I recently penned a post on a man-centered gospel and why we should be wary of it. Given the positive feedback it received, I found it fitting to explore what the Gospel truly is. 

I personally believe that as Christians, we never graduate from the need to hear the gospel even as we grow in our knowledge of God. There’s just something powerful about hearing what Jesus did for us again and again.

More than that, I think we can all agree that an understanding of the Gospel is important since it gives us the confidence we need to share it with others.

You never, never, never outgrow your need for the gospel. You don’t begin the Christian life with this and then leave it behind and get stronger with something else. God strengthens us with the gospel to the day we die.
John Piper

What is the Gospel?

The Gospel simply means “good news.” In this case, the good news of salvation. It encapsulates the profound truth that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for our sins and was resurrected from the dead. This pivotal event offers us the opportunity for salvation and eternal life when we repent and place our belief in Him.

The Apostle Paul summarizes some critical elements of the gospel message in 1 Corinthians 15 when he says,

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 ESV

These elements include the death of Christ, His burial, His resurrection and His appearance after the resurrection. They summarize the finished work of Jesus Christ and serve as evidence for the gospel

As such, these elements are an integral part of the Gospel which the Apostles proclaimed and they should be for us as well.

The Key to Understanding the Gospel.


The foundational aspect of understanding the Gospel lies in recognizing God as the Creator of the entire universe, as described in the Book of Genesis (Gen 1). This establishes His supreme authority over all of His creation.

Moreover, God is holy and righteous and He expects the same of us since we are made in His image and likeness (Gen 1:26-27).

Being perfect in righteousness and holiness, He cannot overlook or excuse sin. Habakkuk 1:13a underscores this aspect, stating that God, being holy, cannot tolerate or condone sin. As a result, accountability for our actions becomes imperative. God’s justice demands that there be consequences for disobedience and wrongdoing.

The bad news

If there’s good news then it stands to reason that there’s bad news as well. And for us to grasp the magnificence and worth of the Gospel, I’m going to start with the bad news:

1. You are a sinner (You’ve broken God’s law).

The second key to understanding the Gospel lies in recognizing the inherent brokenness and separation caused by human sin. Sin means “to miss the mark”. The mark in this case is God’s divine law (1 John 3:4).

Despite being created in the image and likeness of God, humanity chose to rebel against Him, introducing sin into the world (Genesis 3). This disobedience severed the harmonious relationship between God and humans.

As a result, the Bible teaches that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Therefore, if you claim to be without sin, you’re deceiving yourself (1 John 1: 8-10) because, since the fall of man, every human being inherits a natural inclination to sin right from conception. It’s coded in our DNA!

The Bible has the following to say about the human condition after the fall:

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Psalm 51:5 ESV
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; Romans 3:10b ESV
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned Romans 5:12 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 ESV

2. The punishment for your sin is an eternity in Hell which is separation from God.

The result of sin is physical death and eternal separation from God’s presence (Isa 59:2). This means that sinners who refuse to repent will ultimately face judgment for all of eternity in hell. As stated in the following verse:

but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. Romans 2:8 ESV 
For the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23a ESV
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15 ESV

3. You can’t escape Hell by being a good person, having a good heart, or any other effort on your part.

It’s a natural inclination to believe that by being a good person, we can earn favor with God. However, we are all in the same spiritual boat regardless of good works, good morals, or religious activity.

The Bible teaches that no amount of good works can make us right with God or earn us a ticket to heaven. For it says,

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. Isaiah 64:6a ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5 ESV 
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12 ESV

But… The good news

1. Jesus died for your sins

Not only is God perfect in Holiness and righteousness but He’s also perfect in grace, love, and mercy. 

He knows that we can’t measure up to His righteousness on our own. Therefore, out of love, He came up with a wonderful plan for our salvation. 

This plan was fulfilled through His son Jesus Christ. Who became a man ( fully God-fully human), led a sinless life, died for our sins, and rose again. Consequently, giving all who believe in Him forgiveness:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Phil 2:5- 8 ESV
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 ESV 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV

2. God’s gift of righteousness 

There’s more to the good news! It goes beyond forgiveness; it extends to the imputation of righteousness. Because Christ led a sinless life, God clothes those who believe in Him with His righteousness. 

This is what is referred to as “The Great Exchange“. It is where our sins are credited to Jesus and His righteousness is credited to us in exchange. This results in a righteous standing before God:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, 1 Peter 3:18a ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. Romans 3:23-25a ESV
What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. Romans 4:1-5 ESV
A tattered Bible with a flower and glasses explaining the Gospel

Our Response to the Gospel 

Perhaps you are wondering… What should we do with the knowledge that Jesus died in our place to satisfy God’s just wrath against our sins? What does God expect me to do with this knowledge? 

The answer is simple. God anticipates your response to be one of repentance and faith in His son Jesus Christ. 

Our task is to turn away from our sins and realize the futility of attempting to win God’s approval through our seemingly good deeds. Instead, we are to place ourselves at His mercy, relying on Christ’s completed work on the cross to take away our sins and have His righteousness “credited to our account.”

For the Bible says,

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 ESV
Jesus said “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15 ESV
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13 ESV
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, Acts 3:19 ESV


Have you put your faith in what Christ did for you by dying on the cross? If you haven’t? You have a choice: to put your trust in yourself and risk God’s righteous judgment, or put your confidence in Christ and receive salvation and eternal life. The conditions that God has established for the forgiveness of sins are clear:

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me’ (John 14:6).

You can only attain eternal life and be freed from the curse of death through faith and confidence in the God of the Scriptures, specifically faith in the Christ He sent to die for your sins. The Son of God is the only way to become a son of God.

Have you given Christ your all? I pray that God enables you to do so.


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