For the majority of my life I thought the gospel was a genre of music. I imagine I am not the only one who thought this at some point in their life. While it is true there is a genre of music called gospel, the gospel is so much more! But for the sake of this article, I will attempt to quickly explain the greatest message of all time, so buckle up and bear with me!
Another common definition I have heard is that it is the story of the cross. While the cross was a pivotal part of the gospel, there is more to the story. The gospel in Greek is εὐαγγέλιον which translates to “the good news”.
God’s Message of Good News
The good news includes the promise and plan of God for salvation, but ultimately it is about the person of Jesus. The gospel is God’s message of good news concerning His Son Jesus: who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, what He will do, and how we can join Him in His work. Let’s explore these points more carefully:
- Who is Jesus? There are many titles that describe Jesus, but I will refer to one that is not mentioned too often. The name Jesus literally means “God saves!” Pretty cool, right? Even as Jesus walked the earth, He would not let His followers draw a conclusion about who He was based on someone else’s opinion. Jesus asked His followers, “Who do people say that I am?” After they gave four or five different responses, He asked them directly, “But who do you say that I am?” This is one of the most important questions of all time: “Who do you say that I am?”
- What has Jesus done? “Jesus willingly departed from heaven to bring us back to God. The sinless Lamb of God was sacrificed for the sins of the world, but after three days, God raised Him from the dead and made Him both Lord and Christ!” (Acts 2:36). Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth. He is the good news and He gave Himself to us to share with the world. Jesus spent the majority of His time training a few men and women so that they would carry out His mission long after His departure.
- What is Jesus doing? Not only did Jesus save humanity but He is at the right hand of the Father right now representing us! Through the good news, Jesus is gathering together a people for His own possession to be with Him forever.
- What will Jesus do? Jesus will return and restore Creation back to what God always intended. He will rule over heaven and earth along with His bride, the church. Jesus will finally put an end to death, the devil, and suffering for all time.
- How can we join Jesus in His work? Of course, there has to be bad news, right? The truth is that we have all gone astray and missed God’s mark. We have sinned and must repent by turning away from our sins and turning back to God. Before Jesus was crucified, there was a man named Barabbas who was sentenced to death. There was a tradition where the Roman governor would release one prisoner during the festival of Passover. Barabbas, who was a murderer and a rebel, was chosen to be released at the expense of Jesus. This seemed like an unjust tragedy! But for us, it was a shadow story for all people! Jesus took our place, and although we did not deserve it, He died for us to bridge the gap between God and people.
My life was changed when I started to understand what the gospel really meant. Jesus was asking me that same question he had asked His first followers: “Lakeith, who do you say that I am?” Finding the answer to that question has transformed my life in so many ways. It became the new gospel for me.
We all can join Jesus in His work by receiving this good news and devoting our lives to sharing it with others. I promise it is worth it!