I have been wanting to do a short series along the lines of such a topic as this – What Is The Gospel? But, with many other things on ‘the list’, I have set it aside for quite a while.
Now, such a title to an article seems simple, right? ‘The gospel is simple, Scott. Don’t muddle it up,’ I say to myself.
Well, I would answer yes and no.
What I mean is that I believe the gospel is to be simple, not overloaded with rules and regulations, nor even certain systematic theological understandings that one must hold to if they truly believe and understand the gospel. Rather, we need to simply communicate the truth that God meant when He meant the gospel.
But I say, ‘No,’ as well because I believe most people (Christians included) do not fully understand what God meant when He meant the gospel.
To further explain, when people look to ‘present’ the gospel, they usually sum it up with passages such as John 3:16 or a smattering of verses from Romans. Now, while I believe such passages can be helpful, and even important, I am not sure you can simply take the ‘Romans Road’ to help fully explain the gospel. Though it’s simple, it’s just not that simple, at least if we want a more holistic understanding of the gospel that Jesus and the first Christians proclaimed and taught.
Most of us know that the word gospel, in its most basic form, means ‘good news’. And, the gospel is good news! If we don’t believe we have good news, and many believe God’s called us to believe some miserable message, then we don’t really believe the gospel that Jesus came to announce and those first empowered Christians subsequently took to the ends of the great Roman empire. It’s absolutely astounding news!
So, that’s a good place to start in understanding the gospel – it is good news.
Still, I believe there is more to this than just trying to explain the linguistics of a word that has lost some, maybe most, of its meaning with us. That’s why I am not sure this is so ‘simple’. And so I hope to clarify more fully what I believe the gospel is.
Now I must confess I don’t know how all of these articles will shape out. I, in my left-brained approach to much of life, usually like to chart things out. Thus, with blogging, I usually know how many articles I will take to lay out my thoughts and what will be addressed in each post. But I am not that planned at this point. And that’s fine (as if you are bothered by this). But I still know I have a passion to pen (or type) some things explaining what the gospel really is, what the good news really is.
So, stick with me over the next week or two (or more). I will probably throw out other articles in the midst about other topics (especially some book reviews, as I have a stack sitting on my desk I would like to share some thoughts about). But, in all, I hope to somewhat bring our ‘prodigal thoughts’ back to what really is the gospel, at least what God meant when He meant the gospel.
So, what is the gospel? Stay tuned……