"Gospel" means 'Good News'. And it is! Try and read the Apostle Paul's writings and miss what he considers is the Gospel! Around every five verses of Paul's writings he makes some reference to the Cross and its implications. For Paul, the Gospel pervaded everything.
There is probably no clearer and more succinct edition of Paul's Gospel than the first twelve verses of First Corinthians 15. Have a read of it. If put on the spot to share the Gospel, read it and explain it. The Gospel. It must be received, held fast.
1Cor. 15:1 ¶ Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,
The Gospel saves and keeps on saving us
1Cor. 15:2 and by which you are being saved,
The Gospel preserves the genuinely saved-
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—
But the Gospel discriminates between those who have believed unto salvation and those who have believed in vain-
unless you believed in vain.
The Gospel affects everything- it becomes the thing of "first importance" to those who are saved by it-
1Cor. 15:3 ¶ For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
And at the core of the Gospel of first importance is the preeminent announcement: Christ died for our sins! The Gospel is about Jesus dying for us because of our sins. The Gospel is Jesus! Jesus is the Good News!
that Christ died for our sins
And this Gospel is the Scriptures. The Bible is the Gospel!
in accordance with the Scriptures
The Gospel declares that Jesus Christ is Lord! He is Lord because He died and rose again.
1Cor. 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
The Gospel provides proof. Our commitment to Christ is not based on unsupported faith. Our faith is grounded in its proofs. The Gospel is a proven Gospel-
1Cor. 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
1Cor. 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
1Cor. 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
The Gospel transforms the least and the worst and humbles the mighty. The Gospel can transform anyone! No one is beyond hope! No one's situation is hopeless! The Gospel is hope!
1Cor. 15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
1Cor. 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
The Gospel is a Gospel of Grace. Grace is opposed to earning. There is nothing anyone can do to earn God's favour or blessing. God's favour and blessing are based on God's grace. Grace is opposed to earning, but it is not opposed to effort. In fact, God's grace empowers effort! By God's grace we can
1Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
The Gospel is not copyrighted! Anyone is allowed to use it. It is bigger and grander than any one person. You are invited by God Almighty to share the Gospel.
Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
This week I was contacted by someone who has attended our church a few times. They had realised that while they had occasionally attended churches throughout their life, there was something missing. We made a time to meet together. Kim and I then shared the Gospel with them. They then received the Gospel and made a commitment to Christ. Just yesterday I was contacted by a well known local sporting identity who said that something strange was happening to him. I had previously met with this person a few times over the past two years. They said, "I keep getting this thought in my head that I need to go to church, so you might see me there soon." This person had just shared how their life had fallen apart and everyhing they held dear had been taken away from them. "There must be more to life" they said. This person was experiencing the affect of the Gospel seeded in their life years earlier. The Gospel is a seed. Let's keep sowing.
Is. 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Want a cause for your hobbies? Baptise your hobbies in the Gospel! Want a cause for your employment? Baptise your empoyment in the Gospel! Want a cause to which you can commit your entire life? Baptise your life in the Gospel!
1Cor. 9:23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.