The gospel literally means “good news.” So what is this good news?
In order for good news to be good, there must first be some bad news.
Here’s the bad news: my sin and your sin have separated us from a holy God. Sin is the breaking of God’s law (1 John 3:4). You may say, “Well, that hurts my feelings – that you would say that I’m a sinner.”
Think of it this way – if you had cancer, would you want your doctor not to tell you because it would hurt your feelings? No, you would want to know the truth.
You see – because of God’s unblemished character, He is required to be perfectly just in dealing with sin. God’s wrath is a just consequence for the sin of mankind (Romans 2:5, Ephesians 2:3).
Sit there and think about what God’s wrath must look like. Think of what you would consider “the worst sin” and think about how you would punish the offender. For me, strong emotions stir in my heart when I think of “those people”. Here’s the grim reality – you and I are “those people.” The depth and breadth of our sin is even greater than what we can imagine. I know that even my “good deeds” are often done out of a selfish heart. You and I deserve the wrath of God. That is bad news.
But rejoice – the gospel is GOOD NEWS!
The same God who is required by His character to be perfectly just is also required to be perfectly loving. So before the beginning of time, God in His perfect loving-kindness provided a solution to the problem of our sin and our deserved wrath.
The whole Bible points to the solution. The solution is the God-man – Jesus Christ.
The gospel is the birth, sinless life, substitutionary death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that is the power of salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
Here’s the good news: when we were dead in our sins and without hope of a solution, God became the solution. God did the work – we do the believing.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven…”
There’s more good news though!
Believing the gospel guarantees not only the promise of eternal life (forever fellowship with God in heaven when we die), but it guarantees the promise of God’s ongoing work in our hearts to make us more like Jesus.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
Every day and all day, we must remember the gospel. God, through Jesus Christ, saves us and God, through the Holy Spirit in us, changes us. The gospel proclaims the grace that saves us but also the grace that empowers us to change (1 Corinthians 15:9-10).
That is good news!
This is a great video to watch and to show your kids explaining the gospel: