What is the Gospel?

A Diagnosis – The Bad & Good News

“My external examination shows Jimmy is a healthy boy. The bad news is the lab tests show an  internal infection”, replied the doctor. “However, with some antibiotics, I expect Jimmy to be  healthy in a few days. That’s the good news.” Jimmy’s mom was relieved at this report. She was  thankful for the doctor’s expertise and diagnosis. 

The Bible is God’s book of love written to humanity. We learn of God’s perfect character and plan for humanity to have a close relationship with him. We also learn of God’s diagnosis of humanity. As we read the Bible we can learn both the bad and good news. This is much like what the doctor discovered and proclaimed to Jimmy’s mom.  

The Bad News

God is completely perfect, full of harmony and absolute love. Humanity is full of imperfections, prone to selfishness, and inconsistent in displaying love. The Bible calls this condition of the human heart sin. Why does sin matter? Humanity was meant to have relationship with God and has broken God’s law. A broken law requires judgement, death, and then eternal separation from the family of God in a place of constant suffering (Romans 6:23;  Matthew 10:28; 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9). No amount of good works we do can make it possible for us to reach God. 

The Good News 

In the Gospel of John (found in the New Testament part of the Bible), we see a life fully lived for God in the life of Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect life by God’s standards. God made a way for sinful humanity to be brought back into His family through Jesus. He died the death that  sinful men and women should have died for breaking God’s laws. This is good news! But there is more. The writer John shows that Jesus rose from the dead three days later to show that he has power over sin and death. He is able to give humanity new life for those who  believe in him by faith. This Gospel or “Good News” of the Bible is summarized by these famous  verses.  

John 3:16-17. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever  believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the  world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”