What Is The Gospel?
Today, there’s no consensus in Christendom concerning the gospel.
Since I was a child, I have heard adults describe the gospel as the “good news”.
And without overthinking this, you most likely have heard the identical thing concerning it.
But what constitutes the gospel? It is the good news of what exactly?
Should you ask three Christians this question, I’m positive you will receive three distinct answers, yet we are all using the same Book.
However, the Gospel possesses three essential and distinct elements: the King; the kingdom, and the King’s Son.
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Does the Gospel Mean Good News?
I have no reservations that the gospel means good news but I don’t want to debate this.
However, I really desire to investigate whether the gospel is only about good news or not and is it for everyone?
Many Bible teachers, pastors, and preachers teach that the gospel is the good news of salvation.
They say, “the key to understanding the gospel is to know why it’s good news”.
But even before we address the motivation for it, let’s agree on the nature of it.
What about Jesus is the Gospel?
What is the Gospel in the Bible?
Where in the Bible could we find this pronouncement that the gospel is the good news?
Is it good news, or the good news, or a good announcement? Then, if yes, what qualifies as good news?
Because by that admission anything good we discover in the Bible could be the gospel.
As a result, the entire Bible would therefore be the gospel. Is this what the Bible teaches?
Is this what Jesus teaches?
They say, “Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” when Christians talk about the gospel, they’re simply telling the good news about Jesus!”
So, what must we say about him?
Does this statement run parallel to the true Word of God?
What exactly is the good news about Jesus Christ?
Is it that he was an excellent carpenter; or a very soft-spoken man?
What’s the good news about him that the Bible teaches and that we desire to share with the world?
Since we are all using the same Book we should all share identical things about him as the good news!
But we don’t!
Did Moses Preach The Gospel?
Don’t they know holy men of God preached the gospel long, long before the birth of Jesus Christ?
Did you know that Moses preached the gospel to the Children of Israel in the wilderness?
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it”.Hebrews 4:2
Above, when Apostle Paul says “unto them” he is speaking of the Jews who Moses rescued from Egypt.
Similarly, when he says “unto us” he is speaking about the Church then and now.
So, if Moses preached the gospel to them in the desert, what did he tell them about him?
And is it different from what we share today as the good news of Jesus Christ?
Where in the Bible could we find this preaching of Moses?
3 Critical Elements of the Gospel
So, if the gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ it has to be more specific than that, or we could have the good news of many things, such as the gospel of a newborn son, daughter, the good news of a recent purchase of a house and property.
We could tell the good news of finding a wife, of our children, becoming well again, wealthy, happy and so many other things.
But, is this what the Bible means by the gospel? No!
However, if we say that the gospel entails the death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and the return of Jesus Christ that is different.
Nevertheless, anytime we discuss the gospel there are some things we must speak about.
They fall into three broad categories according to the Bible.
But there is no kingdom without a king.
The Lord God is the King of the Kingdom of God and of the universe.
Now, a king is supreme in his domain and there’s no one above him.
His words are final, laws, and supreme.
Jesus is also a king. Besides he is King of the Jews.
But the king we are discussing now is Jesus’ Father. He’s the Lord God Almighty!
There is no god greater than him and none more powerful.
He is the King of kings and His domain is the universe.
This means that wherever His words are spoken He has authority and power and the hearers obey Him.
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be [honor] and glory [forever] and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).
Any time we speak about the gospel we must talk about the King.
He’s the good news.
After Adam’s transgression, He searched for a man that could reconcile fallen humanity to Him but He found none.
Thus, the King of kings, the Lord God Almighty, became a man (His Son) to save mankind from sin.
The Mystery of The Gospel
The Bible describes this as the mystery of the gospel.
Apostle Mark describes it as the mystery of the Kingdom of God.
“Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables“.Mark 4:11
But Apostle Paul speaking to the Ephesians Church on the same subject says,
“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel“.Ephesians 6:19
However, to understand the mystery of the gospel we must comprehend the mystery of the King and the Bible calls it the mystery of Godliness.
It explains how the King, who is a Spirit, became a man to shed sinless blood to atone for the sin of Adam and all humanity.
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory“.1 Timothy 3:16
Consequently, when we speak of the mystery of the gospel; the mystery of the kingdom of God, or the mystery of godliness, then we are discussing the same topic.
So, when we preach, teach, or talk about any of those three topics immediately above, we must mention how the King became a man to redeem us from sin for that is the good news.
So, there is no king without a kingdom.
According to the Gospels of Jesus Christ by Matthew and Mark respectively, Jesus starts his ministry by explaining an important feature of the good news.
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” .
He explains what the gospel is about: the kingdom of God.
This means that wherever he went he preached the same message to all.
However, Mark is much more precise than Matthew in explaining the exact nature of the good news.
For he tells us that the good news is not just about “the kingdom”, but about “the kingdom of God”.
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God” .(Mark 1:14)
“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel”.(Mark 1:15)
What Is The Gospel About?
So, the gospel is about the kingdom of God.
Therefore, from this point onwards, both Matthew and Mark expect us to understand that whenever they use the word “gospel”, they are actually referring to “the gospel of the kingdom of God”.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the King in the Kingdom of God.
This kingdom is different from all other kingdoms. For it has no lavish palace and lacks all the other pomp and circumstances that accompany royalty.
Next, the kingdom of God is a word-centered kingdom.
In it, the King’s representatives speak the King’s words to people they encounter and the King carries out His emissaries’ requests.
Another difference between the Kingdom of God and others is that it is invisible.
No one has ever seen the King or His kingdom.
At this point, it’s appropriate if you inquire: So, how can I tell that it exists?
To this, I would say that is one of the reasons the King sent His Son to speak on his behalf. Additionally, the King’s prophets foretell the gospel and those prophecies have come true.
Presently, I shall discuss the Son.
The King’s Son
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”.(Mark 1:1)
Saying this another way. This is the start of the good news of the Son of the King, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
The Son of God really is the King who became a man. His own arm brought Him salvation because Jesus is the Savior of the world.
Recall, that Jesus didn’t visit earth because he wanted a holiday.
The Lord God, the King of the World, sent him.
Everywhere he went he would preach this message to people.
This gospel belongs to the Kingdom of God. It belongs to Jesus’ Father.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God
The King’s Son, (Jesus Christ), came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (his Father).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the King of the universe; He is the King of the whole world.
So, even though Jesus was the preacher of the gospel it wasn’t his good news but that of his Father.
According to Matthew, why did Jesus heal all sicknesses and all diseases? (Matthew 4:23).
And what exactly did he preach and teach concerning the Kingdom of God?
The scripture quotation above didn’t inform us what he taught only that he taught!
According to Apostle Mark, “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14).
When he preached this, what are some of the things that he would have talked about?
What Are The Elements of The Gospel of The Kingdom of God?
What constitutes the “gospel of the kingdom of God”?
Additionally, note too that the “good news” or gospel is about the kingdom of God.
- Who is the King and what He has done?
- The Kingdom – How it operates and who functions in it?
- The King’s Son – His name, what he has done and continues to do.
Also, observe too, my friends, that after this initial introduction of this subject, subsequently whenever Jesus preached about the gospel of the kingdom of God, he simply said “gospel” instead of saying “the gospel of the kingdom of God”.
The Contraction That We Missed
Subsequently, seven other times Apostle Mark uses “gospel” as a contraction for “the gospel of the kingdom of God”.
- Mark 1:1
- Mark 1:15
- Mark 8:35
- Mark 10:29
- Mark 13:10
- Mark 14:9
- Mark 16:15
Thus, he has established the nature of the gospel of the kingdom of God, later when he makes reference to it, he simply uses the contraction; therefore, then he just says “gospel”.
When he does this, he is not talking about two different subjects but the same thing.
Above, in all those references not once did Apostle Mark explain what’s the good news of the gospel.
Many Bible Teachers and preachers only search for the nice and lovely things that the Bible mention and then they declare them as gospel.
But, what if the gospel of the Kingdom also contains some stuff that is not good news?
Apostle Mark tells us what is the gospel but not its constituents!
However, as I moved from The Book of Mark to Luke, my favorite disciple, the latter supplies an essential connection to what comprises the gospel of the kingdom of God.
What Did The Prophets of God Say About The Gospel?
The Beloved Physician, speaking about the King’s Son, Jesus, he tells us:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” .(Luke 4:18)
However, upon closer scrutiny, I discover that those are not Apostle Luke’s words for he was quoting Isaiah the prophet of the King.
He wasn’t talking about himself but about Jesus Christ.
He continues, “To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19).
Then Jesus informs the congregation that today Isaiah 61:1-3
“is fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21).
In other words, what Isaiah wrote about is happening today before your eyes.
Below you will find a breakdown of Isaiah 61:1-3.
• The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; [Why?]
• Because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;
• He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
• To proclaim liberty to the captives, and
• The opening of the prison to them that are bound (Isaiah 61:1).
- To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
- and the day of vengeance of our God;
- to comfort all that mourn (Isaiah 61:2).
The Prophet of the Lord continues to explain the purpose of the King Son’s visit to earth.
• To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,
• to give unto them beauty for ashes,
• the oil of joy for mourning,
• the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified
The Spirit of The Lord Is Upon Me!
Thus, anytime we discuss the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, then we must also explain the “Come Upon Experience”.
This experience anointed Jesus before he began preaching and to preach the good news of the kingdom of God.
Jesus explains that in order for him to articulate the functions of his Father’s kingdom he needs the Come Upon Experience.
He says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me”.
Read about it here.
We know that Jesus had that experience after John the Baptist baptized him in the Jordan River.
Yet, today many Pastors and Teachers think they could teach and preach about the Gospel and never mention the need for the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Not only did Jesus declares that he had the Holy Ghost come upon Him but that his followers needed to have a similar experience as he did.
In principle, this is the identical thing he tells Nicodemus. He informs him, “you must be born of water and of Spirit”.
This is an essential component of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Additionally, when his disciples received the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost, they fulfilled his words.
Now and then, we cannot effectively do anything relating to the Gospel of the kingdom of God, unless we have been “anointed” by the Holy Ghost!
Preaching Good Tidings
Isaiah speaking of Jesus tells us that “the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek”.
But Luke, in quoting Isaiah, informs us that the Spirit of the Lord anointed Jesus “to preach the gospel to the poor”.
I must point out that Jesus (the King’s Son) comes to preach and teach “good tidings” or good news, or announcements to the “meek”.
Note that the subject is plural, that is, “good tidings” or “good news”.
Thus, the gospel is not only about salvation but many other important events. You will see a list below.
Who Are the Poor?
The Bible let us know that the Spirit of the Lord has anointed Jesus to preach the gospel to the poor.
But who are the poor?
Before we start thinking that “poor” in this context is identical to the “poor and needy” let me expound this Word for your understanding.
Recall that Luke 4:18 is a quotation of Isaiah 61:1. In this latter reference, Isaiah didn’t use the word “poor”; instead, he used “meek”.
This tells me that Luke is speaking about the same person as the prophet of God.
Who Are The Meek?
Jesus explains who is a meek person.
He says: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
So, a meek person is “lowly in heart” because his or her heart is not puffed up with pride.
Meekness is always associated with lowliness.
Listen to Apostle Paul as he explains this,
“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
Saying this another way, a meek person possesses a “quiet spirit” or a humble heart.
This time, Apostle Peter explains, he says:
“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:4).
Consequently, the meek person is the same as the poor in spirit or the “poor” in this context.
Again, Jesus informs us for he says:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God and sent to preach “good tidings” to the poor in spirit.
And they will hear this good news of the Kingdom of God and accept, believe, and obey it.
The Recovery of Sight to the Blind
Did you know that when the King’s Son restore sight to the blind folks he encountered it wasn’t by chance?
He recovering sight for the blind was a mandate from the King. It is an essential component of the gospel.
Do you remember when John sent some of his disciples to Jesus to enquire if he was That Prophet?
What was Jesus’ response?
He says, “tell John”, then he gave a list of things that the King’s Son has been doing.
Read it here:
“Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached“.Luke 7:22
Why did Jesus respond in this manner? Because John would have known the Scriptures and these are the things they prophesy that he would do when he comes.
So, by reminding John of the Scriptures in this manner, he was also informing him that the Scriptures are currently been fulfilled by the actions of the King’s Son.
Is The Gospel For Everyone?
Therefore, the gospel of the kingdom of God is not for everyone. The King sent it to everyone, but not everyone will accept, believe, and obey it, but the meek, or the poor in spirit will.
As a result, the Spirit of the Lord anointed Jesus and sent him to preach to them. So, if you believe this gospel, then you are a meek person.
“He Hath Sent Me to Heal The Brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18)
Are you broken-hearted? Then, the Spirit of the Lord had you in mind when He sent Jesus Christ.
He sent him to heal your broken heart.
Thus, wherever Believers preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ they will minister to your broken heart.
They will “bind up your broken heartedness”.
Jesus will make you whole again.
To Proclaim Liberty to The Captives
Why did Jesus heal all sicknesses and all diseases of the people whom he encounters?
Short answer, because he comes to “proclaim liberty to the captives” (Isaiah 61:1D).
In other words, he comes to preach freedom and to liberate the prisoners.
It was Doctor Luke who illuminates us in this respect.
He informs us:Luke 13:16
“And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?”
In the quotation immediately above, Jesus reveals a secret that has been hidden since the beginning of time.
In it, he informs us that a woman who was sick for eighteen years couldn’t get well before because she was in bondage.
And we know that bondage is synonymous with captivity.
He, explains who keeps her a prisoner and he enquired, rhetorically, if she being a Jew shouldn’t she be free?
From this discourse, we realize that sickness and diseases together represent prison.
But our discovery didn’t end there for we become cognizant that Jesus came to set every sick (captive) free.
For that reason, he healed every sickness and every disease. I have expounded on this in “Living Soul: In The Image of God”. Read it to get the details!
Any time we preach or teach the gospel we must preach this. Jesus came and released all the captives.
The King’s Son Sets The Captives Free
Captives are people living on planet Earth. They are both unbelievers and Believers in Jesus Christ.
But they have been ensnared by the Devil and because of the nature of their ensnarement, they are taken captives at his will.
They are all held against their will, yet they are ignorant of this. They are spiritual prisoners.
However, the Spirit of the Lord anointed Jesus and sent him to liberate all these prisoners and he did.
Wherever Believers preach this Gospel of the Kingdom of God they should preach liberty, deliverance, or freedom to the captives in the name of Jesus Christ.
But these captives are not who you may be thinking about. They are prisoners alright but not of a physical nature.
These captives are in a prison but not one made by the hands of humanity.
The Snare of The Devil
Read 2 Timothy 2:23-26.
“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes (2 Timothy 2:23).
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (2 Timothy 2:24).
“In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25).
“And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:26).
So, if you have been ensnared by the Devil you are his captive.
Nevertheless, Jesus comes to liberate the captives.
For that reason, wherever Jesus went and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God he also healed all the people of all their sicknesses and diseases.
Apostle Matthew explains this Matthew 4:23.
Apostle Luke also expresses a similar sentiment to Matthew’s.
He informs us thus,
“And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing [everywhere]”.Luke 9:6
So, today wherever Christians preach the gospel of the kingdom of God deliverance takes place.
The captives are liberated and healing occurs. Thus, there is no preaching of the gospel of the Son of God without healing and deliverance.
When we preach or teach about the gospel we must expound on the King; the Kingdom, and the King’s Son.
We should make clear the identity of the King, the Lord God, and what he has done.
Similarly, we should articulate the nature of the kingdom and how those who have entered it have power with the King by speaking.
Finally, when we talk about the gospel we must talk about the King’s Son and remember he is really the King in flesh.
Talk about the power of his name and what he came and accomplished.
The gospel is powerful for the following reason:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to [everyone] that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek”.Romans 1:16