Here’s a churchy word that we might need to define... gospel.
The term “gospel” occurs frequently in the New Testament in both noun and verb forms, literally meaning “good news” or “proclaiming good news.”
The word was originally used to describe the good news of military victory. The royal herald declared, “Gospel! Gospel! The battle has been won! The battle has been won!”
Angels appeared on the night of Christ’s birth announcing, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you the gospel of great joy” (Luke 2:10). The angels proclaimed, “Gospel! Gospel! The battle is won!”
Paul writes about the gospel of God (Romans 1:1), the gospel of Christ (II Corinthians 2:12), the gospel of the glory of Christ (II Corinthians 4:4), the gospel of our Lord Jesus (II Thessalonians 1:8), the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15), the gospel of salvation (Ephesians 1:13), and so forth. Writing to the Corinthians, Paul defines the Gospel. “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you ... that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:1-4, ESV).
We refer to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as the Gospels because they tell the best story ever told... the story of Jesus. They declare that God, who is holy, made us in His image to know Him, but we sinned alienating ourselves from Him. In His great love, God became a man, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law and taking on Himself the punishment for sin. He was victorious over the grave and rose from the dead. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into eternal life with God.
That’s good news! That’s the gospel!
In the original Greek language, the word Gospel was evangelion, from which we also get the English words evangelist and evangelism.
Evangelists are those hell-fire and brimstone guys who scream and slobber, scaring the “h-e-double-toothpicks” out of us! Right? No... an evangelist is anyone who tells the good news... an evangelist reports the gospel.
Paul declared that he was “eager to preach the gospel ... I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:15-16, ESV).
As evangelists, let’s share the good news. “Gospel! Gospel! The battle has been won!”