The gospel

What does “Gospel" mean?  What is the Gospel?   Who is the Gospel for?  From whence did the Gospel come?

I hope we shall be able to answer these and other questions through this planned series of 'Gospel Thoughts.'

What does Gospel mean?

Gospel, as many will know already, is a contraction of the Old English ‘god' (meaning good, not God) and 'spel' which means news; it then became godspel and then the more familiar Gospel.  It is the most amazing Good News that the world has ever heard and its arrival the most momentous occasion in its history.

It is good news because it is a message about the way God has gone about the task of reconciling the world unto himself, laying the foundation for the forginess of our sins, and the way in which we might be prepared for his eternal presence.  Truly good news for mankind

What is the Gospel?

The first thing we should note is that the Gospel is not merely a collection of religious ideas or philisophies, nor is it a set of rules which we cannot keep: the Gospel fundamentally is about a Person, God’s Son.  The apostle Paul describes it this way “the gospel of God… concerning his Son Jesus Christ, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power; according to the spirit of holiess, by the resurrection from the dead…” (Rom. 1:1-4).  The person of Christ Himself is the essence of the Gospel and let no man tell you differently.  It is the declaration of who He is, what he became, what he accomplished and where he is now; and if so occupied we will begin to understand something of the infinite.

Who is the Gospel for?

We could do no better than to quote the apostle Paul again, for speaking of the hope of the Gospel he says: "which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (Colossians 1:23).  All his energy was spent in carrying or helping to carry this Good News to every creature fulfilling the commandment of the Lord Jesus Himself when he said to his disciples “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”  (Mark 16:15)  Granted that some would and will not believe, but the offer is to all.   That is who the Gospel is for.

From whence did the Gopel come?

As we have indicated above, it’s originator is God himself and there are numerous scriptures teaching us that this message came from Heaven itself.  It may surprise us that the Almighty should take such an interest in mankind, but such is the heart of God that He has himself found a way to save us.   He does this through the preaching “the gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven”  If you are surprised then we can assure you that the angels are amazed and desire to look into it. (1 Peter 1:12)

All this means that we have a responsibility to respond to the message for “God... has spoken unto us by His Son… therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, let at any time we should let them slip.”  Hebrews 1:1,2; 2:1)   This message is from God Himself through His Son, and deserves our most careful attention.  May the Lord help us in our understanding.


© Douglas Carr 2021