What is the Gospel – Specifically Defined by the Bible

 Introduction

The English word gospel comes from the Greek word “Euangelizo” translated “good tidings” in certain passages, and “gospel” in others.  The general idea is that gospel literally meant “good news.” 

 

Old Testament

In the Old Testament, the Septuagint Greek translation, the word “gospel” could mean any kind of good news1, or even God’s kindness2However, in the book of Isaiah the gospel is used in reference to the Messianic blessing3.

 

New Testament

In the New Testament, and in the Gospels in particular, the term “gospel” is used 17 times in the books Matthew and Mark and Luke, however it is not used in the gospel of John.And every one of these 17 examples, as well as the other 85 times the word “gospel” is used in the rest of the New Testament; the article (“this” or “the”…) is used, indicating a specific meaning of the term which is then identified as “the gospel”, the particular good news that God had reached down to save mankind by producing a scapegoat to take away man’s sin, and therefore make man right before God again.  In all of the New Testament, the word “gospel” is never used in general, only to mean the specific act of God’s saving grace. 

 

The Gospel Defined

It is very enlightening to utilize a concordance and examine each one of the Scriptures and identify the nuances of the meaning of this word in gaining a fuller grasp as to all the aspects that this concept entails.  However, Paul gives a literal explanation of what the gospel systemically involves in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, when he states:

 

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

  

Accordingly, salvation was achieved if the gospel was:  

  • Received (cognitively received)
  • In which you also stand (placed your life in recognition of it)
  • Hold fast the word which was preached (and therefore, live in faith, which is an action)
    • Or else you merely (cognitively) believed in vain

There are three (really 4) aspects of the gospel, which are: 

  1. Christ died for our sins according to the Scripture
  2. Was buried
  3. And he was raised on the third day , but these 3 must be:
  4. according to the Scripture

   

This is the Gospel, to repeat:

  1. Christ died for our sins according to the Scripture
  2. Was buried
  3. And he was raised on the third day according to the Scripture

These 3 are to be based upon “according to the Scripture” – they are sandwiched between  “according to the Scripture

Endnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 31:9; 2 Samuel 1:20; 1 Chronicles 10:9
  2. Psalms 36:10; 96:2
  3. Isaiah 40:9; 61:1
  4. Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 11:5; 24:14; 26:13; Mark 1:1; 1:14,15; 8:35; 10:29; 13:10; 14:9; 16:15; Luke 4:18; 7:22; 9:6; 20:1; Acts 8:25; 14:7; 14:21; 15:7; 16:10; 20:24; Romans 1:1, 9; 15, 16; 2:16; 10:15, 16; 11:28; 15:16, 19, 20, 29; 16:25;…

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Faith Bible Ministries Blog ~ An Online Study of the Bible

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This online Bible study series addresses primary New Testament words in their original language - Koinè Greek - as opposed to mainly using the English translations; which is like adding color to a black-and-white picture.

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"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

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"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

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