The Gospel

What is the “Gospel”? I’m glad you asked!

The Gospel, comes from the word euaggelion (oo-ang-el-eon) in the Greek (looks like this: εὐαγγέλιον), literally means “good message” or “good news” as used in the New Testament of the Bible. The English word “gospel” is of Anglo-Saxon origin resulting from the spread of Christianity and has the meanings of: “God’s spell” or “word of God” or “good word from God”. So what is this “good news”? Well, to be more specific it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ or Gospel with a capital “G”! I’m going to let God’s Word do what it does best, speak for itself:

Romans 1:16-23

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

What then is this “ungodliness” and “sin” that is spoken of above? This is the “heart” of the matter because the “good news” doesn’t make sense apart from a correct understanding of the bad news or more directly a conviction of it! And it all starts with the heart. We must first understand and believe that the heart of man is as the prophet Jeremiah states in Jeremiah 17:9-10:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

God knows and searches the heart and tests the mind with complete insight. Our own conscience also testifies to this fact as the word “conscience” means “with knowledge.” If you doubt this fact perhaps a quick test is in order? Please consider these questions and answer them for yourself:

  • How many lies have you told in your life? What do you call someone who tells lies? Be honest now, don’t lie!

  • Have you ever taken something that doesn’t belong to you? The value is of no consequence. What do you call someone who steals?

  • Have you ever used God’s name (God or Jesus Christ) in vain, that is, as an expletive to express despair, disdain or disgust (like OMG)? This is called blasphemy! To use as a casual phrase or even curse word the holy name of God or Jesus, who gave you life, breath, food, clothing and all you hold dear!

  • Have you always obeyed your parents without fail? What would your mother say?

  • Have you committed murder? You may not have physically killed someone but in Matthew 5: 21-22, Jesus said, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”

  • Have you ever looked at someone with lust? In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

So how did you do? I’m sure you are thinking that you are after all “just human” or “not perfect” right? That is exactly right and then you, like me, are a lying, thieving, blasphemous, disobedient, adulterer at heart. And God tells us in His Word that you must face His flawless judgment at the end of your life. YOU have committed crimes against a holy and eternal judge who must proclaim a righteous and eternal judgment that requires your life and an eternal sentence of punishment. Your appropriate jail cell is Hell.

Psalm 1:5-6

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous:
but the way of the ungodly shall perish

That is not good news, this truly is the bad news and what the Bible means when it addresses “ungodliness” and “sin”.

This line of questioning may seem like it sets up an impossible standard and in fact it does for every sinful human who has ever lived. This standard of perfection helps us understand God’s holiness and it comes directly from what is commonly called the Ten Commandments or decalogue (meaning 10 words) found in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 6:7-21. They are NOT ten suggestions or just subjective ideals; they are a universal objective standard as we all know in our conscience or “with knowledge” that it is wrong to lie, to steal, to dishonor our Creator, to dishonor our parents, to murder, and to commit adultery. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out!

As I said above; the 10 Commandments reveal the perfect or complete standard of God, found in His Law. The word “sin” in both Hebrew and Greek (the original languages of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible) literally means “to miss the mark” or “go wrong”. We have all missed the mark of God’s standard revealed in His law and are in violation that law which proclaims our guilt before the Judge of the earth.

Revelation 20:11-15

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:and another book was opened, which is the book of life:and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

If this doesn’t scare some sense into you it should! The evidence is incontrovertible that you are guilty of breaking God’s perfect law and you will be properly judged according to your works. Guilty! When we violate any law we are punished for violating that law without consideration for all of the “good” things we may have done. A murderer is sentenced because he has committed murder and without regard to whether he may have helped an old lady across the street or given food to a hungry person or fetched a kitten from a tree. We are judged according to our crime and our crime against an holy and infinite God requires an infinite punishment. Hence a place of punishment called Hell or the lake of fire. Please carefully consider your eternal fate.

But wait! There is GOOD NEWS remember?

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The works of our sin nature earns our wage of death. This is ultimately why people die as God told our first father, Adam, that if he disobeyed the single command to not eat “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” that: “thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) Just one command and Adam still sinned. And because we all have inherited Adam’s sinful nature; so do we! But there is one who did not sin, ever…

Romans 3:24-26

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Justified means “declared not guilty”! You can be forgiven all your sins and declared not guilty because of the sacrifice of a second kind of Adam, but a sinless Adam who gives us his righteousness because of his sacrifice on your behalf.

Romans 10:8-10

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 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.

John 3:16-17

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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

So what must you do to be “saved” or to be forgiven your sins and to inherent eternal life?

You must be born again, or born from above!

John 3:3

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.

If you are not born again I pray you will do as Scripture says, confess your sin, repent of your sin and trust Jesus alone and accept God’s gift of salvation:

Mark 1:14-15

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand:repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Repent! That is change your mind about your sin, reject it, turn away from it! Believe or trust that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection have made atonement with God on your behalf.

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.

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