What is the Gospel?
That’s it. That’s the question.
If someone comes up to you right now and asks you to explain the Gospel, can you? Let’s imagine we’re on a subway, and the guy next to you hears you talking and asks what’s the Gospel he keeps hearing people mention? His exit is coming up in three minutes, and this is most likely the only time you’ll ever see him. In a nutshell, how would we answer according to Scripture? There are a few passages that hit at it, but there is one primary one that boils it all down.
(Hint: The passage is found in the NT outside of the Gospels.)
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Honestly, this question stumps many, many people. I believe we’ve complicated it so much with adding information and ideas that we bring in practices and personal preferences as part of the Gospel. We generally know “what” it is, but when people are asked questions differently from the way they’ve been taught, it trips us up. For instance, “What is the Gospel?” tends to get confused with “How can I get to Heaven?” or something similar. The explanations often go together when speaking, but the first is more like a technical matter-of-fact answer while the second is more instruction-like.In regards to a Biblical definition or summary of the Gospel, the closest passage to put it briefly is generally seen in 1 Cor 15:1-4″1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
The Gospel is “good news.” Jesus Christ, the promised Redeemer, fulfilled prophesied Scriptures completely. He bore our sins to redeem us to the Father, died, was buried, rose from the grave, and has graciously extended us eternal life though we are deserving of death and hell.
All Scriptures point to Christ. The promise was given, Redeemer fulfilled His mission, and reconciliation is offered.