“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.”

– 1 Corinthians 15:2

The Gospel of Jesus ChristWhat is the Gospel? Most of us have a general idea of what the gospel is, but for the most part, the term “gospel” has various meanings. In a general sense, the gospel is the whole Bible. Yet our understanding would not be complete if we left it there. The Greek origin of the word gospel is euangelion, which means “good news.” Well, what good news? The answer will tell us, from the Christian perspective, exactly what the gospel is and why it’s important.

Although many people read the gospel, interpretations of it vary. Some look to the gospel in hopes of attaining God’s favor in financial or material prosperity. Others look for political implementation of God’s laws. Others emphasize following Christ, seeking his kingdom, and pursuing holiness. Some of these themes are biblical, but none of them tell us what the gospel is.

Fortunately, we are not left to cipher out the meaning of the gospel; the Bible clearly tells us what the gospel is. The Apostle Paul explains:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: 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 the good news from God that, first, “Christ died for our sins.” God created Adam without sin, but Adam rebelled brought the entire human race down with him into ruin. But God loved humankind so much that he sent a better Adam (John 3:16) who lived the perfect life that Adam failed to live, and who died the guilty death that we don’t want to die. As in one man the entire human race fell, so also in one man the entire human race can be saved. This man, the word made flesh, atoned for our sins on the cross, absorbing all the wrath of God against his people. In doing so he left no debt unpaid, saying at the end, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

The Gospel and the CrossSecond, the good news is “he was buried,” emphasizing that the suffering and death of Jesus was utterly real and final. There was no need for the Roman soldiers to break his legs to hasten his death. Instead, they stabbed him with a spear. From the wound came blood and water (John 19:34), a result of the hypovolemic shock he sustained after being flogged. His body was wrapped up and put in a tomb sealed by a large stone.

Finally, the good news is “he was raised on the third day” in the same physical body in which he died. In this resurrected physical body he appeared to more than five hundred people on twelve different occasions over a forty day period (Acts 1:3). On four occasions he was touched or consented to be touched. Four times he ate food with his disciples. Four times they saw his empty tomb, and twice he showed his crucifixion scars. He essentially exhausted the ways it is possible to prove that he rose from the grave. No event in the ancient world has more eyewitness verification than does the resurrection of Jesus.

This is the gospel: that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day. Whatever else may be said only tells us more about the mighty work of Jesus Christ.

21 comments

  1. Kevin DeFranco says:

    The Word tells us that ‘on The Sacrificial Lamb, not a bone will be broken.” Thank you Lewis for sharing your post. The Gospels are good news because it is testament of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection; and The hope of Glory.

  2. Chris Coulson says:

    I’ve always been taught since I was little that the gospel was the good news of Christ and what He did for us by coming to this earth and living a sinless life then going to the cross. By doing so He gave us the way of salvation if we accept Him and believe and trust in Him.

  3. heather says:

    Thank you for providing such a clear explanation of the gospel and for reminding me that I am saved through Christ.

  4. marysbirdworld says:

    its refreshing to be back on line with people who understand about the scriptures. I was just dealing with some very ignorant people with regards to morals and the scriptures. they were ulc people but apparently they wanted to be opportunistic ministers. and have no intentions to teach faith or truths.

    1. Gary says:

      So, another words you’re saying that all ulc ministers are not interested in ‘truth’ and ‘faith’ ? What a shame to generalize all ulc ministers. I, for one adamantly believe in the Gospel, that Jesus died for my sins and through my ‘faith’ and ‘deeds’ will join Him in Heaven when I die…THAT is what I try to teach. I suggest you read Matt 7 !!

  5. Brother John says:

    Although this is a more suitable post for you and marybird, Kevin, it doesn’t look like many others want to trade bible quotes with you. You’re in good company here, mary.

  6. Bill Abercrombie says:

    The gospel no doubt is the teaching of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus but it is also something that is to be obeyed as the following scriptures teach.
    2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
    2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
    2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
    The scriptures leave us no doubt as to how the gospel is to be obeyed. Rom 6 shows that baptism is a form of the gospel
    Bill

  7. Bill Abercrombieh says:

    I notice you did not print my reply concerning the gospel, evidently afraid of your readers learning the truth
    Bill Abercrombie

    1. William says:

      I’m here huckleberry. Remember that all ULC ministers are not Christian.
      So:
      know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. Gal 2:16

      Rev. Will Jacoby
      😊

  8. Bill Abercrombie says:

    sorry, I see my comment is now on line

  9. Bill Abercrombie says:

    As Christians we are all the Children of God, Children in the universe that God made.
    I don’t believe the statement that we are Children of the universe is a true statement. not found in the scriptures

    1. Brother John says:

      I assume you’re speaking of the ULC credo… “We are all children of the same universe”. Bill. Two questions…. One, if you don’t agree with this credo, why are you affiliated with the ULC (or if you’re not, why are you commenting on the site?) And more importantly, Two, the inference that only statements that are “in the scriptures” are true is beyond preposterous.

      In a similar vein, here are a couple of saying that are commonly attributed to the Bible…..

      “This too shall pass”
      Is this something God said to Moses as he led the Hebrew people out of Egypt? Nope. It’s a proverb — and not a proverb from the Bible. Instead, the phrase is said to have its roots in Sufism but also has been linked, wrongly, to King Solomon.

      “Love the sinner, hate the sin”
      A general attitude professed by Christians, but not actually a passage of Scripture. The phrase, attributed to Saint Augustine (“with love for mankind and hatred of sins”), was also adopted by Mohandas Gandhi in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth as “hate the sin and not the sinner.”

  10. REVEREND ARMANDO GARCIA says:

    I am REV. Armando Garcia ULCM I would like to publish your comment in my website and translated into Spanish. Please send me an email: alphayomega.wwjd@gmail.com

    1. REV Philippe Marc Laurent says:

      I am REV Philippe Marc LAURENT, I speack spanish . If you want I can translate into spanish

  11. Howard masters says:

    I enjoy all these comments very much all are well explained God bless you all Rev. Masters

  12. Rev. John Preshur says:

    Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are saved with his blood and faith in him .Amen

  13. Dan Moss says:

    The Gospel in one word is LOVE.

  14. Ed masters says:

    Thanks all these comments are truely inspiring please send more i enjoy reading the many different ideas that come from just plain folk like me. Thanks again all. Rev. Ed Masters mich.

  15. Brother John says:

    As I understand it, the Gospels are generally considered to be the first four books of the New Testament that chronicle the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. They are the heart of Christianity and set it apart from all other religions with the promise of the cleansing of all sins and eternal Heaven for those who accept Jesus as their saviour. Dr. Bart Ehrman is one of the world’s most respected New Testament scholars and has spend over 30 years of research and study of existing Greek manuscripts, which he can read and are available to him because of his credentials. Many of his lectures and debates are accessible through the internet. Here is one of them, with his discussion of the Gospels beginning at 6:15 if you want to scroll ahead and begin there.

    This is not mere opinion as we often read in these comments. Dr. Ehrman’s lectures should be viewed by everyone claiming to be a Christian, and particularly by those who claim that the Bible is accurate and without errors and contradictions.

  16. nonsupernaturalist says:

    Two of the biggest assumptions that many Christians make regarding the truth claims of Christianity is that, one, eyewitnesses wrote the four gospels. The problem is, however, that the majority of scholars today do not believe this is true. The second big assumption many Christians make is that it would have been impossible for whoever wrote these four books to have invented details in their books, especially in regards to the Empty Tomb and the Resurrection appearances, due to the fact that eyewitnesses to these events would have still been alive when the gospels were written and distributed.

    But consider this, dear Reader: Most scholars date the writing of the first gospel, Mark, as circa 70 AD. Who of the eyewitnesses to the death of Jesus and the alleged events after his death were still alive in 70 AD? That is four decades after Jesus’ death. During that time period, tens of thousands of people living in Palestine were killed in the Jewish-Roman wars of the mid and late 60’s, culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem.

    How do we know that any eyewitness to the death of Jesus in circa 30 AD was still alive when the first gospel was written and distributed in circa 70 AD? How do we know that any eyewitness to the death of Jesus ever had the opportunity to read the Gospel of Mark and proof read it for accuracy?

    I challenge Christians to list the name of even ONE eyewitness to the death of Jesus who was still alive in 70 AD along with the evidence to support your claim.

    If you can’t list any names, dear Christian, how can you be sure that details such as the Empty Tomb, the detailed resurrection appearances, and the Ascension ever really occurred? How can you be sure that these details were not simply theological hyperbole…or…the exaggerations and embellishments of superstitious, first century, mostly uneducated people, who had retold these stories thousands of times, between thousands of people, from one language to another, from one country to another, over a period of many decades?

  17. Gary says:

    Newsflash: The majority of New Testament scholars no longer believe that eyewitnesses wrote the Gospels. It’s not just my opinion, my Christian friends, it is the consensus of scholars.

    https://lutherwasnotbornagaincom.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/majority-of-scholars-agree-the-gospels-were-not-written-by-eyewitnesses/

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