What Is the Gospel?

The word ‘gospel’ means good news—God’s good news of salvation in Jesus Christ! This is what the Bible teaches. What is this salvation all about?

God—the Holy Creator

God is the Creator of all things. He is almighty and sovereign over all. This means that He made and rules over us, and we are dependent upon Him for everything.  The Bible says:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth…gives to all life, breath, and all things.
— Genesis 1:1; Acts 17:24, 25

God is holy. This means He is sinless and perfectly righteous.

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!
— Isaiah 6:3

God originally created man in His own image, righteous and holy. This means that the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were made to have fellowship with God—to glorify and enjoy Him forever.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
— Genesis 1:27

God has an absolute claim on our lives. This means we owe all to Him, are to love and obey Him, and are accountable to Him.   

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
— Romans 14:12
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
— Genesis 1:31

But there is bad news…

Man—the Sinful Creature

God put Adam in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it, and gave Adam a specific command. Adam was expected to obey God, or else he would die.

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
— Genesis 2:16-17


This command was God’s test for Adam, whether he would love and glorify God.  But Adam (and Eve), through the devil’s temptation, disobeyed God and sinned.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked.
— Genesis 3:6-7


Sin is the breaking of God’s law. When Adam sinned, he became guilty before God and died. This means he immediately died spiritually in his relationship with God, and later died physically.

For the wages of sin is death.
— Romans 6:23

Adam acted as the representative of all mankind. This means that when he broke God’s law, we all became guilty sinners before God.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
— Romans 5:12; 3:23

Ever since, all people are conceived and born with a sinful nature. This means we have lost the original righteousness in which man was created. We are dead in sin—totally depraved in thought, word, and deed—lawbreakers by nature and practice.

As it is written: There in none righteous, no, not one…Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
— Romans 3:10, 19

As sinners we are alienated from God. This means that friendship and peace with God is replaced with enmity and warfare with God.  We are unable and unwilling by nature to obey and please God, or be reconciled to Him.

Because the carnal mind (i.e. the sin nature) is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
— Romans 8:7-8

God is just. Since we have broken His law, we are under His wrath and curse. His justice requires that sinners must be punished, body and soul, in time and eternity. Death and hell are real.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them…Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?
— Romans 1:18; Galatians 3:10; Matthew 23:33

Since we are all guilty sinners, unable to save ourselves, how can anyone be saved from God’s curse and wrath, and be restored to a righteous relationship with God?

Enter the good news…

Jesus Christ—the Merciful Savior

God is also merciful. After Adam sinned, God promised to one day send His Son to be the Savior for sinners.

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel…And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for he shall save His people from their sins.
— Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:21

Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. This means that He is true God and true man, being without sin. As the new representative, Jesus perfectly obeyed God in order to satisfy God’s justice and gain mercy.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
— Romans 5:19

Jesus accomplished salvation when He bled and died on the cross at Calvary. In order to save His people from their sins, He bore the guilt and curse and wrath of God on their behalf.

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us…For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
— Galatians 3:13; 2 Cor 5:21

Jesus rose from the tomb on the third day. This means that God accepted His sacrifice as the satisfaction for sin, so that sinners can be forgiven and justified—accounted righteous and reconciled to God.

[Jesus] was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
— Romans 4:25

The Gospel Call—Repent and Believe

God calls all people everywhere to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s only way that sinners can be saved.

The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel…Nor is their salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
— Mark 1:15; Acts 4:12

This means to admit that we are sinners, have genuine sorrow over our sins, and turn from our sins to Christ—by faith, trusting in Him alone to save us.

Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
— Isaiah 55:6-7

Salvation is a gift of God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and not by any works that we do.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
— Ephesians 2:8-9

United to Christ in true faith, we have forgiveness, righteousness, and eternal life.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 6:23
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
— John 3:16