What is the Gospel

  • southvalley
  • September 16, 2011

The word gospel simply means “good news.” The central message of the Bible is the good news about the person and work of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:1–4, Paul provides the most succinct summary of the gospel: “Now let me remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is built on this wonderful message. And it is this Good News that saves you if you firmly believe it—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me—that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said.” (NLT)

Religion has always been the greatest opponent to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Religion is about man’s intense investigation for the divine. The gospel is God’s revelation about His search for man.

Religion is about human achievement. The gospel is about divine accomplishment.

Religion says that if we obey God He will love us. The gospel says that it is because God has loved us through Jesus that we can obey.

Religion says that the world is filled with good people and bad people. The gospel says that the world is filled with bad people who are either repentant or unrepentant.

Religion says that you should trust in what you do as a good moral person. The gospel says that you should trust in the perfect sinless life of Jesus because He alone is the only good and truly moral person who will ever live.

Religion seeks to get good things from God. The gospel seeks not the gifts God gives, but rather God who is the gift.

Religion is about my doing. The gospel is about what God has done and what He enables me to be.

Religion sees trials and adversity in life as punishment from God. The gospel sees hardship in life as a purifying reminder of Jesus’ sufferings and is used by the love of God to make us more like Jesus.

Religion focuses on me. The gospel is about the centrality of Jesus.

Religion breeds uncertainty about my standing before God because I never know if I have done enough to please God or if what I have done is good enough. The gospel leads to a certainty about my standing before God because of the finished work of Jesus on my behalf on the cross.

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