The Gospel

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Not to be confused with the Gospels

The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—namely His atoning death for mankind's sins, burial, and bodily resurrection from the dead. This is differentiated from the gospels plural, which are the first four books of the Christian New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The word "gospel" literally means "good news" and originally comes from the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, transliterated euaggelion. The New Testament describes both the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of salvation. The former refers to the good news that God's Kingdom is entering the world and supplanting the forces of darkness (e.g. Mt. 4:23; 9:35; 24:13; Mk. 1:14). The latter refers to the good news that Jesus Christ has opened the way of salvation for all men through His atoning death, burial, and resurrection (e.g. Acts 15:7; 20:24; Rm. 1:16; 16:25; 1 Cor. 15:1–4). In common Christian parlance, especially within evangelicalism, the latter meaning of "gospel" is what is most often intended.

The Gospel and Pauline Epistles

The gospel is the primary subject in many of the Apostle Paul's epistles to the early churches. The single most explicit definition of the gospel is given in the first eight verses of 1 Corinthians 15:

1 Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.[1]

Key Assertions About The Gospel

The Apostle Paul makes seven key assertions about the gospel in his first epistle to the Corinthian church:

  1. The gospel is the message by which or through which believers are saved.
  2. The gospel is of "first importance" in Christian belief.
  3. Christ died for our sins.
  4. Christ was buried.
  5. Christ rose bodily from the dead.
  6. Christ's death and resurrection were the fulfillment of prophetic Scriptures.
  7. The risen Christ was seen by over 500 different eyewitnesses, including the Apostles and Paul himself.

False Gospels

The Apostle Paul also strongly urged his fellow believers to stay away from false or counterfeit gospels. False gospels usually fall into one of two categories[2]:

  • The watered-down gospel
    • It offers God's forgiveness, telling you that all you must do is believe, without any mention of sin and repentance.
    • It presents Jesus Christ as though He were some mere additive to make one's life a little better.
    • It tells you about Heaven, but leaves out the message of Hell.
  • The rule-laden or overly complex gospel
    • It strips the true gospel of its simplicity and power.
    • It comes laden with rules and regulations that we must keep to find forgiveness.
    • It is so complex that no one can unravel it.

See also


  1. 'WEB 1 Corinthians 15:1–8' at BibleGateway
  2. Greg Laurie. How Can We Distinguish False Gospels from the Real Thing?. Harvest Christian Fellowship. Retrieved on 31 Jul 2018.

External links