What Does Gospel Mean?

Aug 15, 18 What Does Gospel Mean?

What Does ‘Gospel’ Mean?


“Merry Christmas” is a simple greeting that heralds a simple message of Good News: The Savior is born!


Too simple and for years, my human nature railed against it. I’d read the Bible and when it referenced the ‘Good News’, I would think, “Just tell me what the good news is!”, and I could not seem to comprehend that it was telling me that answer, over and over again: Jesus saves.


The gospel-in-a-nutshell Bible verse is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave (Note: handed over to die for us) His only begotten (Note: unique and like no other) Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”


So, I’d think, “You mean all I have to do is believe in Jesus and he’ll save me? What’s so bad about me that I need saving anyway?!?” And I’d rail more against the gospel, prideful in my false wisdom, because the ‘Gospel’ sounded too ridiculous and unsophisticated.


So, what is the Gospel?

The gospel is the Christian term given to its core message. The word ‘Gospel’ is the old English translation of the ancient Greek expression for ‘Good News’. This was a common way, 2000 years ago, for heralds to introduce information to the populace and the Bible writers used the same greeting in their introduction to their message; they were sharing good news!


In its simplest form, the main principal of the Gospel is “Jesus in my place”. It means that he took each person’s punishment/judgement for their waywardness so that we could be restored to a right relationship with God. We can’t do it ourselves so each person needs God to rescue them. Each of us is too broken, selfish, sinful to be able to restore ourselves, so God came to earth as Jesus to save/restore us. He saves us from eternal separation from God, which is hell.


I often tell my church youth kids that God doesn’t send us to hell. We are not born into this world with a choice between heaven or hell, per se. We are born into this world with hell as our destination UNLESS, we accept the rescue plan of Jesus. He reached into our broken world, and died to save us from going to hell but, we have to accept it. It’s humbling. An analogy is that you will die because the house is on fire, unless you take the escape route provided to you. I know; it’s too simple but God in His wisdom, made it simple so that anyone, “foolish” or “wise”, can understand it.


In the following New Testament passage, people are asking Jesus, how to be saved, and he explains how: “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28,29


Very simple; not hard. He sent Jesus, so believe and follow Jesus. Jesus said in John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

In regards to my thinking I was too wise to believe in the gospel, there are actually a few Bible verses about that problem. Here’s one about how God uses Christians and the gospel (described as foolish, weak things):

1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;”


If you haven’t already, please, please, don’t be too “wise” to accept His rescue.


God bless you!


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