What is the Gospel?

At Walker Road, we strive to be a “gospel-centered” church. That means, that as a congregation we are continually reminding ourselves and others of the gospel. But what is the gospel? What does that word mean and why does it matter?
The word “gospel” essentially means “good news”. The gospel is the good news of what God has accomplished in Christ. In the Bible the gospel is described this way,
1 Corinthians 15:3-4: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The gospel is that Christ died on the cross for sinners, He was buried, and that He rose again the third day offering eternal life to all who would receive it. That’s the gospel. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Hopefully, but we know that sometimes, we hear so many things about getting to Heaven, “being saved”, and being forgiven that it all gets confusing. Well, keep reading and we want to make it even more clear.
If the gospel is the story of the work of Jesus’ death and resurrection, why did He have to die and what makes His death so special? People die all the time and it’s never good news, why is Jesus’ death so important? The answer is that, according to the Bible, we are all sinners. That means we have all failed to live our lives God’s way. To put it another way, we have all tried to write God out of the story of our lives. Look at these verses:
Romans 3:10-12: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
None of us are good? Well, that’s not good! No it’s not! But it gets worse. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the price of this sin is death. The Bible says that the consequences of trying to live without the God who gives life, who is life itself, is death. That means one day our bodies will die. It also means that after that we will live forever without God in a terrible place called Hell. Really, Hell isn’t living forever, it’s dying forever. But it also means that even while we are alive physically we are dead spiritually. You can find that in Ephesians 2:1.
It means we are disconnected from God with no real purpose, no lasting joy, no inner peace, and no eternal safety.

But, thanks to Jesus, that’s not the whole story!

Yes, all of us are sinners, we have all tried to write God out of the story of our lives but the gospel is the story of how God, in Jesus, wrote Himself into the story of humanity so that our story could be saved and have a happy ending. Do you see why Jesus died on the cross? He died because you were supposed to. Which means, He died so you won’t have to. He died in your place. At the cross, Jesus was literally separated from God, His Father, so that now, in Jesus, you could be a child of God. That’s why Jesus said these words at the cross,

“My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” As terrible as that is, Jesus’ last words give us a real insight into why He came. He came, according to Romans 5:10, to reconcile us to God.

The gospel means that Jesus has done all of the work necessary for us to know God, be forgiven, have a new life, find true peace, know lasting joy, and live forever in Heaven. In fact, right before He died, Jesus said these words, “It is Finished!”
Everything has been done for you.
But, still, Jesus’ death isn’t a good thing is it? How could it be good that someone who loves us so much is dead? Well, the Bible says that three days after Jesus died He rose again from the dead to prove that God accepted His payment and to give His new life to all of those who would accept it from Him.
So you see Christianity is good news. That means the Bible is not really a bunch of stories about really great heroes who did miracles, it’s the story of Jesus who is our true Hero! The gospel is not a message of good advice it’s a message of good news. Christianity is not a list of things to do, it’s the pronouncement that everything has been done. All we need to do is receive it by faith. Sure, Christians do great things like pray, read their Bibles, go to church, and serve their communities but they don’t do those things to win God over, or to make up for all the bad things they’ve done. True Christians don’t even do those things to impress other Christians. Rather we do them out of grateful obedience to the God who has already done it all!
That means that we simply trust this Jesus alone to forgive us of our sins. As we trust Him, we turn from those sins and receive a new future with Him where we walk with Him every day.

That is great news, and at Walker Road we want you to know that if you have any questions we would love to talk with you, pray with you, or help you figure this all out. So please contact (by clicking on the link) us anytime or come see us at church. At Walker Road we do want you to come join us at church, and we want you to hear our pastor, but if you never meet us, or never hear him, it probably won’t matter much but if you miss the gospel then you miss everything.