Gospel occurs 97 times in the New Testament. The Gospel (and the salvation it provides, Rom. 1:16) is the New Testament’s theme. What does it tell us about the Gospel?
• The Gospel is good news. The Greek word behind gospel literally means “glad tidings,” “good news.” Herein is a paradox. The Gospel message revolves around the death of God’s only begotten Son. However, His death provides the only means of our redemption from sin (1 Pet. 1:18–19). Thus a death message becomes the most wonderful news imaginable.
• The Gospel is singular. While some were preaching a “different” Gospel in Galatia, Paul made it clear that there was not “another” Gospel (Gal. 1:6–9). Gospels does not appear in Holy Writ. When referring to the Gospel of Christ, the term always appears with the definite article. The Gospel is not one message among many acceptable alternatives. Jesus is “the way” to the Father exclusively (John 14: 6); the Gospel is “the way” to Jesus exclusively (Eph. 3:6).
• The Gospel is Truth. God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17), and His Word for all men since the cross is the Gospel (Mark 16:15–16). Many human philosophies, all of which are based on speculation, theory, and opinion, compete for the minds of men. The Gospel is the only message that constitutes all of the Truth relative to human-human and human-Divine relationships and to mankind’s destiny beyond his physical existence.
• The Gospel is all-inclusive. God so loved all mankind that He sent and sacrificed His Son for its salvation (John 3:16). He revealed the Gospel message through which all men might take advantage of that ultimate sacrifice (Rom. 1:16). The Gospel is unaware of a “limited atonement”; Jesus gave Himself as a “ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:4–6). Not all will be saved because of human weakness, but not because of a weak atonement or Gospel (Mark 16:16).
• The Gospel is God’s message of grace. Paul called it “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). The Gospel is the wonderful story of what God, through Jesus, has done for us through His amazing grace (Eph. 2:8–9; Tit. 2:11–12). The Gospel of grace is almost too good to be true, but it is true!
• The Gospel must be obeyed. Jesus said men must believe and obey the Gospel (which includes baptism) to be saved (Mark 16:15–16). Paul warned that the Lord will bring vengeance upon those who “obey not the gospel” (2 The. 1:8). Peter wrote of the fearful end of those who “obey not the gospel” (1 Pet. 4:17).