If you’ve ever known a real christian for long at all, you’ve likely seen or heard the concept of “The Gospel”.
Maybe you’ve also heard of “gospel” music, the genre. Maybe you’ve also heard it said, “Dat there be some gospel truth!” about some really wacky stuff that has nothing to do with Christianity. However, it’s not an adjective or a type of anything.
The word, “gospel”, is a widely used word for how little most people care about or understand what it means, really.
Simply put, the word “gospel” is an Old-English word with ancient roots. Originally, the word comes from the Greek, “euangelion”, which means “good news”. It then morphed to Latin, “evangelium” and made it’s way to Old English folks that said, “gōd spel” meaning “good story”. In our strange english-lanquage-ways we’d rather slang something than translate it, and so we still find ourselves saying “gospel” rather than “good story” still to this day.
However, it’s worked our rather nicely because as it turns out, this word “gospel” has become not just good news but, in fact, the title concept to what is the overarching story of human history and the best news anyone could ever receive!
Any thread through humanity of that caliber does need a title so that we can refer to it, and that’s what “The Gospel” has become.
“The Gospel” is the awesome story of God creating and loving man for his glory and our good throughout all of human history.
So What Is This Good Story Full Of Good News?
If you’re now wondering what the actual story of the gospel is, you should be! I mean, how could you not wonder about a story that millions of people claim is THE story of and for all of humanity!? Well, good news! We’re constructing an entire ongoing series of posts that we can and will continually add to in order to help answer this question. We’re calling it #GospelFoundations!
The story and truth of the gospel is all quite simple really, but it’s so far-reaching and long-running that it takes a bit to see every aspect of the gospel and answer a lot of common questions. So these posts are easily digestible posts about all the many facets of the gospel message and things you might have questions about.
Check out the index to the series and explore any and all aspects of the gospel story!
Still, it will help to give you a brief overview as you begin, because our posts do not go in order.
A Brief Overview Of The Gospel
Depending on who you ask and what you’re looking for, the gospel can pretty much be broken down into a few overlapping sections. There is a great deal of actual story and human history that goes with these, and for that, we’d recommend “the book” (a.k.a. The Bible) as the best starting point.
We’re going to look at these in a more practical, “answer my questions” sort of way with some story mixed in:
God’s eternal existence and his creation of man in the beginning of what we humans call “time”.
When looking at this section you’re asking a lot of things like, “Why?” and “Who?” such as, “Who is God? What are his attributes? What is his character? Why did he create man?” as well as reasonable questions like, “Why do you even think there is a God?” and more.
Man’s rebellion against God and our complete, eternal separation from his perfection and the consequences of this.
When looking at this section you might ask, “What is good and bad?” or “What counts as ‘sin’ and who decides that?” You may ask, “What is our purpose as mankind?” or “Why would man rebel and why would God care? What are the consequences to creation if this is true?” and much more.
God’s redemption plan through a covenant of law and then a new covenant of grace, established by and through Jesus the Christ.
This is the section that all of human history existed in before Jesus Christ came to earth. You may ask, “Why does man need saving? Does it have to happen a certain way and why? Why would God care to? What did man do all these years? What took God so long to take action? Who is Jesus and what does it matter? Why a law? What is grace? Who gets glory and why?” and much more.
God’s payment for our rebellion through Jesus Christ and our return to right-relationship with God made possible.
This is the section most people think of when thinking of “the gospel”. This is the part of humanity that brings out questions and answers to, “What should I believe about who Jesus is? Is he the only way we’d be okay? Why did he need to die? What makes us okay with God now? Why is their a ‘new covenant’ now and how’s it better?” and much more.
Man’s current purpose and roles in what God is doing now.
This is where we find ourselves now. We ask questions such as, “What does this mean for me now? How should I live? Where did Jesus go? Is God still involved? Does he care; if so, then what about? What part do I play in all of this? Am I just sitting around pleasing myself now or is this still about someone else? Can I be happy at all; if so, how?” and much more! The gospel gives us direction and clarity through everything we can think of.
God’s complete restoration of everything he created and our eternal existence, options, and assurances.
This is the section we are still looking forward to. The part you hear christians talk about a lot with things like, “No more sorrows, tears, or pain!” or “Nothing but pain and eternal separation from all things good and Godly!” Kinda important sounding, right? You might ask question like, “What do I believe about eternity? Am I eternal? Is Jesus coming back? What happens to those who still don’t like God when he returns? How do we know there’s heaven or hell? Why would anyone not be in heaven if it’s real and God is loving? Can I be sure I’ll be with God forever? Can I mess it up? What are we going to do for eternity… seems kinda long?” and much, much more!
Again, this is just a brief fly-over and you may hear the gospel broken down into more specific sections or points at times. This should give you a zoomed out view to begin constructing your understanding though!
I know I can speak for the entire community here on this:
We really, really, really hope you sincerely work to build a complete understanding of what the gospel is! In doing so, we believe you’ll encounter Jesus, and grasp God’s goodness and glory and his love for you in a way that’s undeniably attractive and gives the greatest, eternal joy and satisfaction you’ll ever possibly know.