What is the Gospel?
I was recently reading in the Bible in Romans chapter 1 and came across the apostle Paul’s discussion about the gospel. According to the context of the passage, Paul had been hindered from visiting those in Rome and he was writing to tell them that he was “ready to preach the gospel” to them (vs. 15).
So let me ask you: What is the gospel? Do you know what it is from the Scripture? There are other places in the New Testament that help us answer this question, but if we begin right here in Romans 1, we can observe several important elements of it:
First, as we have already seen, it is something that can be preached. This means that it is a message and one that Paul was committed to communicating (and as we will see in another post, the very word itself tells us this).
Second, the gospel—this message—is something Paul was not ashamed to preach or talk about, although, presumably, someone could be (vs. 16)
Third, in this same verse (vs. 16), the gospel is called, “the gospel of Christ”. So, it is Christ’s gospel and definitely has something to do with Him.
Next, we see that this gospel is given some descriptions in the rest of verse 16: “it is the power of God unto salvation…” So, fourth, this gospel is connected to something God Himself does and it is the means by which salvation comes. The verse goes on to tell us who the recipients of the gospel are.
Finally, consider what verse 17 states about the gospel: “for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith…” So, fifth, contained in this gospel message is truth about God Himself, specifically His righteousness.
So in summary, the gospel, as presented in the Bible, is a message that can bring about salvation to people everywhere. And this message concerning Jesus Christ communicates truth about God’s righteousness.
So, do you know the gospel message? Has the gospel you have heard reveal God’s righteousness to you? Does it clearly direct you to salvation?