The word “gospel” simply means “good news”. It is indeed good news about who Jesus is and what He did for you. God, in His infinite wisdom, developed a plan from the very beginning of time to give us a reason to love Him. His greatest commandment to us is just that, to love Him, but how do you get someone to love you? God gave us the greatest gift in human history, His son. Most people can probably quote the popular verse in John 3:16 that says:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
What does that mean exactly? How did He give His Son and how does that save us? Well, God had established early on that He expects us to be righteous like He is. The first man, Adam only had one rule to keep to remain righteous and he broke it. It is impossible to be righteous by ourselves no matter how hard we try (Romans 3:9-20).
This is where Jesus comes in. God’s Son Jesus would come to Earth and do what no one else has been able to… live a righteous life. Then He would allow Himself to be offered as an ultimate sacrifice and take on the punishment for the whole world in a one time offering. His blood was spilled in a torturous experience that He could have avoided, but He didn’t because He loved us. He died on the cross and was buried in a tomb. He took the punishment that, by all rights, we deserve ourselves and gave us the gift of his righteousness. If we accept this gift through true faith, we become righteous and worthy of God through that gift.
Jesus then overcame death and arose from the grave three days later and thus paved the way for our resurrection after death. The apostle Paul later described the Gospel as this, in I Corinthians 15:1-4:
“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
So the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our eternal life is the gospel and the truth upon which we unite. Through the grace and the love of God, we will then grow together on this foundation of Jesus Christ.