The word gospel means “good news”. The best description of the gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:
“I declare to you the gospel…by which you are saved, if you hold fast that which I preach to you – unless you believed in vain. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Let’s break these verses down and see what we discover.
“I declare to you the gospel…by which you are saved, if you hold fast that which I preach to you – unless you believed in vain.”
The first thing we learn about the gospel is that it’s the message by which people are saved from God’s judgment.
God has chosen to save us – not because of any work or deed we’ve done – but by His grace, through faith in Christ. Salvation is God’s gift to us. (Eph 2:8, Rom 6:23)
Now let’s take a look at how the gospel works.
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He was buried…”
God is perfect and we aren’t. We sin and are separated from God when we fail to live up to His standard. (Rom 3:23) We do this by either by not doing what He requires of us or by doing what He has forbidden us to do. Sin can occur in thought, word, or deed.
So before we go to heaven something needs to change. Our sin needs to be paid for.
To do this God became a man – Jesus Christ – lived the perfect life you and I couldn’t, and died on the cross as a payment for our sins. We find this taught in Romans 8:1,3:
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.
If we call on Christ to save us from our sins, are sins are charged to His account and He pays for them (1 John 2:2). We are then “born again” (1 Peter 1:23) and able to enter heaven (John 3:16).
“…He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
After Christ died for our sins He didn’t stay in the grave. After three days He rose again.
When Christ was raised from the grave, it showed that the sacrifice He made was sufficient and accepted by God the Father.
If we put our trust Christ to pay for our sin we too can look forward to God raising us one day.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9)
What good news that is!
Learn More: How Do We Know We’re Saved?