I only came to preach
The word gospel
is the good news of
to provide forgiveness of sins
Who will believe!
(Colossians 1:14; Romans 10:9).
Since the first man’s sin, mankind has been
the condemnation of God
Because everyone breaks
God’s perfect law by committing sin,
everyone is guilty
The punishment for the crime of sin is physical death
and then an eternity spent in a place of punishment
(Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:46).
This eternal separation from God is also called the
The bad news that
all are guilty
of sin and condemned
God is countered by
of Jesus Christ.
God, because of His love for the world, has made a way for man to be forgiven of their sins (John 3:16).
He sent His Son, Jesus Christ,
to take the sins
of mankind on Himself through
death on a cross
(1 Peter 2:24).
In placing our sin on Christ,
that all who will believe in the
Jesus will be forgiven
Jesus’ resurrection guarantees the justification of all who believe
The Bible specifies the content of the gospel message:
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you
as of first importance:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures,
and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the
brothers and sisters at the same time”
(1 Corinthians 15:1–6).
In this passage, Paul emphasizes the primacy of the gospel—it is of “first importance.” The gospel message contains two historical facts, both supported by Scripture: Christ’s death and His resurrection. Both those facts are bolstered by other proofs:
Christ’s death is proved by His burial,
and His resurrection is proved by the
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the
good news that
God provided the way for man to be
from the penalty of sin
(John 14:6; Romans 6:23).
Everyone dies physically, but those who believe in Jesus Christ are promised a physical resurrection unto eternal life (John 11:23–26). Those who reject Christ will not only die physically but will undergo a “second death,” which the Bible describes as an eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:13–14). Jesus is the only One in whom salvation can be found (Acts 4:12).
The gospel of Jesus Christ
is the best news anyone will ever hear,
and what a person does with this news will
determine where he or she spends eternity.
God is calling you to choose life.
Call on the name of the Lord and be saved
The true gospel is the good news that God saves sinners. Man is by nature sinful and separated from God with no hope of remedying that situation. But God, by His power, provided the means of man’s redemption in the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” But to truly comprehend how good this news is, we must first understand the bad news. As a result of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), every part of man—his mind, will, emotions and flesh—have been corrupted by sin. Because of man’s sinful nature, he does not and cannot seek God. He has no desire to come to God and, in fact, his mind is hostile toward God (Romans 8:7). God has declared that man’s sin dooms him to an eternity in hell, separated from God. It is in hell that man pays the penalty of sin against a holy and righteous God. This would be bad news indeed if there were no remedy.
But in the gospel, God, in His mercy, has provided that remedy, a substitute for us—Jesus Christ—who came to pay the penalty for our sin by His sacrifice on the cross. This is the essence of the gospel which Paul preached to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 15:2-4, he explains the three elements of the gospel—the death, burial and resurrection of Christ on our behalf. Our old nature died with Christ on the cross and was buried with Him. Then we were resurrected with Him to a new life (Romans 6:4-8). Paul tells us to “hold firmly” to this true gospel, the only one which saves. Believing in any other gospel is to believe in vain. In Romans 1:16-17, Paul also declares that the true gospel is the “power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” by which he means that salvation is not achieved by man’s efforts, but by the grace of God through the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Because of the gospel, through the power of God, those who believe in Christ (Romans 10:9) are not just saved from hell. We are, in fact, given a completely new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) with a changed heart and a new desire, will, and attitude that are manifested in good works. This is the fruit the Holy Spirit produces in us by His power. Works are never the means of salvation, but they are the proof of it (Ephesians 2:10). Those who are saved by the power of God will always show the evidence of salvation by a changed life.
The word gospel means “good news,”
which is the message of forgiveness
for sin through the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
It is essentially
God’s rescue plan of redemption
for those who will trust in His divine Son
in order to be reconciled to a just and holy God.
The essential content of this
is clearly laid out
for us in the Bible.
In the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he lays out the content of the gospel message, “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1–4).
In this passage, we see three essential elements of the gospel message. First, the phrase “died for our sins” is very important. As Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The reality of sin needs to be acknowledged by all who approach the throne of God for salvation. A sinner must acknowledge the hopelessness of his guilt before God in order for forgiveness to take place, and he must understand that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Without this foundational truth, no gospel presentation is complete.
Second, the person and
work of Christ are indispensable components of the gospel.
Jesus is both God (Colossians 2:9) and man (John 1:14). Jesus lived the sinless life that we could never live (1 Peter 2:22), and, because of that, He is the only one who could die a substitutionary death for the sinner. Sin against an infinite God requires an infinite sacrifice. Therefore, either man, who is finite, must pay the penalty for an infinite length of time in hell, or the infinite Christ must pay for it once.
Jesus went to the cross to pay the debt
we owe to God for our sin, and those who
are covered by His sacrifice will inherit
the kingdom of God as children of the king
Third, the resurrection of Christ is an essential element of the gospel. The resurrection is the proof of the power of God. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting that is death and the victory that is the grave’s (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). Further, unlike all other religions, Christianity alone possesses a Founder who transcends death and who promises that His followers will do the same. All other religions were founded by men and prophets whose end was the grave.
Finally, Christ offers His salvation as a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), that can only be received by faith, apart from any works or merit on our part (Ephesians 2:8–9). As the apostle Paul tells us, the gospel is “the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). The same inspired author tells us, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
These, then, are the essential elements of the gospel: the sin of all men, the death of Christ on the cross to pay for those sins, the resurrection of Christ to provide life everlasting for those who follow Him, and the offer of the free gift of salvation to all.
In Romans 1, Paul addresses the
Gentile believers at Rome and begins
by explaining his mission,
which was to preach the
gospel to everyone.
He concludes his explanation by saying,
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God that
brings salvation to everyone
who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
For in the gospel the righteousness of
God is revealed—a righteousness
that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written:
‘The righteous will
live by faith’”
(Romans 1:16–17; cf. Habakkuk 2:4).
The word translated “ashamed”
or “personally humiliated.”
A person “ashamed” in this way is like someone singled
out for misplacing his confidence—he trusted in something,
and that something let him down.
The word can refer to
because of forming the
So, when Paul says that he is not ashamed of the gospel, he is saying his confidence in the gospel is not misplaced. There is no disgrace in declaring it. Paul had given his life to proclaiming the truths that Jesus Himself had revealed to him (Acts 9:3–6; 2 Corinthians 12:2–4). He explained to the Romans why he did not believe that he had wrongly identified with Jesus and why proclaiming Jesus’ message was his life’s work.
The application can extend to us as well. Just as
Paul placed his confidence in the gospel of Christ,
so can we.
We can proclaim with boldness
the truths that God has revealed in His Word,
with no fear that our confidence is misplaced.
“Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame”
(Romans 10:11; cf. Isaiah 28:16).
We can rest in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of Scripture never changes
(2 Peter 1:21; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).
What was true thousands of years ago is still true.
The offer of salvation that was presented to people of the first century is still open to us (Acts 2:39; John 17:20).
To live unashamed
of the gospel
means we proclaim it,
but it also means we apply it to our lives and show we believe it. Paul’s life choices supported his message. He did not preach one thing and live another. We are “ashamed of the gospel” when we allow sin in our lives to go unchecked (Matthew 3:8). When we indulge in worldliness and carnal desires or blatantly disobey scriptural standards, we indicate that we lack confidence in our own message (1 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Peter 2:11). When we “walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners, and sit in the seat of scoffers” (Psalm 1:1), we are being ashamed of the gospel. We are not allowing its truth to penetrate our lives so that others see its changing power. To live unashamed of the gospel means that we, like Paul, allow it to dominate our lives to the extent that everyone within our sphere of influence can see that we have “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).