The word ‘Gospel’ simply means “good news”. For many generations (from the 2000’s back to the 1800’s) it has been taken to mean something that is absolutely true. A witness on the stand would say, “And that’s the Gospel truth, Your Honor.” Why do you think “gospel” was (for such a long time) always equated with “truth”? How did it come to be used that way?
Good News That’s the Gospel Truth
Even Mark Twain, who was critical of church-goers, referred to truth using that word. He often wrote colorful dialect for some of his western characters. When they referred to something being true or reliable, he’d have them say: “That’s gospel, pard.” There’s a reason why people relate gospel to truth, but there is even more to the story of that word.
The gospel as we know it entered the world in the first century after Jesus came. His teaching and the news of his resurrection were so far-reaching and revolutionary that they literally changed the world, and have been changing it ever since. The Greek word meant “good news”, and the Christian message became so connected with it that the word became synonymous with the good news about Jesus. The Apostle Paul changed his vocation, his plans, and his entire life because of the gospel, and he has this to say about it:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16, NIV) Paul carried the Good News everywhere he went, and he distributed it to everyone regardless of race, color or creed.
The Good News landed in a Mediterranean world full of pagans, soldiers and nomads. Its message was so compelling that people embraced it as truth over every other possibility. Ultimately the Christian message displaced the Roman Empire. (You can look it up.) And countless millions of lives have been changed by the gospel since then! If you stop and think about it, “gospel” may be the most powerful word in history. And it’s true. Stop and think about THAT.
The Good News
This world all around me, I really have to say
Is full of news that’s bad, the news that we hear every day;
There’s real news, and “fake news”, and then there’s media spin;
There’s hatred from the left and right, and judging others’ sin–
[And that just depends on which church you are in!]
In all of our talk about “don’ts” and the “do’s”,
There are lots of Church words that we Church people use,
Such as “gospel”– which, Paul says, means very good news.
In Old English, it’s “God-spell”. So why is such passion
Stirred up by a word that is so darned old-fashioned?
Just what is the gospel? It’s something I’ve heard
In the Church all my life; it’s a Sunday School word–
Just the kind of expression evangelists say:
So why is the Gospel important today?
If your loved one’s in surgery, might not make it through,
Would you hope that the surgeon brings “good news” to you?
When a marriage proposal is made, does he fear
That it won’t be “good news” from the one he holds dear?
When your boss says there’ll be some reorganization,
Do you hope for “good news” about future vocation?
When you took a hard test, and you’re given your grade,
It’s only “good news” if a good grade is made!
But the Gospel is more than a grade on a test–
It’s not news that’s just GOOD, it is news that’s the BEST!
The headline reads: “Jesus Christ died on the Cross,
Giving Life Everlasting to all who were Lost”!
The Gospel is love. It’s about life and death.
It is every last heartbeat and every last breath!
The Gospel is power and passion combined;
It’s truth, transformation, and love intertwined;
Take a look at the gospel anew, redefined,
And let it sink in to your heart and your mind:
It is news just for YOU, of the very best kind.
Jesus died for the world, we all know that is true–
It’s the oldest of news, it’s the newest of new:
But the good news means He also died just for YOU.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35, NIV)
To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread