Summary: The Gospel is "definitive" because it is the good news of salvation through Christ Alone.
“The Definitive Gospel”
“The Greek term “gospel” (ev-angelion) is the definitive Christian message which distinguishes IT from all other religions of the world. An ‘ev-angel’ was news of a great historical event which “changed the listeners’ condition and required a response from the listener.” The Good News of the gospel is news of what God in Christ has done to reach us. It is NOT advice or counsel about what we must do to reach God. "The gospel is the joyous proclamation of God's redemptive activity in Christ Jesus on behalf of man enslaved by sin." (Evangelical Dictionary of Theology edited by Walter Elwell) ONLY the Gospel will convert and change individuals from the inside out, and only the Gospel will eventually bring about a new world and a new creation.
Every single person born on earth has been born in sin and has fallen short of God’s glorious standard BUT…Romans 5:8 states HIS GOOD NEWS CLEARLY: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
1. “The gospel is the good news of gracious acceptance”
1. “The gospel is the good news of gracious acceptance of sinners into God’s Kingdom, ONLY by FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. Jesus lived the life we should live. He also paid the penalty we owe for the rebellious life of sin that we do live. He did this in our place (Isaiah 53:4-10). We are not reconciled to God through our efforts and record, as in all other religions, but through his efforts and record. Christians who trust in Christ for their acceptance with God, rather than in their own moral character, commitment, or performance, are…simultaneously sinful yet accepted. We are more flawed and sinful than we ever dared believe, yet we are more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope at the same time.”
Jesus, Himself, ushered in the message of the Gospel. In Matthew 4:23: Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
Matthew 24:14 "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
The GOSPEL is entirely GRACE-SALVATION. We cannot think for a moment: ‘I earned it in any way. If we think that way, there is no joy, no amazement, no tears, no heartfelt gratitude. I am not… transformed from the inside. “The gospel is, therefore, radically different from religion. RELIGION operates on the principle: ‘I obey, therefore I am accepted’. The GOSPEL operates on the principle: “I am accepted through Christ, THEREFORE I OBEY…”
In Matt. 11:27, Jesus says: 27 "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father ; and no one knows the Son except the Father ; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.”
Jesus alone is the one to whom Isaiah referred to in Isaiah 53:4-10: “4 Surely our griefs HE Himself bore, And our sorrows HE carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, HE was crushed for our iniquities ; The chastening for our well-being fell upon HIM, And by HIS scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the INIQUITY of us all To fall on HIM. 7 HE was oppressed and HE was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So HE did not open HIS mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment HE was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. 10 But the LORD was pleased to crush HIM, putting HIM to grief; If HE would render Himself as a guilt offering, HE will see His offspring, he will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.”
All of your little seemingly white lies. All of your gross lies. All of your jealous thoughts. All of your complaints and self-centeredness. All of your SELF-WORSHIP and SELF-GLORY! Your idol worship of so-called personal time and property! Any self-righteous thoughts, GREAT or small! All of your blasphemies against God. All of your evil thoughts toward others-those murders of the heart! ALL OF YOUR MISUSE of God’s Grace and Gifts toward you: ALL OF THESE were PLACED UPON the LORD JESUS CHRIST…your iniquities, your sins were placed upon Him.