The word Gospel simply means good news and the Bible presents the Gospel as the good news of Jesus Christ. The following outline provides an overview of how the Bible portrays this good news from Genesis to Revelation.
God created everything from nothing and by the power of his Word. Everything he made, from the heavens above to the earth below, was deemed good, including man—Adam and Eve. God charged the man and woman to use the creation for his glory and not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for if they did they would surely die.
Despite man being created in a state of righteousness, Adam and Eve were deceived and chose to disobey God’s commandment. This act of disobedience incurred God’s wrath and cast man and everything in creation into a state of sin and bondage where death and sin reigned and ruled over the created world. Furthermore, all men who were born, by ordinary generation, after Adam inherited a sinful nature, which means that all people are sinful and commit actual sins all the days of their life. This is really bad news because the Bible teaches the wages of sin is death, BUT…
God, by His sheer grace, promised a seed that would one day redeem the world from the power of sin and death. The entire Old Testament serves to develop God’s plan in bringing that seed to bear which ultimately led to the birth of Jesus Christ. In His birth and life, Christ fulfilled every requirement of the law by entering into our misery and being tempted in every way we are, yet was without sin. Despite being completely righteous in every way, Jesus Christ was handed over to Pontius Pilate to be crucified. His crucifixion and death was simultaneously the most dreadful display of God’s wrath and the most benevolent display of God’s mercy as He who knew no sin became sin on the cross, and took the full penalty for the sins of His church so that we might become the righteousness of God. After remaining under the power of death for three days, God raised Christ from the dead which guaranteed the efficacy of his work and the promise of new life for all of those who believe in Him.
Moreover, His resurrection established and promised that one day everything (people, cultures, cities, nations, the whole world) will be made new and redeemed from the power of sin and death. Jesus Christ is now ascended to the right hand of God the Father Almighty where he intercedes for His people and rules and reigns over all things by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel. Jesus commissioned those who repent of their sins and believe in His name, the church, to go and make disciples by planting churches and proclaiming the Gospel message to all nations. Christ promises to attend to these means, make them effective, and gradually grow God’s kingdom by converting and redeeming sinners unto Himself. Jesus promised to progressively manifest his heavenly rule and reign on earth until He returns in glory.
The day He returns in glory is the day that the Lord Jesus Christ will judge the living and the dead. All men who ever walked upon this earth will be judged and have to give an account for their thoughts, words, and deeds. The righteous will be raised, reunited to their glorified bodies, and enjoy eternal, perfect, and glorious communion with God forever. Likewise, the wicked will be raised, reunited to their bodies, and damned to suffer under the wrath of God for all eternity in the lake of fire. After the last judgment, Christ’s people will rule and reign with God in the New Heavens and the New Earth which will be free from sin, sickness, sadness, and death forever.
Doesn’t this sound like good news? That’s because it is good news—the best news!!! But, there is only one way to receive the benefits of God’s lovingkindness and that is to repent of your sin and believe in Jesus Christ. All men have fallen short of the glory of God and therefore everyone deserves the penalty for sin, which is death. But the good news of the Gospel is that Jesus took that penalty for us as the apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Martin Luther called this the Great Exchange because Jesus literally took the sins of those who believe in His Name upon himself and gives us His righteousness. In fact, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” If the Spirit of God is prompting you now to respond to this message then the only thing you need to do is confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, AND you will be saved.