What is the “Gospel”?
The word gospel means “good news” in the original language of the Bible. When Christians talk about the gospel, they are presenting the good news of how Christ’s death and resurrection reconciles sinners to God. The aim of this article is to provide a full context of the gospel: how a holy God created the world, how the world fell into sin and brokenness, how God offers salvation to people, and how everyone who repents and believes the gospel can be saved.
The heart and soul of the gospel message is summarised in 1 Corinthians 15:1–6 —
 "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, 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:  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep."
So the gospel consists of truly believing the historical facts about Jesus Christ: that he died for our sins, was buried, and raised from the dead. These verses confirm this account that there was more than 500 eye witnesses that saw the risen Lord Jesus Christ, all at one time. To understand the gospel fully, it’s best to understand why the good news is so “good.” And to do that, we need to go back to the beginning.
In the beginning, God created the universe and everything in it. God made the glorious expanse of heaven: the sun, the moon, and galaxies. He made the earth with waters and land fit for flowering plants, towering trees, and food for every creature.
When he finished making the heavens and earth, he populated the waters with fish and sea creatures. He filled the land with deer, dinosaurs, and what the Bible calls “creeping things”—that all produce after their “kind.” After finishing everything else, the Creator crowned his creation by making man and woman in his own image —
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27 KJV )
From those original two people, named Adam and Eve, every other human being on the planet would eventually be born. Their offspring—the children, grandchildren, and so on—would later become the billions of people who populate the earth today. When God completed his works on the sixth day of creation, he proclaimed the world was “very good” —
"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31 KJV)
There was absolutely no disease, death, suffering, or evil in this perfect creation, but that did not last long.
The Bad News, Suffering and The Gospel: The Fall
God placed Adam and Eve into a beautiful and lush garden to enjoy. God provided everything in the garden, and no need was unmet. And being the Creator, he wanted his people to follow his instructions for their own good. After all, he made humans in his own image, and they were not designed to act against his nature. God required holy living from his people because of his character, so God gave Adam and Eve a simple command —
 "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17 KJV)
God commanded one small thing in the midst of the most plentiful garden in a perfect and beautiful world. And the stated consequences for breaking the command were severe: death. The devil, assuming the form of a serpent, the devil tempted the woman, and she gave the man fruit from the forbidden tree to eat —
 "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:1-6 KJV)
Adam and Eve both ate the fruit and became what the Bible calls ‘sinners.’ Sin entered into the world. As a result, people started to experience the curse of suffering, physical and mental health diseases, crime, depravity, and death.
This event is now known as the fall. It placed Adam, Eve, and the rest of creation into corruption and brokenness on a one-way road to destruction —
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12 KJV)
It was this rebellion of the first man, Adam, who was directly given God’s command, that brought death, suffering, and separation from God into this world. The results are all around us. All of Adam’s descendants are sinful from conception and have themselves entered into this rebellion —
"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
(Psalm 51:5 KJV)
Adam and Eve sinned, and their rebellious nature and consequences of their sin passed onto their offspring—all of us. No longer would everyone be able to live in a perfect garden in direct fellowship with God. Instead, sin before the holiness of God caused every person to be condemned and separated from him.
The Bible declares “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Being a ‘good’ person will not cut it. Sin is sin. Every person born into this world, was born with sin. We all have a sin nature, and as a result every one of us is condemned because we too have rebelled against God. Just by being born we are in rebellion. If you’re wondering how you have sinned, here are just a few of God’s commands —
Love God above everything else (Matthew 22:37)
Honor Jesus Christ as your Lord (1 Peter 3:15)
Don’t lie (Leviticus 19:11)
Don’t steal (Exodus 20:15)
Don’t covet (strongly wanting) your neighbor’s possessions (Deuteronomy 5:21)
Love your neighbor as yourself, as you would like to be treated (Mark 12:31)
Committing Adultery, leaving your spouse for another person, committing the act in your mind, or lusting upon after a after man or woman (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:27-28; Matthew 19:9)
Not to murder another person, or even hating another person is murder (Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:21-22; 1 John 3:15)
Every time you break one of God’s commands, you sin. And sin separates you from a holy God. Just as Adam and Eve lost fellowship with God and ultimately died because of their sin, we too will die. We will die physically because of our sin against God working on our bodies, but the eternal consequences of our sin on our souls are also severe. The Bible promises “punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord” to those who do not obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus —
 "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”
(2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 KJV)
Just as those who rebel against God are condemned to die, so also is everyone condemned to eternal death in hell because of sin. Without a savior, all of us would suffer, because everyone is a sinner.
Now is the good news, thankfully, the best part of the story
The Good News of the Gospel: Christ Died for Sinners
The good news is that God has done something about this terrible situation.
Though the world rebelled against its Creator God, he loved the world so much that he refused to leave it as it was. In perhaps the most well-known passage in the Bible, we see hope for a sin-cursed humanity —
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV)
God saw the problem. He felt compassion for people. He acted to save people, in the person of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And Jesus was no ordinary man —
Jesus was God the Son who took on flesh (John 1:14).
Jesus created the world (John 1:3).
Jesus was born to a virgin in Bethlehem of first-century Palestine (Matthew 1:23).
Jesus, though God, took on the practice of a common carpenter (Mark 6:3).
Jesus began his public teaching ministry when he was around 30 years old, teaching and ministering to tens of thousands (Luke 3:23).
Jesus taught with authority—unlike the other teachers at the time (Matthew 7:29).
Jesus performed many miracles (Mark 1:30–31; Luke 5:1–11; John 2:1–11, etc.).
Jesus didn’t sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15).
Jesus died on a Roman cross though declared to be guiltless by the presiding Roman prefect (Matthew 27:50; John 19:30).
Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb (Matthew 27:57–61).
Jesus rose from the dead in a physical body (Matthew 28:5–6; Mark 16:6).
Jesus claimed to be God—because he was (John 1:1; Titus 2:13).
In summary, Jesus Christ the Creator, though totally sinless, suffered, on behalf of mankind, the penalty of mankind’s sin, which is death. He did this to satisfy the righteous demands of the holiness and justice of God. And this sacrificial action resulted in the salvation for all who might repent and believe the good news of the gospel.
The Response of the Gospel: Repent (Make a U-Turn) and Believe
The gospel message is simple in what to do in how to accept the promise of life: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —
 "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."
(1 Timothy 1:15-16 KJV)
Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice. He died on a cross for sins, but on the third day, he rose again, and conquered death. Jesus demonstrated the love of God in that while we were sinners, he died for us —
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 KJV)
This is the message of the gospel.
The response to the gospel message is also simple: repent and believe the gospel. Then, truly, sincerely, and genuinely call upon the name of God Almighty, The Creator, in your OWN words ask: (1) God forgiveness of your sin and how you have lived your life; (2) Admit you are sinner and nobody can save you; (3) Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your life and save from the death penalty of hell; (4) Ask the Lord Jesus to be the Lord and Saviour of your life and the New Life that Jesus Christ offers. Whoever truly believes this message and turns around from their sin (repents) is able to be forgiven of their rebellion against God and be reconciled to him. Believers are no longer condemned to eternal death and hell. Instead, we can now live forever with God in heaven. This is the positive response to the gospel: repentance and belief —
"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21 KJV)
More to the point, repentance is the new attitude a Christian has toward sin. To repent is to turn away from destructive and sinful behavior so you can live a holy life before God. Repentance is the result of God the Holy Spirit convicting you of sin so you can walk before the Lord in obedience—not perfect in this body, but becoming more like Christ as you grow in the faith.
Belief is also more than mental assent. True belief is trusting God to save you from your sins. It’s where you stop trusting in your own good works or goodness to be righteous before God, since no number of good deeds will make you right with a holy God —
 "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." (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
(Ephesians 2:8–9). Instead, believing the gospel that Jesus came to save sinners like us and calling out to him to be saved is what makes us right with God —
 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10 KJV)
The Effects of Believing the Gospel: A New Life in Christ
When a person believes the gospel, a new life begins. The effects of repentance and belief are so radical, Jesus called it being “born again” —
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3 KJV)
A believer in Jesus, also called a Christian, is no longer living the same life as before. They have turned from a sinful and condemned way of life of serving themselves to a holy and hopeful way of life in service to God. In Acts 26:18, the Apostle Paul described the effects of the gospel in something Jesus told him:
"To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." (Acts 26:18 KJV)
The new Christian is no longer living under the curse and bondage of sin. Instead, God the Son has set them free to walk in obedience by the power of God the Holy Spirit and holiness before God the Father. The Christian doesn’t need to fear the just penalty of death and eternal hell —
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17 KJV)
Instead, Jesus has paid the penalty for sins so people can walk with God on earth, trusting him to guide our steps through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and be forever with him in eternity —
"He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Psalm 23:3 KJV)
The Call of the Gospel: Repent and Believe in Christ
Our encouragement to you today: repent and believe the gospel. Turn from your sins and trust completely in the finished work of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. Believe in him for forgiveness. Do not trust in your own righteous works to make you right with God. Instead, believe in Jesus’ effective works and death on the cross for your sins. The Scripture declares —
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." - (John 3:18 KJV)
If you want to know more of what the Bible says about God, believing the gospel, and eternal life, please email me at email@example.com.