In a condensed definition, the Good News (Gospel) is that the Creator God has become a man, eternally uniting himself with his most loved creation in a cosmic display of incredible humility. God becoming man, the incarnation, is an event and a truth with truly universal impact. Nothing within creation can be left untouched by an event of this magnitude. The creator has brought mankind into the very oneness he shares with each person of his Trinity.
Though this may suffice as a strict definition of the Gospel, there is deeper meaning to be found in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. In Christ’s life, we find a man who forsook his heavenly throne and came to serve those counted as least among the world, submitting himself not just to our wishes, but also to our judgments. In his death, we see God demonstrating the most visceral display of humility possible: God’s Son, the Truth of creation incarnate, submits himself to our twisted laws, allowing himself to be crucified by those who themselves deserved death. And in his resurrection, we see God as Man, fully restoring mankind to his rightful place in God’s presence.
Over the many centuries, various schools of thought have been formed concerning the applicability of the Gospel. Who’s in and who’s out? How exactly did Christ’s death cover our sin? What is hell and who goes there? What does it mean that our experience on earth is still hard? These questions are worthy of being discussed at length, however, the answers to these does not constitute a representation of the Gospel. Answering these questions can be done without ever discovering the Gospel. These questions are not the heart of the Gospel.
The Gospel has less to do with “who’s in and who’s out?” and more to do with God becoming man in an awesome display of humility. It has less to do with the resolution of sin and more to do with the life of Christ now coursing through the veins of a human – our greatest hope. It has less to do with not going to Hell and more to do with experiencing life in Christ, parting ways with death, both now and forever.
The Gospel, the good news, is that He has been there with you the entire time.