What Is the Gospel?

What is the gospel? Every Christian needs to be able to succinctly and sufficiently answer this question to anyone—it contains the very keys to eternal life.

Let me offer my answer:

The gospel is the good news that God saves sinners who repent and believe in Jesus.

I have this memorized. My two daughters, ages five and six right now, have this memorized. It comes out of our mouths instinctively with almost no effort. But memorizing a canned response is only the first part. You must be able to expound upon its meaning.

Pastor Emilio Ramos of Heritage Grace Community Church shares the gospel with student at the Univ. of North Texas.

Pastor Emilio Ramos of Heritage Grace Community Church shares the gospel with students at the University of North Texas.

The Gospel Is the Good News

This is important because right off the bat we are communicating something that is good. The gospel is good news! The Greek word for gospel literally means “good tidings.” But simply saying that the gospel is “good news” is not enough. It’s not enough because it does not inform anyone of anything in particular. Good news about what? A pay raise?

That God Saves Sinners

Now we are getting at something. This part is vital. We are sinners. We have broken God’s laws and because of that, we deserve eternal punishment. The punishment that we deserve is eternal. This is not necessarily because of the crime itself, but because of the one who is offended. Sinning against God, who is eternal in nature, results in a punishment that is eternal in nature. We understand this concept because if you assault your neighbor, you receive a certain punishment. But if you assault the President of the United States, you receive a much stiffer penalty. Why? Because of the rank of the person who was offended. How much more punishment do we deserve when we offend a God whose rank is infinitely higher than any earthly ruler?

Fortunately for us, there is good news. God saves sinners. He looks at those who perpetually offend him and has mercy and compassion. He doesn’t have to. He owes no one anything. John Piper explains it this way:

He could have left all of us in the deadness of our rebellion, and done no wrong.

But God does save sinners. And this raises some important questions. Which sinners? Does he save them all or only some of them? And on what basis?

Who Repent and Believe In Jesus

The ones who repent and believe in Jesus Christ alone for salvation will be saved. This is crucial. God doesn’t save everyone. Not everyone believes. Many reject Christ. They refuse to repent and put their faith in Jesus as Savior. But the ones who:

  1. repent (i.e. turn from their sin)
  2. and believe (i.e. believe in the death of Jesus on the cross as a payment for sin and his bodily resurrection from the grave)

…those people will be saved. God is still just because Jesus takes the punishment in their place. There is no question that all sin will be punished. God’s justice demands it. It’s a matter of who will take the punishment. Either the sinner will be punished for all of eternity for his sins or Jesus takes the punishment for the sinner on the cross.

Next Steps

Have you done this? Have you repented of your sin and put your faith in Jesus alone for your salvation? Now is the time to get plugged in to a local church. If you’re in the North Dallas area, I would recommend visiting Heritage Grace Community Church. The pastors and members there will shepherd you and help you grow in your faith. If you’re not in the North Dallas area, I would recommend visiting 9Marks to find a bible-believing church in your area.

If this has helped you, leave a comment below and let me know.


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1 Comment

  1. Amen bro. This is an awesome explanation of the good news, Aka (Great News) Aka (Greatest News)!


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