OK, here’s your tough question for the day…
What is the true essence of the Gospel? What is it all about anyway?
Perhaps the Good News is about forgiveness. If we have placed our faith in Christ, then we know that we have forgiveness for our sins. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
His death and resurrection atoned for our sin (a fancy way of saying that He paid the price for our sin).
Or, we could say that John 15:12 sums up the Gospel: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Surely, if we don’t have love, then we don’t truly have the Spirit of Christ living in us.
We are even told in Matthew 22:37-40 that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
So, love is definitely a big part of the Gospel.
But so is salvation. We learn in Romans 10:9 that, “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.”
We have to conclude, therefore, that the Gospel is about salvation.
However, that’s not all. In arguably one of the most famous and often-quoted verses in the Bible, we are told that, “For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Eternal life is a key part of the Good News for sure.
So, what then is the essence of the Gospel?
Simply put, it’s Jesus. He is the “pioneer and perfecter of faith,” as Hebrews 12:2 is rendered in the NIV. The NKJV calls him the “author and finisher of our faith.”
So, yes, the Gospel is about all those other things. However, it is undeniably, unmistakably about Jesus our Savior, the One sent by the Father to make us right in His eyes.
All we have to do is believe.