What Is The Gospel? – Part 1

I am starting a new series called “What Is The Gospel?” I spent all day last Friday writing a paper about it. It turned into 22 pages! I will be posting it in parts on here, and at the end will upload a pdf version of the paper with sources if you want it. Comments are always appreciated. Part 1 below:

All of the Bible verses that I use are from the ESV Bible unless otherwise noted.

1. Introduction

At first, this may seem like a hard question, based on all of the preaching and messages that are available today. In all actuality however, it is a real simple answer. The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). However, the answer to the question has to go beyond that. The gospel is not only that Jesus came, but that He died to take away our sins, and not only did He die to take away our sins, but He was resurrected from the dead. The gospel was not a work of Jesus, however. It was a work of God through the Son Jesus Christ.

Let me try to give a summary of the gospel as I see it.

The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ was sent by God into the world to save sinners from eternal damnation. Jesus Christ, a perfect and righteous man who never committed a sin, took the sins of the world upon his back and was crucified on a cross. He was raised from the dead to forever reign in glory as our Lord, that whoever believes in Him and repents of their sins will be saved. The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).

There are many ways that I could go from here. I am going to break down the gospel in its entire context, and try to explain more about what it is, and also list the opinions of some men much smarter than myself.

2. The Gospel – The Meaning of the Term

The term gospel is found ninety-six times in the ESV Bible. Gospel is a term from the Old English “Godspel” meaning good tidings or good news. Gospel is a translation from the Greek noun “euangelion” (eu = good, angelion = message), and also from the verb “euangelizo” meaning “to bring or announce good news.” In my opinion, the fact that it is used almost one hundred times in the ESV is a testament of its importance. The gospel is the central Christian message. It cannot be built upon and it cannot be taken away from. If it is, then it is no longer the good news.

Other Parts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

– Adam Smith

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3 thoughts on “What Is The Gospel? – Part 1

  1. Greetings Brother Adam. It is good to have you back from your studies. Hope all was well.
    If there were ever a day in which we need a clear understanding of what is the true gospel and its unadulterated teaching it is today. It appears that the Christian arena is being bombarded with
    ‘another gospel’ ‘another Jesus” and ‘another spirit’.

    I will continue to read as you post.
    Peace in Yeshua

  2. Larry says:

    Hello Brother Adam —

    Have you stopped to notice the disjunction in your paragraph defining the gospel above: “whoever believes in Him and repents of their sins will be saved. The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes….”, citing Rm 1:16 of course. This touches on the crux of the Reformation, the “sola fide,” through faith alone, the dispute between the non-Reformation view that salvation is not through faith alone, but also by works (trying to make our place in heaven dependent a lifetime of repentance from sin, which includes the doing of good).

    It is incontrovertible that “repents of their sins” does not thereby become someone who does nothing at all, but someone who does good. If I said I’ve repented of my sins, but never did anything good subsequently, how could it be that I truly am repenting of my sins.

    It is commonly said that repenting of sins entails the doing of good, but itself is not the same as the doing of good. I would say that is true of repenting itself. However, repenting “of sins” addresses sins as such. For example, if I am angry with my sister, and I repent of my sin of anger with my sister, I haven’t finished repenting of that sin if I merely avoid her for a year.

    The 95 Theses (actually, number 1 by itself) brings out the fact that repentance is a lifetime activity. Our whole lives must go on with the work of repentance, which involves how we deal with sin, with the Lord, with others. Repentance touches all those things.

    That brings up another reason for the sola fide. When it comes to believing the gospel, if no one believed the gospel without repenting of all their sins, then no one (since we can’t even ennumerate them) during their lifetime could ever believe the gospel. That’s why the Lord distinguished them in Mark 1: repent, and believe the gospel.

  3. Adam Smith says:

    Hi Larry,

    I am not sure that we have a different viewpoint here. I think we are on the same page. Repentance is a lifetime activity. The proof that I am a Christian is not that I repented once, but that I am continuing to repent today. The fact that I am a Christian doesn’t mean that I will never sin again, it means that when I sin, I do not stay in that sin lifestyle, I recognize it for what it is, and repent of it.

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