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What is the Gospel?

Do you know what the Gospel is? Could you confidently articulate the Gospel message to someone else? Whether you are brand new to the Gospel or have been a believer for many years, the Gospel is for everyone. And, it’s important that we not only believe in it, but know how to articulate what we believe.

Click through the story below for a simple presentation of the Gospel. Then, we’ll go more in depth on each section below.

What is the Gospel? Story

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The Bad News

As I mentioned in the slideshow, in order to understand the good news, we have to understand the bad news. Which is: We are all born sinners in need of a Savior and cannot earn God’s favor by our own efforts. (James 2:10) In our postmodern culture, many believe there is no absolute truth – that what’s right and wrong is subjective. People who hold these beliefs do not understand their need for a Savior. If there is no absolute truth, there is no accountability for sin. So, we must start with an understanding of what the Bible says, which is that we are all dead in our sin. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

What is the Gospel? The Good News

Once we understand the bad news, we can understand the good news – the Gospel! I’ve heard it said that the Gospel is like a diamond and our sin is like a black cloth a jeweler lays down behind it to illuminate the stone’s beauty. With our sin as the backdrop, we can much more fully appreciate the beauty and magnificence of the Gospel.

So, what is the Gospel? Simply put, the Gospel is the good news that Jesus died and rose from the dead to save sinners. It’s by His grace, through faith alone that we are saved, not by works. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Jesus makes it very clear in His teachings and throughout Scripture that no amount of works can save us. Works are the fruit – or evidence – of a person who is saved. This is what James meant when we read that faith without works is dead. (James 2:14-16) It’s crucial that we understand this truth in order to be led to the true repentance that is required in order to be saved.

The Response

When reflecting on the Gospel and proclaiming it to others, we don’t simply want to stop with knowing the Gospel message. We must respond. As believers, we know in order to be saved, we must put our faith in Christ and Christ alone. But what does that mean? Jesus said in Mark 1:15 to “repent and believe in the Gospel.” 

I heard this explained so well by Todd Friel of Wretched. He said that faith and repentance are two sides of the same coin. To put our faith in Christ (or to believe) is to repent of our sins – to acknowledge our need for a Savior, confess our sins to God, and turn from our sinful ways. Belief without repentance is not true belief and vice versa. True belief always leads to repentance.

Remember: God is Sovereign

I wanted remind you that we are called by Jesus to carry out the Great Commission to go out and make disciples. (Matthew 28:16-20) However, remember that while we are called to partner with God to spread the Gospel to the nations, He alone does the saving. If you miss a part of the Gospel message when witnessing, don’t beat yourself up over it. God is sovereign. My story is a great example of this:

My Story

Growing up I heard that Jesus was God and that He died and rose from the dead to save sinners. But, it wasn’t until college, when two friends shared with me that Jesus loved me, wanted a relationship with me, and that He would forgive all my regrets and mistakes, that I understood what the Gospel meant for me personally. They didn’t share the full Gospel message with me at that moment, but God used them to bring me the pieces I was missing. 

The story God gave me is such a clear picture of how He saves us by His grace. I wouldn’t have been able to articulate the Gospel in the moment I was saved. (I didn’t even know that’s what had happened to me at the time!) But as I studied the Bible and learned more about what it meant to be saved, I discovered that by His grace, He orchestrated countless experiences throughout my life to bring me the pieces of the Gospel, and ultimately, led me to true faith and repentance in His perfect timing.

Trust in His Sovereignty

This is oftentimes how God works. It’s a great blessing to be able to present the Gospel in full to another person, but if you miss part of it, mess up the delivery, or run out of time, trust in God’s sovereignty. You may not be the person He uses to lead someone to faith, but it is still a great privilege to be used by Him to plant seeds.

My Hope and Prayer

It’s my prayer that you will personally respond by repenting and believing in the Gospel and that your belief will inspire you to tell others the good news. The Gospel changes everything! It saves dead souls and transforms individuals and cultures. I hope today you feel more equipped to articulate what you believe, and that by the power of the Spirit, you’ll carry out Jesus’s Great Commission!


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