What is the Gospel? (In 6 Words)
What Is The Gospel?
(In 6 Words)
What is the Gospel? When you hear the phrase, “the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” what does that mean?
The word “Gospel” means “good news.” So we have good news to share. The phrase, “the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” then, means the “good news” of Jesus Christ. But what is the good news?
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what the term “Gospel” means. For example, you will often hear the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in the Bible referred to as “the gospels.” Well, they present the Gospel message, but they are not the Gospel. Also, if you look up the word “Gospel” in Wikipedia, it will tell you that the term “Gospel” means “the news of the coming of the Kingdom of God.” But that also is NOT what the word “Gospel” means.
So what is the Gospel?
Simply, it is God’s plan to save sinful mankind from eternal judgment through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is God’s plan to save us and to give us eternal life with Him. That is the good news, that there is a way that we can be saved, rescued from sin and death, and experience the presence of God for all eternity.
The Gospel is a very simple message that a lot of people needlessly over-complicate. So I want to give you a simple presentation using just 6 key words that are an acronym of the word, “Gospel.” This way of explaining the Gospel is so simple and easy to remember that, hopefully, it not only clears up any misunderstanding of what the term means, but also might enable you to more easily share the Gospel effectively with anyone in just a couple of minutes.
So here is the Gospel, presented in just 6 key words.
The first letter in the word “Gospel” is G, and that stands for “God.”
The Bible teaches us that God is love (1 John 4:8). God loves us. But the Bible also says that He is also Holy. In fact, this passage from Isaiah stresses God’s holiness so much that the word is repeated three times:
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts…” Isaiah 6:3-6
This word “holy” means separate, morally pure, undefiled. God is so pure that He is separate from everything this is impure. God is perfectly holy, which brings us to a problem.
The O and S in the word Gospel stand for “Our Sin.”
Our sin has separated us from God. Isaiah 59:2
That’s why this world is in such a mess.
The first three chapters of the Bible tell us that God created us with free will and, in our freedom, we chose to sin. Sin means to miss the mark of pleasing God by either doing something wrong or failing to do something right.
God is so holy that nothing unholy will ever dwell in His presence, especially sinful people. So that’s a problem for us, a BIG problem. In His holiness, God is a God of justice. Therefore, just like in a courtroom, God is the Judge of every one of us. And as our Judge, He has declared that the penalty for all those who sin is death, not just the death of our physical bodies, but eternal death, eternal separation from God in a terrible place of judgment called Hell. That’s because God is holy and cannot let us dwell in His presence if we have sin. God takes our sin very seriously, even when we don’t, and He will not let it go by without judgment.
Even worse, no amount of good deeds that we do can ever erase our sins to pay off our debt. There’s no such thing as earning your way into heaven by being a good person. In fact, God’s Word says:
“there is none that doeth good, no, not one” Romans 3:12, and
“all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
That’s because God’s standard is His own perfection. Therefore, as our Judge, He has declared that
“…the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23
A wage is something you have earned, and what we have earned because of our sin is eternal death. God says that at the end of our lives,
“whosoever (is) not found written in the book of life (will be) cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
That’s how serious this problem of sin is.
God has reserved judgment for everyone who has sinned. And we have all sinned. Judgment day is coming. And because all of us have sinned, we all stand condemned. That is the bad news. Now comes the good news.
The good news is that the letter “P” in Gospel stands for “Paid.” Through Jesus, our debt of sin before God has been paid in full by God Himself, so that we do not have to be condemned. God, in His perfection, cannot just ignore our sin. He is a God of justice and our debt of sin has to be paid. The good news, is that Jesus, God’s Son, paid our debt for us.
Jesus is called God’s Son and He is fully God. Of Jesus, the apostle John said,
“In the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God…and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” John 1:1, 14
In other words, God became flesh, became a man, the man Jesus. Jesus lived a sinless life and was crucified on the cross, where He offered His life as a sacrifice for us. He died to pay our debt of sin, so that we would not have to pay that price ourselves.
God did this because He is not only perfectly holy, but He is also perfect love. God loves us and does not want to destroy us. In His love, He willingly came and made that payment for us Himself. He died on the cross on our behalf. His righteous requirement was satisfied, so that we can be forgiven and saved for eternity.
The apostle Paul said that
“while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God’s holy penalty for sin is death, but He loves us so much that He paid that penalty Himself so that we don’t have to pay it.
The moment we place our faith in Jesus to save us, God declares that our debt of sin has been eternally paid in full by Jesus. That’s why the Bible tells us,
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
Our debt has been paid. But the news gets even better.
For the last two letters, “E” and “L,” stand for Eternal Life. God didn’t stop with just paying our debt of sin for us. His desire is to adopt us into His family so that we spend eternity with Him as His children and experience His blessings forever. For the Bible says that on the third day after Jesus died, He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:4) to show us the new eternal life that God has for us.
The Bible says,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24
This forgiveness is available by God’s grace as a free gift to everyone. All anyone has to do to receive that gift is believe in Jesus for salvation, that His death pays for your sins.
This life is so short and it’s filled with pain because of sin. But God has a better life, a new life to everyone who desires to become part of His family.
Did you ever want to be a new person? Did you ever want to get rid of all the baggage of your past and be made new again? Well, God says you can be. You can be made new, with new life. He said of those who put their faith and their trust in Jesus Christ:
“ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him…” Colossians 3:9-10
The moment we trust in Jesus, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live within us, and He gives us that new life. Ephesians 1:13 says,
“When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession.” Ephesians 1:13
God’s own Spirit coming to live within us means that we’re not just forgiven of sin, but we are adopted into God’s family. We become His children with all the rights and privileges of being in the family of God. As a child of God, God then works through His Spirit to transform us day-by-day into being like Jesus. He helps us to break free of sin and to walk with new hope and new joy, as a new creation. The old is past, the new has come, when we put our trust in Jesus. We become a new person. We become a child of God. And He gives us life.
The Bible says that the Holy Spirit coming to live within us is a seal, a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance. What inheritance? That one day, God will give us new heavenly bodies that never die, that are incapable of sin, so that we can dwell in His presence, with God, with exceeding joy and rejoice in His presence forever. He promises us eternal life.
There is only one requirement: You must choose to place your faith, your trust, not in yourself or your ability to be a good person, but in Jesus, that His death paid for your sins. It’s a simple thing, but it means relinquishing your pride. It means admitting that you are a sinner and that you can’t save yourself by being good. Instead, you must choose to believe in Jesus and look only to Him for salvation.
The Bible says,
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life…” But then it says,
“he that believeth NOT the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36
So there’s a choice to be made by each one of us. Those who do not choose to trust in Jesus will not be forgiven. Jesus’ death will not be counted as payment for their sins. So they will not experience this eternal life. Instead, they will be judged for their sins. They will face God’s judgment and that is a terrifying thing.
But the good news is that you don’t have to ever experience that. To believe on the Son means simply to trust that Jesus is God who died to pay for 100% of your sins and rose from the dead, as a sign of the promised eternal life that He offers you. If you place your trust in Jesus, your sins are immediately forgiven and you have eternal life. You can know with confidence that you are saved.
So there you have it, the Gospel in 6 words: God, Our Sin, Paid, Eternal Life.
It doesn’t get any simpler than that. God made it easy because He wants us to find Him and to turn to Him. God is holy and will require payment for sins, but He loves us and provided a way for us to be saved by placing our faith in Jesus. That’s the good news. That’s the Gospel. We don’t have to scale a mountain. We don’t have to clean up our lives first. Come as your are, right now. Don’t miss this free gift of eternal life that God has for you. This is by far the most important decision you will ever make. Don’t miss it.
So what is your choice?
If you have never placed your faith in Jesus, or if you are not sure of your salvation and would like to cement that decision for all eternity, I invite you to do so now. You can know with absolute certainty that you are saved. It’s as simple as asking God in prayer to save you through Jesus.
Such a prayer goes something like this, but realize that it’s not saying a prayer that saves you. You are saved by placing your trust, your faith in Jesus.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Saying a prayer doesn’t save you. We are saved by placing our faith in Jesus. So this prayer is just a way of formalizing that decision to place your faith in Christ alone for salvation. If that’s what you would like to do, please pray along with me:
“Lord, I have sinned and I need you to save me. I believe that Your Son Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins and that He rose from the dead to show us the new eternal life You have for us. I believe solely in Jesus to save me, that He paid my debt of sin 100%. Please save me now, Lord, according to your promises. In Jesus Name.”
If you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, know that you are eternally saved.