The word “Gospel” can carry with it powerful connotations. For some, it is the word that enabled freedom from a the entrapment of a destructive lifestyle. Others immediately think of an outdated religious word heard attending services around Easter or Christmas. And sadly, some associate “gospel” with corruption stemming from spiritual abuse often caused by a pastor or church leader. The true meaning of the word is actually quite simple if we can leave the baggage behind. It means “good news”.
For the early believers, the good news was that Messiah had come. Though Jesus appeared and lived in a unexpected fashion, He brought freedom from oppression and hope, eternal hope. He didn’t establish a warring kingdom and liberate the Jewish people from Roman occupation. He didn’t stop corruption nor worldwide abuse or even slavery. He didn’t heal every disease and remove poverty from the vernacular. He did something much greater, He gave us Himself.
Born of the most humble means, Jesus spent His early life in relative obscurity. Though facing all of the pressures and struggles of His time, He remained sinless. He was tempted, as Scripture indicates, in every way, yet remained pure – completely pure. Following this sinless life, He chose to lay it down to pay for my sin and yours. He chose to become a payment to satisfy the very justice of God in the world He created. God sent His Son to die on the cross to meet the standards of holiness the world was designed to work within. Because God is holy, and we have sinned – He made a way. And on the third day, Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death and establishing a way for God’s most amazing creation to forever remain in a relationship with Him. It is a relationship built on the sinless life, substitutionary death, and life-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The gospel is the good news, the story of Jesus restoring our relationship with God when we place our faith in Him. And we need the gospel everyday. Placing your faith in Jesus Christ forever seals your salvation for eternity. You are made new and are being daily transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. And it is in that daily transformation that we need to remember the gospel. It is not just good news for our eternity, it is good news for our present. Jerry Bridges in his recent book, Respectable Sins stated it this way; we should preach the gospel to ourselves every day. We should remember that the good news is just that, even though I continue to struggle with sin. When we take time to discover the Gospel each day, two amazing things begin to happen. We live in a constant state of thankfulness remembering Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Second, we learn to live free from the chains of our sin and free to pursue God as we are daily made more like Him.
Today, you will likely hear story after story of bad news. Let’s learn to start with the life changing good news and let the the Gospel bring everything else into proper focus.