What Is The Gospel?

Sometimes it’s possible to get so familiar with a word we don’t actually recognize what it really means.  A great example of this is the word “gospel.”  Many think the gospel is the news we must repent of all of our sins and live holy before God.  Others think it’s a type of music 😊  That last point could be debated, but the word gospel actually came from a rarely used Greek word euangelion that means “almost too good to be true news.”

The word gospel is meant to be heard like a hyperbole.  The news is so impossibly good it can’t be true; but it is!  If we properly understand the word we should immediately rejoice and celebrate.  This begs the question, “why don’t we?”  Because many of us haven’t been taught the true heart of the gospel.  Look at these verses out of Romans 1:

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

There is a lot that could be taught from those passages, but the thing I want you to catch is the gospel is about Jesus.  In other words, the gospel isn’t about you and me and what we must do to be right with God.  The true gospel is all about what Jesus did and how He paid for all our sins past, present, and future.  We don’t have to do anything to be right with God other than believe – Hallelujah! 

One of my favorite stories about the almost too good to be true news of the gospel in the Bible is about Malchus.  If you ever consider yourself unworthy of being saved, healed, or blessed in some way, please remember this story.  Malchus was the servant of the high priest who plotted and schemed to put Jesus to death. Malchus came out to help arrest Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. He wanted Jesus dead. He was the enemy of Jesus!  When Malchus came to arrest Jesus, the Apostle Peter cut off his ear with a sword! 

In this story, Malchus is a picture of fallen humanity and Peter illustrates the picture of what religion does to fallen humanity.  Religion seeks to cut and destroy the sinner, because it doesn’t have the power to bring wholeness.  Look at what Jesus did, however:

Luke 22:51 And He touched his ear and healed him.

Jesus revealed the heart of the almost too good to be true news of the gospel and healed Malchus!  Imagine being Malchus and Jesus did that for you.  What would your reaction be?  You hate this man and are out to arrest and destroy him and He makes you whole!  You weren’t a friend, you were an enemy and Jesus made you whole without you even asking! 

The love of God is sooo strong and his mercy is sooo great. His love pursues us in the midst of our rebellion taking the chance that we will totally reject Him. The potential for our rejection never stops Him from pursuing because the Father’s heart is so passionate for His kids.

And the best part is, there is nothing we can do to earn it!  The same God that made his enemy whole, will make you and me whole.  That’s what the gospel is. It’s God’s unconditional one-way love for fallen humanity. All we have to do is simply believe!  And that’s the gospel truth!   

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