Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The Gospel, the Good News, is the power of God unto salvation. It is defined in many ways from its different uses from various Scriptures but in general the word “Gospel” means “good news.” What is the “Good News,” about would be the next obvious question? Sometimes we offer Jesus to people as if He was some kind of additive or product that we see on TV. For example, we often hear the following advertisements: “This toothpaste will make your teeth sparkling-white,”; “This detergent will make your clothes smell fresher, your whites look whiter, and your colors more colorful.” We often do the same thing with Jesus: “Jesus will make you happier; Jesus will make you a success; Jesus will make you rich….” What if they already have all that and say, “I’m glad you needed all that, but I’m doing OK.”
It’s not about being happier, richer, and more successful. Sometimes people need to hear about the wages of sin, how it separates us from God, and, should a person die without receiving Jesus, there will be a judgment followed by eternal separation in hell. NOT EVERYONE RESPONDS TO THE ‘BENEFITS PACKAGE APPROACH” TO THE GOSPEL. The point is how can people appreciate the good news if they don’t understand the bad news? The Apostle Paul, who majored on the Gospel of the grace of God, spoke of the judgment to come as he witnessed with the governor Felix (Acts 24:25). The Gospel Paul presented to the Romans was, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
So what is the Gospel? 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 is a good summary, especially vv.3,4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.’ It is the story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. An accurate presentation of the Gospel comes back to the Cross as the Apostle Paul clearly stated when he addressed the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1-2 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Someone asked Billy Graham if he had to do it all over again, was there anything you would have emphasized more as a young preacher that you emphasized as an older preacher. His reply was, “The Cross and the Blood. That’s where the power is; tell the story of what Jesus did on the Cross, how He died for that person, and shed His Blood for them.” THE GOSPEL IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE BENEFITS GAINED BUT THE PRICE PAID. The Gospel is about what He gave up for us, His life, His Blood, His being just for our injustices; His being made sin so we can be made righteous. It centers on giving people news about what they cannot get any other way or on their own: forgiveness of their sins, a proven innocence, eternal life, freedom from sin, satan, and the curse. The Gospel presents Jesus as Lord and Savior for the submission of our life not merely an addition to our life.