The gospel is the good news concerning the effects of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that provides full and free redemption from the power and penalty of sin, all according to the grace of God alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. It is good news concerning our eternal life, our salvation. It is also good news for our life as we live it out on earth.
The word “gospel” means “good news”. To understand how good this news really is, let’s first consider the bad news. The bad news is that all men, and women, are sinners and headed for an eternity of punishment. This is due to the fall of man.
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. Because Adam was appointed as the Federal Head of man, when he and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, their sin was imputed to all who were born after them. God then gave us His holy laws to follow as summarized in The Ten Commandments. These laws were given to man to teach us God’s ways and show us our sin. They were also for our benefit instructing us on what works best for us and to give us instructions on how to live a God-glorifying life that is pleasing to God. Since none of us has or can live up to these commandments due to our fallen natures, we all deserve punishment which means without God interveneing, we are doomed to an eternity in hell, separated from the presence of God forever.
However, the good news of the gospel is that God in His goodness and mercy towards us, sent His Son into the world to take on flesh and live as a man to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Jesus Christ is referred to as the second Adam. Man fell and it required a man to redeem us. Jesus led that perfect life and fulfilled the law for us. He took our place on the cross, dying for our sins. But that is not all. Just as Adam's sin was imputed to us, Christ's righteousness was imputed to those who receive Him as their Savior and Lord. He is also fully God and therefore the only one who possessed a life of infinite value. To pay the penalty for so many and to pay it forever once and for all required could only be paid by the giving of the life of God. The Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death, thus, this fully God, fully man died as a substitute for those who accept His death as payment for their sin. It was a horrible death but necessary if we were to be redeemed. It is a free gift to us (Ephesians 2:7-9).
Death could not hold Jesus because He was and is fully God. He rose after three days and was seen by over five hundred people of whom consisted of not only His followers, but also of those who had not previously been associated with His ministry. Forty days later He ascended to Heaven. He rules and reigns from there until He comes again to judge the world.
Those who receive Christ, are recipients of this “good news” (Romans 10:9-10). The penalty for their sin, past-present-future, has been paid in full by the grace of God,. Their sin was judged in Christ, therefore, upon Christ's return, they will not be judged according to their sin. However, they will be judged according to their works in regards to the good they have done by God's hand at work through them. They are empowered to conquer sin, and live for Christ as Christ's presence lives and dwells in them in the person of the Holy Spirit. They are continually changing into the image of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). This is indeed “good news!"
MORE GOOD NEWS FOR THIS LIFE IN THE HERE AND NOW: As a result of the Fall, God told Eve that man would now rule over her. He also announced a curse on the ground that would result in poverty and require man to live by the sweat of his brow - labor laboriously. The Garden abounding with God's blessings was no longer in their reach.Through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, however, the way has been opened not only to return to God's original desire for His relationship with humans, but also for His original design for male and female relationships, and all other relationships within the body of Christ. This design, found in Genesis, is one of equality in mutuality versus the one found in the world where men rule over women, higher social classes rule over those who have a lesser standing, and race is pitted against race. In the Kingdom of God race, social status, and gender should not exist and do not exist where those who understand the fullness of Christ's work on the cross, and appropriate it in their fellowships and lives. The Apostle Paul put it this way in Galatians 3:28: There is no longer Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male and female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus." To gain a fuller understanding of this new paradigm for New Testament relationships, click here. Also because of the blood that continues to cleanse those who accept the work of Christ on the cross on their behalf, we are able to once again receive the abundant blessings of God and walk in His favor.