When you think of the gospel, what comes to mind? What does it mean to you? Sometimes the word Gospel can have a vague meaning to some, but it is important that as Christians we know what the Gospel is, where the word comes from and the power it holds. In understanding the weight behind the Gospel, we can speak of and hear it with more clarity and zeal, in the hope to draw more people to Christ and win souls for the Kingdom. The Gospel of Christ is worthy of being heard by all today, tomorrow, and forevermore and we will tell you why!
Where does the word come from?
The Greek word for Gospel is Euangelion which comes from eu- (“good”) and angelion (“tidings” or “message”). This is why we often say the Gospel is ‘Good news’. It is a term which, when used in the Old Testament and the New Testament, refers to receiving good news akin to a royal announcement. The very first time ‘Gospel’ appears in scripture is in 2 Samuel 4:10, when the Philistines kill the then king, Saul, and a herald is brought of the “good news” of Saul’s defeat. For the Philistines, the good news is that their enemy was defeated and now there is a new king. In Greek and Roman culture, the imperial cult produced a new “gospel” every time a new emperor gained the throne. When new emperors were inaugurated, one of the first things they would do is spread Caesar Gospels about himself across the entire empire. In the context into which Paul was speaking, “gospel” would mean the celebration of the accession, or birth, of a king or emperor.
What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
The word ‘Gospel’ is used 75 times in 72 verses in the New Testament. It is used in 17 of the 27 books of the New Testament. The heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that the Son of God, our Lord and Saviour, has defeated our enemy, and now reigns as a new King (Acts 2:36; 3:20-23; 10:36). The Gospel is that God, took on human flesh, died a substitutionary death, paid for our sins, conquered sin, and death to rise on the third day, ascended into heaven and is sat at the right hand of God and sent us His Spirit, and by all of this, Yahweh reigns and God’s kingdom is here (Mark 1:14-15; Luke 4:43). And subsequently, due to the substitutionary work of Jesus on the cross, our sins are forgiven, we are reconciled with God and justified by faith. Jesus lived a life we could not live, died a death we could not die, defeated our enemy and is now raised as king, and due to no work of our own, won salvation for us.
The storyline of the Bible is that our first head lost the battle in the garden (of Eden) and, as a result, sin entered the world, so we needed a new head who, this time, won the battle in the garden (of Gethsemane) and as a result, righteousness entered the world. That is the climax of the Gospel – that Jesus is our King! And as our King, He stands in the place of His people, endures pain and suffering for their behalf, defeats their enemy and wins salvation for them.
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Why we bring the Good News
Now we have set the scene and have some more context, how does the message of the Gospel apply to us today? Well, it is the solid foundation of our faith. As Christians, we are blessed (spiritually prosperous and favoured) because of what Christ did for us on the cross, we walk in freedom and not shame, and our identity lies not in what we do but in who we are in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). As vessels of the Lord, we carry a great treasure within us, which is the gospel, one that
should must be shared! The Gospel carries the power to bring hope, love and acceptance to many and it is accessible to all who are open to hearing it, let us not restrain ourselves when it comes to sharing the good news. Romans 10:15 says “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”. Praying as we read this, that God would give us the boldness and wisdom to share the Gospel when prompted to.
“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 10:14