We spend a lot of time discussing false gospels, false teachers, false prophets, and false doctrines, but the easiest way to tell the false from the true is to take time to discuss the TRUE. So, before I continue forward, let’s take a moment to go over the Gospel.
What is the Gospel?
The first sermon from Jesus is for us to BELIEVE it: “15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” – Mark 1:15
We are told to be willing to give up everything for it: “35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” – Mark 8:35
We are to spread it worldwide while we are persecuted: “10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.” – Mark 13:10
We are told of its importance: “16 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.” – Rom 1:16
There is only one true Gospel: “6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” – Gal 1:6-9
Part of our armor requires we be ready to deliver the Gospel: “15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” – Eph 6:15
The Gospel is NECESSARY: “7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” – Isa 52:7
“14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” – Rom 10:14-16
What is the Gospel? The world needs to know, and we need to be sure we’re believing and teaching the correct one.
Before you read on, think about the question. If your co-worker asked you to tell her the Gospel, could you? Would you feel comfortable talking about it? Do you feel like you can answer the question?
We don’t have to complicate the Gospel by trying to gather as much educational, historical, and philosophical information as possible before talking about it. It doesn’t require formal education to be understood.
“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:” – 1 Cor 15:1-4
The Gospel is “good news.” Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, Who was God incarnate and the promised Redeemer, fulfilled prophesied Scriptures completely. He bore our sins to redeem us to God, died, was buried, rose from the grave, and has graciously extended us eternal life though we are deserving of death and hell. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Any Jesus other than the Jesus described in the Bible is a false god. Any gospel that teaches another way to God or a works-based righteousness is a gospel that can’t save. The only things we have to “do” to be saved is repent and believe what Jesus said. We are born into sin, and our sin separated us from God. Our sin is worthy of hell. Jesus sacrificed Himself in our place by taking on the wrath of God, the Father, in order to reconcile us to the Father.
For those, like myself, that like to hear, read, & see it explained multiple ways, here are some resources to help us get more comfortable with this question and how to answer it.
What is the Gospel? – Alan Cairns – video overview/summary in under 6 minutes – http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopupvideo.asp?SID=1125082127473
What G-O-S-P-E-L did Paul Preach? The Gospel of Jesus Christ – Sean E. Harris – video: The Who, what, when, where, why, & how to understand and explain the Gospel – http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopupvideo.asp?SID=115111244210
What is the Gospel? – Voddie Baucham – Answers what it is NOT and expands on how we’ve come to view the Gospel. – http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=42511113392