The term “gospel” was originally used to describe a proclamation – a piece of good news – announced by a royal messenger. When a messenger declared, “The army was victorious!” it meant the people were victorious as well. Likewise, when the messenger shouted, “By decree of the king, every person may now own one acre of land!” it was an exciting piece of news for the people of the kingdom.
For this reason, biblical writers adopted the term “gospel” to describe the historical reality and teaching associated with the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. The gospel does not merely declare salvation; it affects it, saying, “God is reconciling broken people and this broken world to himself through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus! Believe upon Him as his kingdom is breaking in!”
It has been said, “The gospel means that I am more flawed and sinful than I ever dared believe, but at the same time, I am even more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope because Jesus Christ lived and died in my place.” Much like the gospels proclaimed in the days of royal messengers, the implications of the gospel of Christ are personal, social and cultural in their scope.