What is the Gospel?

(One of my IHOPU classes, Basic Christian Beliefs, is giving the assignment of blogging on certain questions from the lessons every week. This week, I’m choosing the question “What is the Gospel?”)

Gospel. Euangelion. Good news. Christianity’s favourite word.

So what is this good news?

We could give the bullet point version in the four spiritual laws. We could tell the story of eternity, what I like to call the History of the Universe Abridged. But beneath all of that, I think the gospel is very focussed.  All of the swirls of the message and the history and the “if-then” propositions slow down and come to rest in one very particular place.

Paul gave a concise summary of the New Testament gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5: “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you… 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.” But the concept of God’s “good news” is so much older than that. This phrase has appeared throughout the Bible, particularly in a few notable places in Isaiah. And when I think about the fullness of what the gospel is, those are the places I go.

Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
~Isaiah 40:9

What is the good news? GOD. He Himself, and all of who He is, is the good news. When we proclaim the gospel, what we’re really doing is crying out, “LOOK AT GOD! He is beautiful, He is worthy, He is love, He is grace, He is HOLY!” The full gospel is the declaration of His character. What gospel did Isaiah mean? What gospel did Jesus preach before His death?

John Piper has said that missions exists because worship doesn’t. I believe that when we share the good news, we are inviting people into that circle of the seraphim before the throne, crying out holy, holy, holy. This is the point. HE is the point.

And then we get to go straight up to that throne, curl up on YHWH’s lap, and call Him Papa.

I hope your heart skipped a beat reading those words. Because this is the most sacred, beautiful truth of all. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. He has made a way.

And here the cross takes centre stage. In Jesus, in His incarnation and death, was the fullness of God openly displayed. God, stripped naked, beaten ragged, hanging on a tree with arms wide open. Humility. Justice. Victory. Love. Could there be a more beautiful picture of who He is?

So this, my friends, is the gospel.

There is a story, and it’s all about God, and you are invited into it.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
~Isaiah 52:7

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kimberly Tumambing
    Aug 26, 2013 @ 18:34:07

    Beautiful answer. 😀

    Reply

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