If you ask Christians this question, you will get many vague answers. Many will include anything that comes from the Bible.
There is currently much confusion over this issue. Many include doctrines such as the state of the dead, the second coming of Christ, the proper mode of baptism, and other Bible truths with equal weight, as the gospel.
But what did Jesus intend for Christians to preach to the world. Was it just some vague information, was it good advice, or was it good news about what Jesus had already done?
When Jesus said “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel” what did He mean for us to proclaim? When Jesus said “ And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come ” ( Matt 24:14). what did He mean for us to proclaim?
Gospel – Origin of Word When the people of Alexandria in North Africa saw the grain ships on which they depended for survival arriving, they would be excited and shouted for joy. The word that they would shout is the same word used by the angels when they announced the birth of Jesus Christ to the shepherds. That word in Greek was “euangelion” or gospel, which means good news. The New Testament writers used this word gospel to describe the unconditional good news of salvation for all mankind accomplished by the historical reality of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection.
Paul calls the gospel “the righteousness of God” (Romans 3:21).
The gospel is planned, and initiated before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:4; Revelations 13:8).
The gospel was promised since the fall (see Genesis 3:15).
The gospel was fulfilled in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see John 3:16,17; Galatians 4:4,5).
This righteousness is imputed to sinners who accept this gift.
Rom 1:16-17 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes : first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last , just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." NIV
The gospel is a righteousness entirely of God’s doing without any human contribution whatsoever (see Romans 3:21 ).
The gospel is the “power of God” to save sinners from:
The guilt and punishment of sin ( Justification ).
The power and slavery to sin ( Sanctification ) .
The nature and presence of sin ( Glorification ).
Rom 3:28-29 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. NIV Gal 2:16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. NIV
Since the gospel is a righteousness entirely of God’s doing without any human contribution, all we can do is to accept this righteousness by faith and cease (rest, katapausen) from trying to impress God by our own good works as a means of getting to heaven and obtaining eternal life.
Since God is an ethical and just God, His way of saving us and giving us righteousness does not contradict His law (Matt. 5:17) which says that “the soul that sins must die” (Ezekiel 18:4,20), and “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin” (Deut 24:16).
Rom 10:1-4 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge . 3 Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. 4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. NIV
The preaching of the gospel consist in presenting God as the Creator of all things, and calling on men to worship Him as such.
Romans 1:19-20 “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” NIV
The power of God is demonstrated in creation. So the power of God is creative power. And since the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, it follows that the gospel is the manifestation of the creative power to save men from sin . (see Colossians 1:18 )
Rev 14:6-7 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth -to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water." NIV
The preaching of Christ and Him crucified is the preaching of the power of God, and therefore it is the preaching of the gospel, for the gospel is the power of God.
This is consistent with the truth that the gospel is setting forth God as creator; for the power of God is creative power, and Christ is the one by whom all things were created. (see Colossians 1:18 )
1 Cor 1:17-19 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel-not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. NIV 1 Cor 2:1-2 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. NIV
Both Creation and Redemption involves miracles that demonstrate God’s creative power. This is a mystery to us because the gospel is a mystery.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Eph 6:19-20 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel , 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. NIV
Gospel – The Mystery of God Eph 3:2-9 Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation , as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. 7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things . NIV
The gospel is the making known of Christ in men or the gospel is Christ in men. The gospel must be preached by empowered men .
The preaching of the gospel is making known to men the possibility of Christ dwelling in them.
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us." (Matt 1:23)
When the angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherd, they were announcing that God had come to man in the flesh, thus qualifying to be our representative and substitute.
Col 1:25-27 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness- 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. NIV God IN us
The gospel was first preached to Adam and Eve at the fall, then to Abraham, and then to Israel in the wilderness.
The last event before the end of the world is the preaching of the gospel. (Matt. 24:14) “ And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." NIV Gal 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. KJV (Gen 12:3;18:18;22:18;26:4;28:14) Heb 4:1-2 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them : but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. KJV
Justification is based on what God did to and for all humanity in Christ. This was done without our consent, approval, or participation, and was given to all mankind as a gift. This gift of Christ’s righteousness is credited to individuals as they receive it by faith.
Rom 5:18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men . NIV 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. NIV Rom 4:3-5 What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." 4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. NIV
Gospel – An Objective Truth An Objective reality is a reality that exists irrespective of my knowledge of, my appreciation of, or my response to that reality. We were condemned objectively in the first Adam, and justified objectively in the last Adam. In Christ, God has realized an objective reality for humanity. In sending Christ, the Father did not consult with man and ask his opinion on the issue. In fact, God sealed his mind on that matter before mankind was created (Eph 1:1-3). While on earth, Christ never negotiated his life’s mission with the people around him. He came to do His Father’s will, and He was committed to doing just that, irrespective of our response to Him. In fact, what Jesus accomplished objectively was to become our righteousness before God. What the Bible teaches is that when Christ lived right, the entire human race, Christians and non-Christians alike, were all accounted as living right. When Christ died, the entire human race, died. When He was resurrected, the entire human family was resurrected also (2 Corinthians 5:4-19; Rom 6:3-10; Eph 1:1-7; 2:4-10; Col 2:10; 3:1-2). All humanity was bound up in Him before God, Christ was not just one person. He was humanity in one package (2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 Cor 15:47-48). This is the gift that must be received by faith.
Gospel – An Objective Truth Eph 1:4-5 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love NIV 2 Tim 1:8-11 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. NIV Rev 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world . NIV
Objectively, the human race was in Christ who is the Lamb slain from before time began
Since this was done before creation, we could not contribute. God imputes righteousness to the wicked who receive it by faith (Romans 4:4-8).
Gospel – The “IN CHRIST” Motif When God preached the Gospel to Abraham, He preached salvation for the whole world in Abraham’s seed which was Christ. Gal 3:8: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” KJV (Gen 12:3;18:18;22:18;26:4;28:14) Gen 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed ; KJV Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ . KJV This indicates that the preaching of the gospel, is the preaching of the “IN CHRIST” motif. That is that “ To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” KJV 2 Cor. 5:19. The fact that Nicodemus did not understand that he must be born again, or never heard it before, does not affect its truthfulness. Like Nicodemus, we must be willing to accept it because the Bible teaches it!
Gospel – The “IN CHRIST” Motif Heb 7:9-10 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. KJV The writer of Hebrews is indicating that Levi, although he was not yet born, paid tithe to Melchisedec when Abraham met him. Why was this so? Because Levi was yet in the loins of Abraham when Melchisedec met him. Levi was in Abraham. In the same way, when Adam was created all men were in Him. When Adam sinned, he had no children, so we (humanity) were all affected by the fall. All sinned in Adam (see Romans 5:12). This is why even babies are born sinners. Gen 25:21-23 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels ; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.KJV 1 Cor 15:21-22 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. KJV
All persons from Adam to the last person to be saved will be saved by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. There is no other way!
The only gospel is the gospel presented by Paul and the apostles. Anything else presented as the gospel is not from God.
The great commission given by Jesus before ascending to heaven involves the preaching of this one gospel. This includes the three angels message in Revelation 14.
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Gal 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! NIV
There is only one way to salvation, eternal life, and heaven.
Salvation is found in only one person: Jesus Christ. God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (Gal. 5:11).
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." John 8:31-32 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ……… (verse 36) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. NIV
The only Gospel - Paul’s Gospel. 1 Corinthians 15:1-6 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. NIV
The gospel that Paul preached states that Jesus and all humanity are organically joined and have become one, so that whatever happens to one, is considered to happen to all, just as Levi paid tithe in Abraham.
1 Corinthians 15:12-23 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. NIV
Human Response to the Gospel Acts 2:37-39 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call." NIV The anguished cry of the people in response to the Spirit filled preaching of the gospel was “what shall we do?” This revealed a sorrow for sin and a realization of their hopeless condition, as well as a firm readiness to change the direction of their lives. They were now ready to accept and obey the gospel.
Human Response to the Gospel 2 Thess 1:6-10 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. NIV The gospel DEMANDS a human response
Faith is the human response required by the gospel.
This results in the doctrine of Righteousness by faith.
Acts 26:20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds . NIV The saving response to the hearing of the gospel is a torn heart in repentance, a willingness to change, and an acceptance of the truth of the gospel. We are now ready to obey the gospel.
Faith results from hearing the gospel, believing the gospel, and obeying the gospel.
Rom 10:13-18 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in ? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard ? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ . NIV
GOSPEL Righteousness of God The Cross of Christ Power of God Creative power Mystery of God Jesus’ Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection The Promise The Covenant Objective truth IN CHRIST JESUS
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matt 24:14
Righteousness of God Rom 1:16-17 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes : first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last , just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." NIV Rom 3:21-22 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known , to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, NIV Jeremiah 23:5-6 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness . NIV
Jesus Created all Things Col 1:16-18 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. NIV John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. NIV John 1:10-13 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. NIV
(a) to attribute accusingly : lay the responsibility or blame for something falsely or unjustly (accused him of her own fault, in imputing to him the wreck of her project – George Meredith) (b) to credit or ascribe to a person or a cause (imputing to me better qualities than I possess) (our vices as well as our virtues have been imputed to bodily derangement – B.N. Cardozo) (imputing his visit to a wish of hearing that she was better – Jane Austen) often falsely, accusingly, or unjustly (soon began to believe in the opulence imputed to me – L.P. Smith) (imputing to him a guilt of which he was innocent – Edith Sitwell) (c) : to make a legal imposition of (as a charge against someone) ( d ) : to credit by transferal (a virtue or the benefit of a good work) to the account of someone other than the initiating agent .
Obs : RECKON, CONSIDER, REGARD
: impart, give (with his hand he ~ s life to clay – Samuel Alexander)
Obs : to charge someone with a wrongdoing of crime SYN see ASCRIBE