What is the Gospel?
Updated: May 30, 2022
The Greek Word "Gospel" translates as "Good News."
The content addressed in this blog includes:
The Gospel in Summary
What is the Good News of the Gospel?
The Good News is that we have a perfect, just and holy God. God is the creator of the earth and everything in it. He created man and woman in His own image to enjoy a relationship with Him. Human's sin, however, led to a separation between us and our perfect God who is so holy that He cannot have anything to do with sin. He loved us so much though, that He provided a way for us to be made new and reconciled to Him for eternity through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Not by anything we have done but by the finished work of Christ on the cross, we receive salvation, are restored into a right relationship with God, and are freed from the bondage of sin. We are not righteous in and of ourselves, but Christ satisfied the wrath of God that we deserve, paying the debt of all our sins, and in return credited His righteousness to us. Christ paid the payment in full for our sins, therefore there is nothing we can do to add to it. By accepting this free gift; believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, repenting from our sins and turning to Him in faith, we will have eternal life!
All other worldviews hold a works based system in order to be saved. The Bible makes it clear though, that we cannot save ourselves. Christ, and Christ alone is the answer.
Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (ESV)
Below, we’ll unpack the gospel further, and then provide several Bible verses you can check out under each point. We tried to include lots of Scripture because reading what the Bible itself says is the best way to understand the Gospel and why it is such great news!
The Gospel Broken Down Further into 4 Main Points
In the book, What Is the Gospel? (Reference 1 below), Greg Gilbert summarizes the Gospel in four points:
God. Man. Christ. Response.
The full Gospel includes: God the Righteous Creator, Man the Sinner, Christ Jesus the Savior, and a required Response from man of faith and repentance. 1. GOD
The Bible tells us that God is the holy and righteous Creator; perfectly loving, merciful, just and without sin. In His absolute purity, He cannot have anything to do with evil. He is the judge of sin, and just as in our court system today, a judge is only just if they deal accurately with a crime committed in order to make right what was wrong. Therefore, God cannot ignore or overlook any transgression/sin, yet He is full of compassion and grace, and desires to be in a loving relationship with His people.
Deuteronomy 32:4: God is, “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” (ESV) Genesis 1:1 “God created the heavens and the earth.”(ESV) Habakkuk 1:13 “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (NIV) Exodus 34:6-7 “the Lord God, compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in faithfulness and truth; who keeps faithfulness for thousands, who forgives wrongdoing, violation of His Law, and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” (NASB) Psalm 11:7 “For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will see His face.”(NASB) Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.(NASB) Isaiah 61:8 “For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong” (ESV) Isaiah 33:22 “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; He will save us.” Psalm 33:5 “He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” (NASB) 1 John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God” (ESV)
The Bible makes known that God created man and woman in His image, to love Him, glorify Him and enjoy Him and His creation. God gave them a purpose and responsibility to have dominion over the earth and it’s creatures, but they were to remember that while they were given dominion over the world, they were subject to God and He alone had ultimate authority. Laws/commandments were given by God that would protect His people and bring order, life and blessings, and He made known that not keeping the laws would lead to death.
God is ultimately sovereign over all, yet gave humans free will, and in that they did not choose to listen to the authority of the Lord. They saw what the Lord said not to eat, (the fruit of the tree that was in the middle of the garden) and ate it. The Lord said death would come if they ate it, but being deceived by its beauty, they took and ate of it. As a result sin entered the world, bringing separation between a perfect God and a fallen people.
Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (ESV) Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (ESV) Genesis 2:15-17 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (ESV) Genesis 3:6-7 “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened”(ESV) Deuteronomy 30:16-20 “If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I will declare to you today, that you shall surely perish"..."I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life"…"obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days…” (ESV) Deuteronomy 6:5 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”(ESV) Isaiah 59:2 “but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”(ESV) Romans 3: 23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”(ESV) Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…”(ESV) Ecclesiastes 7:20 “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”(ESV) Revelation 4: 11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (ESV)
God created us to have relationship with Him, but no matter how hard we try, we find we are unable to perfectly keep to God’s law. We fall short and our sins separate us from our pure God who cannot look upon our iniquities.
But God loved us so much that He made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. How? By sending His one and only Son, Jesus Christ; fully God and fully man, to save us once and for all from the just penalty of our sins in order that we may stand innocent and free in front of our holy and just God (Hebrews 10:10).
A good way to understand the importance of having a just God, is by thinking of how our court system works today. When a crime has been committed, the criminal is required to pay the penalty for their crime in order to satisfy justice. To let a criminal go, would not be just. In the same way, our God requires a payment to be made for sins in order that justice be fulfilled.
Before Jesus came, under the old law, sacrificial payments for sins were made by God’s people in order to be made right before Him (read Leviticus 4:1-35). Both during Passover (Exodus 12:5-7: the time in which God’s people, the Israelites, were delivered from slavery to the Egyptians), and also annually on Yom Kippur (Leviticus 1:2-4: Day of Atonement); a spotless lamp or bull was sacrificed to spare God’s people from His judgment and to pay the annual payment for their sins.
This idea that the payment of sins could be paid by the death of another is called penal substitution, and this was the foundation of all sacrifices of the Old Testament, before Christ.
-Penal: “relating to punishment for offenses” -Substitution: “the act of a person taking the place of another”
The Old Testament, however, was showered with promises that God would one day provide a sacrifice once and for all, made by a suffering servant; the perfect Lamb of God (Read Isaiah 53). Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of that promise, which we read about in the New Testament. Jesus was fully God and fully man, which allowed Him and Him alone to satisfy the just wrath of God.
In Christ, the payment has been made in full for our sins, and now we are freed from the law and reconciled to our perfect God. Through His life, death and resurrection we have salvation unto life, and by His blood, God looks on us and no longer sees our guilt, but the righteousness of Christ!
Through Christ, we can live eternally with God and we rest on Jesus’s final words:
“IT IS FINISHED!” (John 19:30)
John 1:29: Jesus is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”(ESV) John 10:30: Jesus said, “I and the Father are one”(ESV) John 1:1-4,14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him, was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men"…"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father…” (ESV) 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 “…the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved….. that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”(ESV) 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.(ESV) Genesis 22:8 “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” (ESV) Isaiah 53:5 “he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (ESV) 1 Peter 1:19-21 “but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”(ESV) Hebrews 1:3 “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, He sad down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”(ESV) Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us”(ESV) Colossians 2:13-15 “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”(ESV) John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 10:10: Jesus declared: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”(ESV) 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”(ESV) 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit”(ESV) John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV) Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(ESV) Romans 5:19 “For as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (ESV)
It’s exciting to learn about the love of God revealed through Christ. This gift of salvation is free to us. We can do nothing to earn it, yet, in order for us to possess it, it requires a response. By God’s sovereign leading and equipping we are able to respond to His gift, and do so by accepting it through faith and repentance.
The Bible defines faith as “ the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1)
We must place our faith in the finished work of Christ for Salvation. By turning to Him in faith and repentance (walking away from our sin and turning to God), we will be freed from the bondage of sin and made righteous in His sight. This does not mean that we will suddenly stop sinning, as even Christians are fallen sinners, but a genuinely repentant heart is one that desires to live a life in accordance to the example of Christ and is no longer at peace living in sin because the Holy Spirit of God now lives within them. By accepting Jesus as our Lord, placing our faith in His life, death and resurrection for salvation, and turning to Him in repentance, the payment for our sin will be justified, and will have eternal life!
This is the GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL!
Ephesians 2:1, 4-10 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins" …"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with with he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV) Romans 3:23-27 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”(ESV) Galatians 2:16 “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”(ESV) John 14:26: Jesus said: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (ESV) Galatians 5:17 “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh”(ESV) 2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”(ESV) Acts 11:18 “repentance that leads to life.”(ESV) Acts 26:20 “…repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.”(ESV) Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”(ESV) John 6:44: Jesus said: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”(ESV) 1 John 3:4-7,9-10 ”Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or knows him"…"Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous"…"No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” (ESV) John 6:44: Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”(ESV) Romans 8:29 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…”(ESV) Ephesians 1:4-5 “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…” (ESV)
What Responding to the Gospel Looks Like
As you read about the Good News, is the Holy Spirit drawing you and enabling you to respond to the Gospel in faith and repentance, confessing Jesus as Lord of your life?
If yes, declare to God your need for Him. You can pray a prayer something like this, knowing it’s not the prayer that saves you but rather the finished work of Jesus that saves you:
“Lord God, I realize I am a sinner and cannot save myself. I repent of my sins and know I need your forgiveness. I place my life into your hands, putting my faith in Jesus as my Lord and Savior; knowing you love me so much that you sent your Son to die on the cross for my sins and be raised from the dead. Help me to walk in obedience to you. I love you. Thank you for your love and forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Romans 10: 9-10 “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (ESV)
If God worked in you to respond prayerfully by faith to His Gospel, welcome to the family of God!
Our Inheritance as a Result of New Life in Christ
If, by the grace of God, you’ve made this response to God’s gift of salvation, you have been given New Life in Christ Jesus!
Digging into God’s Word, we see there are several things we inherit in this new life:
1. You are now a new Creation in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV)
2. The Spirit of God dwells within you.
John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak”(ESV) Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.”(ESV) 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (ESV)
3. You are forgiven and freed from your sins.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(ESV) Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (ESV)
4. You will have Eternal Life.
John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life.” (ESV)
5. God loves you fully and nothing can separate you from his love.
Romans 8:39 “nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV)
6. God has given you everything you need for life and godliness.
2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (ESV)
7. You are inherited into the family of God and He called you as His disciple for good works.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”ESV) Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” (ESV)
The first things Jesus said to His disciples after His resurrection was, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20) This verse gives insight into three desire God has for His people, which we can use to apply to our lives.
Make Disciples: As we understand this truth that sets us free, we are called to go and share with others, that they too may find freedom and salvation in Christ.
Romans 10:15 “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (ESV)
Baptism: Jesus also called us unto baptism, which is an act symbolizing Christ's death, burial and resurrection, as well as our death to sin and new life in Christ. By getting baptized, it outwardly reveals the inward change in a believer's life. Baptism does not save us, as nothing we do can add to the finished work of Christ on the cross, yet it is a powerful picture that a believer is now identifying with with Jesus in His life, death and resurrection.
(To read more about baptism, check out the "Sacraments and Ordinances section of “The Biblical Worldview” blog: found in the menu under "Faith Basics")
Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (ESV)
Teaching: In order to teach others about the Good News of Jesus and how to have a relationship with Him, we ourselves must first pursue Him in relationship. The best ways to do that is to seek to know Him through His Word (the Bible), prayer, and fellowship with other believers; getting plugged into a church community. (To learn more about the Bible, you can read the “What is the Bible” blog: found in the menu under "Faith Basics")
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”(ESV) 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing”(ESV) Hebrews 10:25 “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (ESV)
If your received Christ as your Savior today, we would love to connect with you! If you desire, you can email us at:
1. Gilbert, Greg. 2010. What is the Gospel? Wheaton, Illinios. Crossway.
2. Got Questions, What is the doctrine of penal substitution? 2021. https://www.gotquestions.org/penal-substitution.html