The word “gospel” means good news or glad tidings. The good news is necessary due to the existence of bad news in which we each have a deep, eternal need that we are helpless to do anything to rectify. Ephesians 2:1-3 describes our helpless existence by stating we were born into this world “dead in trespasses and sins.” The bad news stems from the fact that we are incapable in and of ourselves to provide anything to satisfy God’s just wrath toward our rebellion against Him. Sin has blinded us to our need for deliverance from His justice and death, and has pushed us toward prideful rebellion (1 Corinthians 1:18-20). We need to be willing to set aside our pride and any personal goodness we imagine we have (“There is none righteous, no not one,” Romans 3:10) in order to recognize our need for a Savior. It is only then that we can turn to God in faith and benefit from the good news.
While we are responsible for the bad news (“all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23), God, in His goodness, provided the good news by giving us the solution to our need. The emphasis of the gospel is Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again (see I Cor. 15:1-4). God has provided the message, the preaching of the cross, to save those who believe (I Corinthians 1:21). It is only in the provision of the cross that we glory in salvation (Galatians 6:14).
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