The Gospel is good News!


It is said that the gospel is simple—and so it is.

The gospel is sufficiently simple that a child can understand its message. God led men to write the Bible in a certain fashion. In doing so, he made it possible for any individual to study the Scriptures for a lifetime and never exhaust the treasures of its meaning, its implications, its benefit, and the value it brings to the life of the person who believes and adheres to it. With that said, God also made the most critical, the most important, the most advantageous, and the most widely proclaimed aspects of its message assuredly understandable and straightforwardly comprehendible. Contrary to what some teach, the Bible is not shrouded in esoteric knowledge attainable by a select few. The opposite is true. The Bible is a book that can be comprehended, particularly in regards to the most important aspects of its message.

If anyone believes that God is good and interested in the welfare of people, one might also be inclined to think God would provide information about himself that can be understood. The Bible is not like a text on astrophysics or advanced and complex mathematical equations requiring extensive education and training to grasp its meaning. The Bible was written to communicate clearly to anyone interested. The Bible appears cryptic and incomprehensible only to those who reject its message or consider the text to be solely the product of mankind’s ingenuity, and relegated as an historical document that is not relevant for the changing cultures and times. The Bible is, in the end, the efforts of God to inform humanity of the reality in which they live.

Among the most lucid points expressed in the biblical writings include three primary truths:

    First, all things that exist do so because a creator brought them into existence—God of the Hebrews is the creator.

    Second, God is interested in people coming to a right and saving knowledge of him.

    Third, God has made a way possible for individuals to be forgiven of their sins, restored to a relationship with God, and granted eternal life.

That work and effort lay squarely on the eternal plan of God in Jesus Christ. Anyone who reads the Bible through this lens will find all the understanding necessary to grasp these truths.

Lesslie Newbigin, the author of Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture, aptly describes the overall ability of the Bible to meet these mentioned goals, and says,

I would want to speak of the Bible as that body of literature which—primarily but not only in narrative form—renders accessible to us the character and actions and purposes of God...In this view, the Bible, taken as a whole, fitly renders God, who is not merely the correlate or referent of universal natural religious experience but is the author and sustainer of all things (p. 59).

And because the Bible provides this important information, it should and must be shared.

Why proclaim and share the gospel?

Why should people proclaim and share the gospel message as communicated in the Bible? Here are three foundational reasons.

1. The first reason is due to the fact that God requires the gospel to be proclaimed. Numerous passages in the Bible, particularly the New Testament, points to the impetus for the gospel’s proclamation. Take for example the following statement of Jesus Christ as recorded in the gospels: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matthew 24:14 ESV). What started during the first century with Christ’s efforts to proclaim the gospel continues to this day unabated. Its proclamation will continue until the current age concludes.

2. The second reason the gospel is proclaimed is because it is the power of God for salvation. Paul provides an unsurpassed statement that summarizes God’s use of the gospel as the means of salvation, that is, saving people from their sins and granting them everlasting life: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16 ESV italics added). But why is the gospel the power of God for salvation? Simply put, the gospel message is the declaration of God’s forgiveness of sin through the substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. To understand why the gospel is the power of God we need only turn to Paul again. He explains the matter by saying,

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (Romans 10:13-14 ESV).

You see, one of the reasons the gospel is the power of God for salvation is because the message must be heard to bring a person to faith in Christ. If the message is not proclaimed, the message is not heard—no one believes. But, where the gospel is proclaimed, people come to faith in Christ. Paul makes that very point and writes, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 ESV).

3. A third reason the gospel is to be proclaimed is because the gospel is the only means by which people can be made right with God. Mankind cannot choose the means to come to God—God alone has chosen and made Jesus Christ the sole means through which he accepts people. This is abundantly clear in the New Testament. Take for example Peter’s public declaration during a sermon he preached: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12 ESV).

This biblical declaration is met with a certain amount of opposition due to what is termed as “exclusivity.” That is, it excludes any other approach, plan, or human device regarding acceptance by God. In a world where inclusion and every perspective and view is as correct as any other view, opposition must exist. Nevertheless, God will not alter his choice—the gospel of Christ stands as the only possible avenue for people to come to God. This point of the gospel too must be published.

Why proclaim the gospel?

The gospel should be proclaimed because it is Good News. That is the literal translation of the term gospel. And why is the gospel good news? Because it is the explanation of God’s efforts to offer and grant forgiveness of sins to all who believe. The gospel should be proclaimed because each one of us can be pardoned for our transgressions. The gospel is good news because it is an invitation to reconciliation with God. The gospel should be proclaimed because each one of us can obtain eternal life as a gift from God through Jesus Christ.

Why share the gospel?

The gospel should be shared because even unbelievers expect the gospel to be proclaimed. I invite you to read Penn Jillette’s reasoning for why the gospel should be shared.

Please continue with me as we discuss the basics points of the gospel as explained in the New Testament.

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