What is the Gospel?
It can be summarized in a sentence: The Gospel is the good news
that Jesus Christ – who alone was righteous – died and rose again
for our sins; forever victoriously triumphant over all his enemies,
such that there is no longer any condemnation for those who believe,
but only eternal joy.
“And Jesus Christ said to them, “Go into all the
world and preach the Gospel to all creation.”
is the Gospel Good News?
We will not be able to
understand how good and precious the message of the Gospel is if we
do not understand how hopeless our situation is without this message.
All people are poor sinners. We are in a poor condition, because
we sin daily. Therefore, the holy and almighty God is so angry with
each individual sin, that he punishes people with eternal death for
what they have done. The absolutely righteous Lord cannot allow to
stand in his glorious presence the smallest unrighteousness, any
rebellion, the smallest amount of unbelief about his existence, the
tiniest lie, the slightest theft, or even the least amount of
wickedness in our lives. Because he is the Lord who is everywhere
present, no one can hide himself, nor conceal his sins, from the
presence of this righteous God. Because he is God almighty, no one
will be able to resist his punishment. Because God is eternal, the
debt to his righteousness will not be satisfied nor will the full
brunt of his punishment upon each sinner be exhausted. That is our
hopeless and desperate condition when we do not know the Gospel - the
Good News of Jesus Christ.
It is precisely people who are in this situation who ought to hear
the good news that God is merciful and frees us from this condition.
This he does through his Son, Jesus Christ. The eternal Son became
man and lived as a man, exactly like us. But he never sinned nor
committed the slightest offense against the law of God. Therefore,
in the Bible it is said that he is the one and only righteous one.
As a righteous man, he did not have to tremble before the holy wrath
Nevertheless, Christ was condemned by men as a common criminal and
executed on the cross. He died under the open ridicule and mockery
of an onlooking crowd. Finally, he was buried by some friends.
Before his death, Jesus said that he would freely lay down his life
to save people from death who stand under the wrath of God because of
their sins. He has done exactly that on the cross. According to the
will of God, he took upon himself the penalty which others deserve.
On the third day, Christ was raised again. God the Father called
him back to life. By this he has overcome and defeated death, the
final enemy of life. At last, he was taken up into heaven before the
eyes of those who had accompanied him before his death. Now, there
is nothing that can separate him from his heavenly Father. Since
that time, Christ is with his Father in heaven. As he has promised,
he will come again to bring to himself all those who are trusting
that he has taken upon himself their punishment. They will live with
him forever in joy and peace. The Gospel is also Good News because
people – upon whom is the wrath of God – will escape eternal
Is the Gospel Good News for Me?
God almighty calls all men everywhere, who realize their desperate
condition, to call upon him for help. Tell him that you have sinned
and deserve his punishment. Tell him that you are sorry that you
have ignored his righteousness. Say to him that you acknowledge his
Son as the only Redeemer and ask him for forgiveness. The God who is
everywhere and who is faithful will hear this prayer and fulfill the
promise of the Gospel in you.
“Whoever believes on the Son, he has eternal life”
above is a translation of the Gospel message on the website for the
Evangelical Reformed Church (Westminster Confession) which you can
find here: http://www.reformiert-wb.ch/home/home.html.
Used with permission.