What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

With all the uncertainty surrounding us and the depressing events that we hear and read about every day, good news would be a breath of fresh air. And what better news could there be than the good news of Jesus’ coming to provide forgiveness and salvation to all who believe? This good news is called the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The term “gospel” is the translation of the Greek noun “evangelion” which occurs 76 times in the Greek New Testament; it means good news! The apostle Paul gives us the basic ingredients of the gospel message in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 namely: the death, burial, resurrection and the appearances of the risen Christ. These verses are widely recognized by New Testament scholars as an early creed or statement of faith that was systematized long before Paul quoted it.

The Power of the Gospel to Save

In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul reminds them about the gospel that he has preached to them, which they in turn received and firmly stood for. He tells them further that it is through the gospel that they are saved for as long as they will hold firmly to it, otherwise they have believed in vain (1 Corinthians 15:1-2. See also Romans 1:16).

Paul was concerned that after he was gone, the Corinthian believers might have forgotten everything he taught them about the gospel of Jesus Christ. So he emphasized in his letter the importance of holding firmly to it because their salvation depended on it. Paul described it as “of first importance,” stressing priority and that is why upon receiving it, he immediately wanted to pass it on to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 15:3a).

Paul must have received this “good news” from the apostles Peter and James (the brother of Jesus) when he went to Jerusalem 3 years after he came back from Arabia. It should be noted that when Paul encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, he did not meet right away with the apostles in Jerusalem. Instead, he went away to Arabia and then returned to Damascus where he ministered to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:15-18).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

A. The Death of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3)

The death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is one of the best attested facts in history that is almost impossible to doubt or deny. It is attested and recorded by several independent, non-Christian sources and historians such as Josephus (Jewish historian), Tacitus (Roman historian), Thallus (Samaritan-born historian), etc.

But why did Christ have to die? Because ever since the first Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, mankind has been under the condemnation of sin. The punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23) and spending eternity in a place of torment away from God. Everyone is guilty of sin and deserving of punishment in hell (Matthew 25:46).

But God loved the world so much that He made a way for man to be forgiven of their sins and receive eternal life in heaven (John 3:16). God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take on the penalty upon Himself through death on the cross to satisfy God’s justice and to guarantee the salvation of everyone who believes (John 3:15).

B. The Burial of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:4a)

Jesus’ burial is an integral part of the gospel because it was an assurance of the reality of His death and resurrection. The fact that He was buried verified His death. How do we know that Jesus actually died? We know it because He was buried. Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy member of the Jewish Sanhedrin who is said to be a secret follower of Jesus Christ, buried him in his own tomb (Mark 15:43-46; Luke 23:50-53 & John 19:38-42).

The testimony of the actual death of Jesus is so important because if there was any doubt Jesus really died, there would be doubt as to whether the Father actually had meted out His wrath on Christ. Death is the penalty pronounced on sinners (Romans 6:23) and death is required for atonement (Hebrews 9:22).

So if Jesus had not died we would have no assurance that God’s justice was satisfied and no foundation for believing that our broken relationship with the Father was restored.

C. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:4b)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest event in human life which led to our great salvation. It gives credence, reality and authenticity to the Christian faith. The resurrection is the core foundation by which the Christianity stands or falls. The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:17-18 that if Christ has not been raised from the dead then our faith is futile and we are still in our sins. Moreover, those who have died believing in Christ have perished.

The resurrection is victory over sin; it has destroyed sin and the grave and set humanity free from the bondage of sin and disease. This means that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead sets the believer free to live a new life that destroys sin in his life and has gained victory over sin (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

D. The Appearances of the Risen Christ (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)

The appearances of the risen Christ to His disciples and to a group of people are as important as His death, burial and resurrection because it not only verified His resurrection but more importantly, it has become the driving force for His disciples and followers to start proclaiming His resurrection. Without the postmortem appearances of Jesus Christ, the disciples would not have believed that He was alive.

You see, the disciples felt devastated and defeated after the crucifixion. But after their encounter with the resurrected Christ, they were transformed from being frightened, discouraged and despondent to being bold, courageous and outspoken.

Closing Words

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the message of the good news of salvation offered to mankind by grace through faith in the finished works of Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a message not only of eternal life but one that encompasses the total plan of God to redeem mankind from the ravages of sin and death, from Satan and the curse that is upon all the earth.

Although God does not want anyone to perish but for everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), in the end not all people will be saved but only those who place their faith in Jesus will go to heaven (Acts 4:12). The gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news anyone will ever hear, but how each person will respond to this news determines where he or she will spend eternity.

The gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes, for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles (Romans 1:16). You’ve heard the gospel, the good news of salvation. What are you going to do about it?


Recommended Resource: The Case for Christ (Pack of six) by Lee Strobel
A seasoned journalist chases down the biggest story on record in The Case for Christ. Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, former Chicago Tribune legal editor Lee Strobel cross-examines a dozen experts with tough, point-blank questions in search of credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was positively the Son of God.

This riveting quest for the truth about history’s most compelling figure reads like a captivating, fast-paced novel, yet it’s anything but fiction!

10 Replies to “What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?”

  1. I think I was led to here by a Divine hand because, I honestly falter with my faith recently. My primary concerns were, the state of the dead, and if God and the Bible are true. That we are not sure what will really happen after a person dies, and will we see our deceased loved ones again beyond.

    I think, that recommended resource can really help me, so I will be checking it out and will bookmark this article of yours. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. God bless and more power to you!

    1. Hi Gomer,

      I had these questions too before I came to know Jesus. I wasn’t sure what’s in store for me in the future. Will I go to heaven when I die? Will I see my loved ones who have gone ahead? What’s heaven gonna be like? Is the Bible trustworthy? Is Jesus God and if He was, how could God die? 

      I often struggled to reconcile the things beyond my comprehension. When I  heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I realized I was a lost soul in need of a Savior; that I was a sinner destined to be punished eternally in hell if I will not accept God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So I made a decision to receive the Gospel message of salvation and place my faith in what Jesus has accomplished for me on mount Calvary. 

      We all falter in our faith at times but God is faithful. He always makes a way to get our attention and to let us know He’s always ready to take us back into His loving arms. 

      Yes, God and the Bible are true. The Bible is not just a collection of books written by different authors and compiled by the early church fathers. Christians can have confidence in God and the Bible because the Bible has been proven trustworthy and reliable by science and archaeological facts. 

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Please do check back from time to time. Shalom and God bless!

      Alice

  2. Interesting article. I grew up in church, like some of your other readers. I have also found that I don’t agree with all the ways of the church. There are a lot of judgements against others, and unanswered questions about everything that make it difficult to believe fully.

    As with you article–I was needing a little clarification on a couple points. You said :

    “The testimony of the actual death of Jesus is so important because if there was any doubt Jesus really died, there would be doubt as to whether the Father actually had meted out His wrath on Christ. Death is the penalty pronounced on sinners (Romans 6:23) and death is required for atonement (Hebrews 9:22). So if Jesus had not died we would have no assurance that God’s justice was satisfied and no foundation for believing that our broken relationship with the Father was restored.”

    By saying this, you are really kind of admitting there is doubt that Jesus actually died. You are saying the facts are that he was buried and then he was walking around a few days later, and that because he was buried he must have been dead. The statement itself says that his death is not a fact. I’m not saying he didn’t die, but by saying this you are leaving room for doubt. And with doubt we have “…no assurance that God’s justice was satisfied and no foundation for believing that our broken relationship with the Father was restored.”

    Another question I have is, Where does God, himself, say that someone else dying for us would calm his wrath upon humanity? Does he even want to forgive us? He seems to be harboring a pretty big hateful grudge against us.

    Just a couple questions there. I have about a million more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. Thanks for your thought provoking post.

    1. Hello Jamie,
      To answer your first question, no! There’s no doubt whatsoever that Jesus died by crucifixion and I am not suggesting there is. Well, how can we know for sure that Jesus died? Because He was buried! He was buried by a member of the Jewish council in his own tomb. Like I said, the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is one of the best attested facts of history that even skeptics like Bart Erhman admit. No one in history ever survived a Roman crucifixion so the fact that the soldiers allowed Jesus’ body to be buried confirmed his death.

      By saying that the testimony of His death is so important, I was simply reiterating how the death of one innocent man was required to pay the penalty of sin. Because without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus’ blood atoned for our sins. And this leads us to your second question, “Where does God say that someone else dying would calm His wrath upon humanity?”

      First of all, the death of Jesus Christ did not calm God’s wrath. Instead, Jesus took God’s wrath upon Himself. Man’s sin separated him from God and the penalty of that sin is death (Romans 3:23). Death here means physical and spiritual death or separation from God. To be separated from God means not being able to communicate with God and enjoy His blessings and separation for all eternity.

      God is a forgiving God; He wants to forgive us because He loves us. God is love but He is also just. And God being holy and just demands justice for sin. God cannot let sin slide, it has to be paid for, it has to be atoned for. (That’s why when we commit a crime today, we need to pay for it, right?) But no ordinary man can pay for his own sin, let alone the sins of the world so God Himself made a way because He loved us too much (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10) to let us rot in hell (hell is separation from God). God hates sin (Romans 1:18) and punishes sin by pouring out His wrath (Romans 3:5). Christ took upon Himself God’s wrath; His blood is the means by which God’s wrath is propitiated or satisfied (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2). Jesus’ death satisfied God’s justice. In other words, justice has been served through the death of Jesus Christ. On the cross, God’s justice was satisfied. Jesus, who was innocent of all sin, paid the penalty that we deserved. He bore the awful wrath of God (Matthew 27:46). Sin and death entered through one man, (Romans 5:12) the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man (1 Corinthians 15:21).

      God takes sin very seriously; He takes sin very seriously that He made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him ( 2 Corinthians 5:21).

      Here’s a link to what salvation means in Christianity, why we need salvation and why Jesus had to die for the sins of the world:
      https://biblical-christianity.com/what-is-salvation-in-christianity

      God bless you!

  3. Thank you so much for this concise but comprehensive and informative “Gospel of Jesus Christ”. It is a complete summary of the death, burial, resurrection and postmortem appearances of Jesus! This article has walked me through the complete gospel with clarity and precision.

    God bless you!

    1. Hello brother Jess.
      The Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed the best news that anyone can hear because it gives us hope of an eternal life with God where there will be no more pain, no more sorrow and no hardships; only joy, peace and security in the presence of God.

      But what the future holds for each of us depends on our response to the message of the gospel. Are we going to place our faith in what the Lord Jesus has done and accept His gift of salvation? Or are we going to harden our hearts and try to keep working our way to heaven? The death, burial, resurrection and postmortem appearances of Jesus Christ paid all our sins in full and has guaranteed eternal life to everyone who accepts this gift.
      Shalom and God bless!

  4. Hi, this is a very accurate detailing the Gospel from the New Testament. Although I am a Christian and had heard of this gospel countless times, reading about it again really gives me a renewal of faith towards Christ.

    The amazing thing about the Gospel of Jesus is it tells about a all Loving God the Father, trying to reach out to rebuild a broken father and child relationship with us. And to save us from eternal damnation, sacrifice his only son Jesus as ransom to pay the price of our sins.

    It is the greatest love story ever known to man. Different from all religions known, instead of teaching us how to reach God, God came down to reach for us first.

    Thank you for sharing out this Good News. More people should know about this gospel of love in a world filled with violence and hatred.

    1. Shalom Wilson, thanks for weighing in.
      God’s love is really amazing because He loved us even while we were still in our sins. Only Christianity offers the gift of salvation; that despite our sinfulness and fallen nature, God reached out to save us. God did not wait for us to come to Him but He made a way for us to be reconciled back to Him. Knowing the depths of God’s love for us should make us want to love Him more and submit to His will. 
      Let’s go out there and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone that they may also come to the knowledge of the love and grace of God.

  5. You have offered a very accurate account of the entire story of humanity, summed up by the story of Jesus Christ. We grow, we help others, we go through challenges and hardships, perish, and then are born again.
    I went to church the first 16-17 years of my life and had a very troubling time with bullies, questions unanswered, and being told how to think without being allowed to express my feelings or thoughts. Now after several life changes, I have found that what works for some isn’t for everyone; but in the end, we are all taking different roads to the same path. I have no harsh feelings of Christianity, I listen to all that wish to share their experiences and perspectives. I have found that it is just not for me.

    With that being said, I do have a great amount of faith in myself, the universe, and the energy that moves through all of us. I have found my spirituality, and bring every action into a meditative state, so that I may be present in every moment. I have seen vast improvements in my moods, interactions, and awareness.

    Thank you for sharing this, it was a refreshing read!

    1. Hello Christopher. I’m so sorry to hear of your bad experiences in the church you attended for 17 years. I cannot refute the fact that these things are happening in many congregations, it’s real I know. However, I still think that these should not be the defining factors of our faith. Instead, we should search deeper, get in the Word, go to God and ask Him to guide and lead us in our decisions. 
      I appreciate your honesty but I disagree with your statement that there are different roads that lead to God. In John 14:6, Jesus Himself said that there’s no other way but Him.
      The problem is that the church has been tainted with the negative things being said and done by other ministers. But I hope you also realize that not everyone who claims to be a Christian is real. The word Christian today is often used in a broad sense but at the end of the day, what makes you a Christian is if you have truly received Christ as Lord and Savior of your life (John 1:12) and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is manifested in the way you live. 
      God bless!

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