Who would not rejoice to hear from Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, what, in a few words, he meant by the word gospel—or rather, what in the story of Jesus made him call it good news! Each would probably give a different answer to the question, all the answers consistent, and each a germ from which the others might be reasoned; but in the case of John, we have his answer to the question: he gives us in one sentence the gospel according to Jesus Christ himself. What in all of what he wrote did John look upon as the essence of the goodness of its news? In his gospel he gives us all about him, the message concerning him; now he tells us what in it makes it to himself and to us good news—tells the very goodness of the good news. It is not now his own message about Jesus, but the soul of that message—that which makes it gospel—the news Jesus brought concerning the Father, and gave to the disciples as his message for them to deliver to me. Throughout the story, Jesus, in all he does, and is, and says, is telling the news concerning his father, which he was sent to give to John and his companions, that they might hand it on to their brothers; but here, in so many words, John tells us what he himself has heard from The Word—what in sum he has gathered from Jesus as the message he has to declare. He has received it in no systematic form; it is what a life, the life, what a man, the man, has taught him. The Word is the Lord; the Lord is the gospel.
by Jolyn Canty
“Jesus, in all he does, and is, and says, is telling the news concerning his father…”
The Gospel is the story of Jesus, and it is told and revealed through His word.
The definition of Gospel is “glad tidings” or “good news” and this premise is used throughout both the Old and New Testament. Each time the good news about God’s saving help is declared, it is received joyfully: 2 Sam. 1:20; Psalms 96:2-3, 68:11, 96:11-12; 1 Sam. 31:9, 1:20; Isaiah 52:7-9, 53:4-12, 61:3-11; and Jer. 20:15. The explanation for God’s saving work lies only in God Himself, and this is the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel. The Gospel announces salvation and imparts the life salvation promises.
MacDonald brilliantly explains that the Gospel is simply Jesus showing us the Father.
We who receive this good news have three responses required:
1. Believing: The Gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (1 Rom. 1:16).
2. Growing: Once received, the Gospel provides a place in which to stand firm (1 Cor. 15:1-2). “Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.”
3. Hoping: “The hope held out in the gospel” (Col. 1:23); hope in our daily sanctification and the hope in Christ’s return.
May our joy in this Good News be evident in our lives as we live out His Gospel and bear His light.