What is the Gospel?Article Written by Pastor John Reuther | September 21, 2016
Gospel means “good news.” Christ came into the world to preach this good news, and when He began His ministry, we read, “Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mark. 1:14, 15).
This early preaching of Christ touches on some of the main truths of the message which we preach today at Covenant. There are four truths here.
The first truth is that Jesus came to fulfill the plan of God at this time of history. God is the Creator of all things and people, and He is the Lord of time and history. He has a plan for history, and Christ is at the center of that plan. This is why the calendar is centered on the coming of Christ into the world and this is A.D. (the year of our Lord).
The second truth is that Jesus brings the kingdom near for us to enter it. At hand means accessible and visible. Now the kingdom of heaven is at hand for us because Jesus shows us what the kingdom of God is like and how we are to enter it. For this reason, He preached and taught in parables.
The third truth from Mark 1:15 is that we are to repent of our sins. The gospel is for sinners, that is, each of us, because we carry in our hearts the corruption and the guilt of sin. And at the same time that we repent, that is, turn from sin with the desire to be free from it, we believe in and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for ours on the cross.
Paul summed up the gospel in many places of the New Testament. Here are two great examples. The first comes from his second letter to the Corinthians:
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:17–19).
Now consider what Paul said to Titus:
“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4–7).
This is the gospel of grace which we believe and preach, and seek, by that same grace, to live together as the people of God in the church of which His Son is the Head.
If you have any questions about the gospel or about your relationship with God, please contact me. I would love to discuss this with you further.
– Pastor John Reuther