Some people try to distort the Gospel. That activity is promoted by evil in the world. It tries to demean God's sovereignty and place people in a less than dead, less than 100% depraved state--that somehow people can pull themselves up from their bootstraps and find God. If that were true, Jesus would not have needed to suffer for us and therefore we mock Him when we compliment and puff up human ability. God provided the Gospel to you when you were still lost in sin, indeed before the foundation of the world He predestined us: 

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. -Ephesians 1:4-6

The Gospel is a free gift from God that only God can give. Only the living God can give life. Once we are born again (given a new life), the actions we take is a result of the power of the Gospel working in us, even as we are now in Christ. It's not the reverse which says "We do holy works to earn God's love and acceptance." Doing good works to earn God's favor is impossible because we are dead in sin (in Adam), the law of God, originally given to Moses, has condemned us in sin and we are unable to obey the law. Going further, the law has no power to help us obey the law. That's why we need Jesus Christ and His Gospel. To reverse that order is to be legalistic, like the Pharisees of Jesus' time. We also see much religious legalism today. When the Gospel is misunderstood and/or misrepresented then people miss the joy and fulfillment of the Gospel. In short, it becomes more about people's worthless/dead achievements and not so much about God's holy eternal achievements.   

Only when we understand and confess that God is completely Holy, man is completely unholy, and that man does not deserve mercy from God, do we begin to see and believe the real need for the Gospel gift. The result of that faith alone in the Gospel is good works in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our subsequent sanctification is through the renewing of our minds as we are being transformed: And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. -2 Corinthians 3:18

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2

Moving Forward

"Regeneration is the work of God the Holy Spirit as He supernaturally and immediately changes the disposition of the soul from spiritual death to spiritual life. Conversion is a result of regeneration. When we are converted, we’re turned around and we move in a different direction." -R.C. Sproul

Justification is defined: the action of declaring or making righteous in the sight of God. If your justification theology is 99% Christ's work plus 1% man's work then you are 100% deceived. We do good works because of the Gospel given to us. We don't do good works to earn the Gospel. Simply said: Jesus Christ did all the work of justification.

"Justification never takes place apart from regeneration which is the inauguration of sanctification."

-Sinclair B. Ferguson

Sanctification is defined: the action or process of being freed from sin or purifiedSanctification is the inseparable result of our justification, we must always be careful not to confuse these aspects of our salvation. Our attempts to be righteous do not obligate God to declare us righteous in His sight and therefore worthy of heaven. Only the perfect righteousness of Christ, imputed to us through faith in Him alone, enables us to stand in God’s presence. While our efforts play a role in sanctification, they play no role in justification (Galatians. 2:15–16).

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling -Philippians 2:12

At first, we hear the Gospel and we are brought to repent and we are born again and are baptized. What are we to do for the rest of lives? We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We are being transformed, sanctified by the Gospel working in our lives and we become witnesses of the Gospel.

God brings others to the Gospel in that beautiful process. We are stones in the building of God's kingdom, Jesus Christ is the cornerstone. Those of us in Christ partake in the building. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. -Ephesians 2:19-22

What a wonderful and joyful Gospel we have been given! We are to never lose sight of the Gospel. In it we daily work out our salvation. The Holy Spirit empowers us as we embark on the journey. And we are unified with those near us who have also received the free gift of the Gospel. Together we share the gifts given to us and build each other up.

The Lord Jesus Christ said:

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

-Matthew 11:28-30

WORD