What is the gospel? The gospel is the “good news” from God 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” (1 Cor. 15:1-4). The gospel is not merely about Jesus Christ. He is the gospel!
Why did Jesus come to earth to die? God created Adam, our representative head, without sin. Yet Adam rejected God’s authority and disobeyed. At that point, sin, death, suffering and separation from a holy God entered the world – both spiritual and physical. All of creation was defiled, and man’s sin nature would infect every generation. What a hopeless predicament!
In his mercy, the Father sent the divine Son to earth, to be born of a virgin, to take on a human nature like ours. During his life, Jesus perfectly kept the law that Adam disobeyed. At the appointed time, Jesus willingly bore on the cross God’s wrath for sin – all the sins we have committed and will ever commit, a debt we cannot repay. After three days, God, through the Holy Spirit, triumphantly raised Jesus from the dead!
This is the good news that through Jesus’ sacrifice, we, his children, are reconciled to God, forgiven of our sins, accounted righteous in God’s sight and assured of eternal life in heaven. This salvation is from start to finish a work of the Lord alone, a gift of God and not a result of our good works (Eph. 2:8-9).
How do we respond to such good news? We “confess with our mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead” (Rom. 10:9-10). Out of gratitude for such a great salvation, we simply tell others, “He loved me and gave himself for me, a sinner.”