What is the Gospel?
Christians are currently in the midst of a bit of a gospel craze. There are countless books and conferences that include "gospel" somewhere in the title. The phrase "gospel-centered" has become a modifier for almost anything in church (gospel-centered preaching, gospel-centered music, gospel-centered discipleship, etc.).
The gospel being a craze vs. the gospel being a fad needs clarification. Fads bring certain risks along with them, whereas the gospel craze going on that unites all believers in Christ can change the world. When you ask someone to clarify what they mean when they say "gospel", you might receive answers that range from religious moralism to political activisim. Some talk about the gospel as a self-improvement plan while others speak of it as a spiritual get-out-of-jail-free card. There is much agreement on the need for a gospel, but there is also much confusion as to what the gospel of Jesus actually is.
Simply put, the word gospel means "good news". But it is truly the most profound and glorious truth ever revealed. It is not advice, nor is it a system or philosophy to add to our lives. It is an exclusive truth claim, a holistic worldview, the true story of the whole world, which by its very nature must redefine and recolor everything else. It is the truth of God's mission to redeem and renew all things, centered on the historical reality of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
The Gospel is a Person
It is in Jesus - God in flesh, the promised Messiah, Savior, and rightful King over all - that the hope of salvation for individuals, societies, and all creation rests. It is in this truth that we now stand and are being saved (1 Cor. 15:1-2).
For an expanded version of how we feel about the Gospel, download this pdf.