What is the Gospel?

The gospel is a message

The gospel is a message of good news

The gospel is the message of good news centered on Jesus Christ


Jesus is both King and Savior of the whole world. By his power, he can defeat the demons in our lives. By his undeserved favor, his grace, he can forgive us of our sins, once and for all. By His love, he can renew our hearts, and change the direction and desires of our lives toward himself, forever.

No matter what your past is, you know that you need this love.  Jesus said:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
— John 3:17-19

If this passage is not enough to convince you, read how “gospel” is defined in Scripture, and ask yourself some questions:

Is the gospel about a King and a kingdom?

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
— Matthew 4:23

Are the facts about Jesus Christ the content of the gospel?

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God…
— Mark 1:1

Since repentance and faith are proper responses to the gospel, they can’t actually be the gospel themselves, right?

…and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.
— Mark 1:15

Is the gospel worth dying for?

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
— Mark 8:35

Is the gospel a verbal message to be proclaimed?

And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.
— Mark 13:10

Is the gospel something that you believe?

And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.”
— Acts 15:7

Does this gospel have something to do with the grace of God?

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
— Acts 20:24

If it is the gospel of God and the gospel of his Son, does this mean that Jesus is God?

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God… For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you
— Romans 1:1, 9

If you believe the Gospel, do you receive salvation?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
— Romans 1:16

Is the gospel a “good” or “glad” message?

And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
— Romans 10:15

Does the gospel have something to do with the cross?

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
— 1 Corinthians 1:17

Does the gospel have to do with Jesus’ death and resurrection, and if you believe it, are you saved?

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 Corinthians 15:1-4

Is there only one gospel, which was preached by Paul and the other original Apostles?

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
— 2 Corinthians 11:4

Is retreating from the first gospel acceptable to Paul?

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel
— Galatians 1:6

Was the original gospel message enough for salvation?

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
— Galatians 1:8

Is it safe to say Paul is passionate about this?

As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
— Galatians 1:9

Is it possible to live in a way that is not consistent with the gospel?

But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
— Galatians 2:14

Was the gospel announced, even in the Old Testament, that people would be made right with God, “justified," through faith?

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
— Galatians 3:8

Is the work of the gospel shared by men and women?

Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
— Philippians 4:3

Is the fact that Jesus is “Savior” essential to the gospel message?

…and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel...
— 2 Timothy 1:10

Does the gospel benefit those who don’t believe it?

For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
— Hebrews 4:2

Can the eternal gospel, which was proclaimed in all the Scriptures above, ever change?

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.
— Revelation 14:6

This wonderful, joyous message that Jesus is King and Jesus is Savior must be responded to somehow. You will either believe these things about Jesus, or you will not. And if you believe, you will raise your open hands to God, letting go of your rebellion against Him, and call upon his name, and He will save you. Ask yourself, “Am I ready to surrender to Jesus, who is God, as my King? Am I ready to trust in Christ alone to forgive and cleanse me, that I might be with God forever?” If you are, tell Him. He’s listening, right now.

If you need Jesus as King to guide and protect you each day, and if you sin every day and need fresh cleansing from a Savior who loves you, then you need the gospel everyday. If you have surrendered to Jesus as King, and trusted Jesus alone as Savior, what are 5 ways to help cultivate this devotion to Jesus?

1. Read God’s Word, the Bible

2. Pray

3. Take the Lord’s Supper as often as you can to remember what Jesus did for you and to meet with Him in a mysterious, yet wonderful way

4. Have fellowship with other believers in a church where this gospel is proclaimed

5. Serve (Making your life all about something other than yourself is wonderfully freeing)