What is the gospel? When I ask people that question, I get some interesting answers. Some equate the gospel with a genre of music and certainly the gospel music industry is huge today. Others would say; “The books of the bible are the gospel”, and that’s true, the gospel narratives, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are called the gospels. Others say; “The gospel is the truth.” That too is correct, but we live in a society where truth has become relative to the situation. Others respond with the Gospel is; “The Good News.” Again, that's correct, but just what is the good news of the Gospel?
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 says; “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.”
The Apostle Paul wrote that to a group of Christians living in a pagan city. They had given their lives to God and Jesus was their Lord but they had gotten off track. So, Paul reminded them about the foundation of their faith, the gospel. He said that the gospel he preached to them, was what they embraced. When the gospel message is embraced (believed), that’s the gospel that saves. Saves, from what? We are saved from sin that separates us from God thus the gospel saves us from God’s righteous judgement for sin. So, Paul lays out what the Gospel is all about.
First, the gospel is; “That Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures.” The entire bible, Old and New Testament, speak about God's plan to intervene on behalf of people. When sacrifices couldn’t do it, when good deeds couldn’t remove the barrier of sin, God sent his son.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says; “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
The second thing Paul mentions about the gospel is; that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead, according to the scriptures. This is the only gospel the bible speaks about. All of the law (the commandments), as well as everything the prophets said, told us that God had a plan. The New Testament speaks about that plan, how Christ atoned for sin and proved it by his death and resurrection. The bible speaks of one God with one plan, and Paul reminded the Corinthians that was the gospel they believed.
Have you believed in God's plan? Have you put faith in Jesus? If not, take time to investigate the claims of Jesus, read your bible, go to church, and find out about this gospel. As Romans 1:16 says; “…The gospel…is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.
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