I hope the word “gospel” comes up a lot any time you visit this site or talk with me. But I want to be clear about what the gospel is and is not. The gospel simply means good news. For those who follow Christ, it’s the best news.
I can’t explain it any better than God does in Ephesians 2:1-9 (NIV):
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.
Our sin against God means we deserve punishment and death. But God loved us so much that Jesus put on flesh and took the punishment and death we deserved. Because of Jesus, we can know that God loves us, and we can trust that his sacrifice in our place restores our relationship with God. We needed to be saved, and Jesus is the only way.
The gospel isn’t just the story of how God redeems hopeless situations–it demands a response. We respond to the gospel in one of two ways: faith in Jesus’ work on our behalf, or disbelief. There’s no middle. If you want to know Jesus, all you have to do is pray to God, confessing that you’ve sinned against him and that you are putting faith in Jesus for salvation. I’d love to help you along, so please let me know how I can pray for you and help you get connected with other Christians who are following Jesus too.
Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:1-2)