If you have been to church for any length of time, you have probably heard a Sunday school teacher or Pastor use the word “gospel.” Here at Watersprings Church, we not only use the word all the time, but we teach weekly and preach the Gospel (Gospel doctrine). Seeking to live out the good news brings to us a relational community in Jesus Christ! (Gospel culture). The Gospel is kind of the point of the “New Testament Church” by the way. Let’s start by answering the question, “What is the Gospel?” The word Gospel in an English translation of the Greek word euangélion which in its most general sense, in the New Testament, refers to the word of salvation made available to the world in and through Jesus Christ. (John 3:16-18) Mark starts his Gospel with; “The beginning of the gospel [euangélion] of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1) He is giving a subject and context to this culture-changing news that has come into the world in Jesus Christ. The Latin word for euangélion is “good news” in Evangelium. This is known as a godspell “good tidings” That good news, specifically the wonderful news of the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ (Matt. 11:5, Luke 4:18; Heb.4:2, 6; 1 Pet. 1:12). The Latin word for “good news” sounds like our English word “evangelism.” Evangelism is simply defined as the “spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.” So it seems to me that the Gospel is not just something we know, but good news we share that changes the lives of those around us. You see good news is not good news unless it is proclaimed to others. Paul asks the church in Rome; “How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” (Romans 10:14–15) We are not to just know what the Gospel is, but must proclaim it to world as we go about each and every day.
You and I are not to just know what the Gospel is but we must proclaim it to the world. Why? Because the gospel is not the gospel unless it is proclaimed! Each of us have been commissioned by Jesus to take the glad tidings of His [Jesus] message to everyone everywhere! Jesus said; “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” (Matthew 28:17-20) Now you might be thinking where is the word “Gospel” in those verses? Well, the making of disciples of Jesus is the natural outcome of the proclamation of the Gospel.
How do I put this? There is only one Gospel. Not three. Not two. Just one. Regarding the Gospel of the kingdom he received from Jesus, Paul says; “I marvel (am dumfounded) that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9; 12) Well, that is one “mic drop” moment in the New Testament for Paul. A solid warning! So what is this one Gospel? In its simplest terms, it is God’s grace for the undeserving. It is the power of God unto salvation to anyone who calls upon Jesus by faith. The Gospel is not ever earned, it is received as the gracious gift of God for you and I because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. How do we share it? With our words; “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)