What is the Gospel and what does it do?
The Gospel or Good News, is the proclamation of the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven, God’s sovereign rule over all things. There are different aspects of the Gospel but the main focus for humanity is the Cross of Christ, for by it and all that it incorporates, mankind can be made safe (saved) from the power and slavery to sin and the Devil (our enemy)and delivered from the wrath of God. Rom 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” The salvation that the Gospel brings is obtained through faith, trust, and reliance upon it. A relationship with God has always been through faith and trust in Him and reliance upon Him. Faith or trust has always been the necessary component to an intimate, unifying and enduring relationship with God, without faith (trust), there cannot be a relationship with God. Heb 11:6 “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”.
In mankind’s history of his interaction with God, faith has always been both the starting and finishing point. When we read about the people who had faith in God we can see that faith is not just an awareness that God is, but it is a leaning on or reliance upon, and a trust in God. There is a difference between believing there is a God and being aware that He is compared to fully relying upon Him. As it says in, James 2:19 “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.” The demons know God is and tremble, but they do not trust in Him or rely upon Him.
Incorporated within the meaning of faith in God is also love for Him and obedience to Him. Those who trusted and relied upon God also loved Him and obeyed Him. Faith produces obedience, James 2:18 “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” James 2:20 “You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. “
Love also is part of faith. Love is not just an emotion, love results in actions (obedience) that are prompted by the faith we have in the Father and the Son. Jesus said the following, John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”
What is the result of not believing, trusting, relying, loving and obeying Jesus the Son of God?
John 3:34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him." Rejection of the Gospel causes the wrath of God to remain on a person.
So, the Gospel or Good News includes the following; if we believe in, love and obey Jesus, we will be saved from sin, the Devil and God’s wrath.
As I said before, the Cross of Christ is the central aspect of our salvation. Through it, God does His work of saving us from sin, and the Devil and because of that we are saved from the wrath of God. The Cross of Christ is the power of God working in those who place their trust in it, to save them from sin, the Devil and God’s just wrath.
1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God . 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
When a person truly sees the depth of their depravity, and then hears and understands the Good News and repents (turns) and places all their trust in Jesus and what He did on the cross and submits to Him as Lord and continues in that submission, that person will be made safe.
There is so much more but this is a good starting point.