Gospel means good news but more specifically it is the teaching or revelation of Jesus Christ. Sometimes when we ask people if they have ever heard of the gospel they will answer by saying Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Which is the record of Jesus' life and teaching in the first four books of the New Testament.
The Apostle Paul gives us a summary of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4(1) Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, (2) and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. (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, (4) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
So while the gospel means the good news of the teachings of Jesus Christ an overview of that is what Paul is saying that he received and then preached to those in Corinth that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and he was buried and rose the third day according to the scriptures.
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the good news which we call the gospel that Paul and the other Apostles went around proclaiming to the lost. And it is the very command that Christ has giving to the Church as well, to carry out in the great commission to go and proclaim this gospel or good news.
That is the overall summary of the gospel, but there is more to it, you see as I said in the definition it is the teachings and recording of the life of Jesus Christ. That is why it is important that we understand and rightly divide the Word of God.
Because we may say we believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ but then have a faulty or unbiblical view of who Jesus Christ is or an unbiblical view of what the gospel message is which then leaves us with no gospel at all.
The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 1:6-9
(6) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— (7) not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. (8) But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. (9) As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
Paul says he is astonished that they are turning to a different gospel, not that there is another gospel, there is only one true gospel but there are some who distort the gospel of Christ and preach a false gospel and Paul says warns them twice if anyone even if an angel from heaven should preach a gospel contrary to the one I preached to you let them be accursed.
Such a strong warning against those who would come and distort the true gospel of Jesus Christ, yet so often in what is called the evangelical church in America today is doing just that by distorting the gospel of Christ and preaching either a false view of who Jesus Christ is or a false gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here are some examples of these false views and false gospels. First I want to start with the false view of who Jesus Christ is that is being taught by religious groups that claim to be Christian.
1) Jesus is created being, this is taught by false religions such as the Mormons, Jehovah Witness Organization
2) Jesus is just a man or a prophet, this is taught by some of the world religions that are out there like Islam
3) Jesus in not deity (God), this is taught by many of the religions I already mentioned like Mormons, Jehovah Witness, Islam, as well as Judaism, Hebrew Isrealites, and any other group that may teach this false view of Christ.
4) Jesus is not the second person of the Trinity, this is taught by those who hold to modalistic/oneness teachings, such as oneness Pentecostals and famous tv preachers such as TD Jakes. This teaching denies the Trinity and therefore has a false view of who Jesus Christ is, making this another false teaching that is out there.
Now some of the false gospels that are out there.
1) The most popular false gospel today is the health, wealth and prosperity gospel, which is taught by many false teachers today on tv many of which are very popular in our society, teachers like Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, John Hagee, Joel Osteen, Paula White and about 95% of the so called preachers on tv today. This false gospel says come to Jesus and you will receive prosperity, that your season of blessing is coming that all you have to do is believe and receive, if you just sow a seed of X amount of dollars you will receive a harvest in your finances.
2) Another false gospel today is that salvation is through Jesus plus anything else you want to add to that. Some say Jesus plus your good works, others say Jesus plus keeping the laws or the sacraments.
These are not the correct views of Jesus Christ and not the correct views of the Gospel. And as the Apostle Paul said anyone who comes preaching a different gospel let them be accursed.
God is triune, One God in three Persons, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity and if you preach any other Jesus then this one you are preaching a different Jesus, not the Jesus of scripture and not a Jesus who can save. Because you have a false view of Jesus. He is not just a man or a prophet, not a created being or an angel, Jesus is fully God and fully Man. As I said get that wrong and you have a false view of Christ, which means you are receiving a different Jesus that cannot save.
(Scriptural support that Jesus is God)
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
John 20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Titus 2:13 Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
John 8:28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Hebrews 1:8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
John 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,
Colossians 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
Romans 9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
John 10:30-33 I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
Isaiah 43:11 I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Hebrews 1:1-3 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
John 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5:22-23 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
Matthew 28:9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.
Isaiah 44:6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Philippians 2:10 So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
John 9:38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Jude 1:25 To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
John 14:9-11 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
John 5:17-18 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Matthew 14:33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Hosea 13:4 But I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior.
Isaiah 42:8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Hebrews 1:10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Acts 3:14-15 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
Mark 2:7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
It's abundantly evident in scriptures that Jesus Christ is God the second person of the Trinity. We must get this right, we must understand who Jesus is because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, there is no other name by which man must be saved. So to not get the deity of Jesus Christ right is to not have eternal life.
And the gospel message is not to come to Christ for health, wealth and prosperity, not to come to Christ for what you can get out of it. Its not so you can be healthy or wealthy. The gospel message is also not believe in Jesus plus do this, that and any other thing you want to add to salvation.
The gospel message is this, you are a sinner, born in sin, born a hater of God. But God loved us that he sent His Son to die on the cross, demonstrating His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. God commands all men and women to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. Repentance is a change of mind or a turning from your sins and a turning to Jesus Christ. Which is a supernatural act that comes only by the grace of God. So if you have not placed you faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone to save you from your sins, to save you from the wrath to come then I plead with you to do so today.
By Ricky Gantz