The word gospel means good news. So when I refer to the gospel of Jesus Christ I am referring to the good news of Jesus Christ. Basics:
- We have all rebelled against God, the creator of the universe. Because God is good and just he will not let sinful rebellion go on unjustly. Because God also has compassion and love for his creation, his son, Jesus, who is fully God but also wrapped in human flesh freely came to offer himself as the perfect sacrifice of atonement. He died on the cross, absorbing the separation from God we deserve and the wrath of God towards sin we were destined for. God then raised him from the dead giving him victory of death and sin. Salvation and life are found in Jesus by faith in him that his perfect life, death and resurrection satisfied God. Nothing we can do can earn salvation. It is a gift given freely by the grace of God. (Genesis, the Gospels, Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Corinthians, and more).
- When Adam (first created man) rebelled against God it fractured the harmony of the created order and universe. God, loving his creation, is restoring all of creation through Christ that will ultimately culminate in a new heaven and new earth. (Genesis; Romans 8; Revelation)
- God created all the universe perfect and in harmony. (Genesis 1-2)
- Mankind rebelled against it’s Creator fracturing the harmony and peace, creating enmity between God and humanity by choosing to be their own God instead of allowing God to rule and reign. (Genesis 3-11)
- God, being a merciful and loving creator, chose a man named Abram (later changed to Abraham) to be the father of God’s chosen people. One day, in Abraham’s lineage, a savior would be born to bless the nations. (Genesis 12)
- God makes a covenant (promise) to uphold this promise of a people for himself with Isaac and his son Jacob (whom God later renames Israel). (Genesis 25-35)
- God’s people are constantly disobedient to living within his boundaries that were provided to keep them upright and protected from the destruction we bring upon our lives by sin. (Old Testament)
- God establishes a sacrificial system to deal with the sins of the nation of Israel. At different times throughout the year sacrifices were to be made to atone for the sins of individuals and the collective nation. God required unblemished animals for this. Ultimately (as we learn in the New Testament) these sacrifices never atoned for Israel’s sin. They were actually a signpost that was pointing to one perfect sacrifice to come centuries later. A sacrifice not of an animal but of God himself.
- God provides prophets to his people to point them back to Himself. Israel listens for a time to some, others they completely ignore. This brings calamity upon Israel. God raises up pagan nations to conquer Israel and multiple times they are exiled throughout their history. God, always being faithful to his promise despite the unfaithfulness of his people, holds a remnant that still honor and love him. He preserves his people and promises. (Old Testament)
- Jesus comes on the scene in the New Testament. While Jesus has always existed as the “Word of God” he put on flesh and entered the world through the form of a baby. He experienced life like we do. The very creator of oxygen, breathed air like we do. Without diminishing his deity, Jesus was man like us. Thus, he was not a demi-god. He was God in human form. All of the fullness of God dwelled in Him, bodily. (Gospels, specifically John 1, Colossians 2).
- Jesus obeyed the law perfectly, loved God completely, and showed us that he was indeed God in the flesh. He performed signs and miracles to show us what the Kingdom of God was meant to be like before sin entered and what it will be like when it is restored. (the Gospels in the New Testament)
- Jesus, as the predetermined plan of God before the world was created, died on a cross. He absorbed the wrath of God towards all the sin of humanity for all time. He was the perfect sacrifice for a sinful humanity (as alluded to earlier). He has made peace with God by the blood of his cross. (New Testament; Colossians 1)
- God raised Jesus from the dead to claim victory over sin and death. Now, life is available to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus’ completed work we now can have relationship with God. (The Gospels; New Testament)
- Jesus established his bride, those he called and placed his love on before the world began, and he calls his bride “The Church.” The Church is also referred to as the body of Christ. The Church is every child of God since Jesus was raised who are heralding the good news of the Kingdom. The Church is made up of imperfect people who by faith in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice and resurrection are given the Spirit of God and are being made into new creations while being changed into the image of God by one degree at a time to reflect what it is like to live under the good rule and reign of God.
- One day Jesus will return. When he does he will usher in his Kingdom and renew all of broken creation. Believers in Jesus will be a part of helping rule the new creation in peace and justice. Unbelievers (meaning those who did not put their faith in Christ to atone for their sinful rebellion) will be separated from God. Until then, while on earth, an unbeliever has time to respond to the good news of Jesus’ offer of life. Believers, while still on earth, are to be bearers of this good news that we can all be reconciled to God. (New Testament; 2 Corinthians, Revelation, the Gospels).
Example of Bible Passage Explaining the Gospel
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:1-10) For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. (Romans 3:23-28) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)