The gospel is good news—the good news of what Jesus Christ has done. It is the message that in the person and work of Christ, God is making all things new – through the redemption of man and restoration of all creation. The gospel is the message of salvation revealed in the story of the Bible—the story of creation, rebellion, redemption, and consummation.
God made the world and all that is in it. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1:1,27) He created human beings to be like Him and to have unhindered fellowship with Him. When He finished His work of creation, He saw that it was very good. (Gen. 1:31)
Although Adam and Eve – the first people God created had complete freedom to live in friendship and trust with Him, they chose to rebel. (Gen. 3:1-7) In representing the entire human race, their rebellion was catastrophic, not only for them but for us: one trespass led to condemnation for all men. (Rom. 5:18) Our fellowship with God was broken and, instead of enjoying God’s presence, we face His righteous wrath. Through this sin, we all died spiritually (Rom. 3:1-20; Eph. 2:1-10), were separated from God (Eph. 2:12), and individually sin against God in our own lives: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)
Although God would have been perfectly just to allow man to remain under His holy judgment, He instead set in motion His plan to save a people from sin and death, and to restore all of His creation. How? By sending His Son as a true man who would bear the penalty of our sin and be crucified in our place. God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)
John 3:16 summarizes the required response to the good news of the gospel: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel. As sinners who have been saved by grace, we now seek to devote our entire lives to the Lordship of Christ.
God not only rescues lost sinners, but He also restores all of creation. Romans 8:21 says, the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. At the return of the Lord Jesus – at the consummation, God will radically transform the heavens and earth (2 Pet.3:7-13; Rev.21:1). Here, God’s people – the redeemed will be brought into the presence of God, to glorify God, and enjoy Him as God intended.