What is the Gospel?
It was the question that silenced everyone. No one at the table was able to comprehend the softball subject that was tossed out into the conversation. And still there it was: a term so simply accepted by Christians daily, and yet a word we stake everything we do on. But still no one responded. Many times we become so comfortable with our Christian vocabulary that we forget to really break these terms down into clear, understandable language for others, which is one of the core functions of being a missionary.
The gospel is the culmination and crescendo of the story of God, who, incarnate in Jesus, the son of God, redeemed us from slavery to sin through his death, burial, and resurrection, conquering sin, Satan and death, delivering us to a life of freedom in the Spirit where we live for God’s glory. The gospel allows us to live life to the fullest by participating in the kingdom of God now through the transformation and regeneration of the Spirit by our faith in Jesus’ perfect, propitiatory, substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf. The gospel changes everything.
It is this gospel message that we as Christians must apply daily to our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit - the continual process of taking up our cross in order to die to ourselves and worship the living God. We call this living a life of repentance. We not only practice this process of gospel proclamation and repentance with ourselves but with each other in the church. The core component of being a disciple and making disciples is learning to apply the gospel in the darkest and most sinister parts of our soul. For every individual the gospel will be unique and specific in application while similar in concept.
The Resurgence recently posted a more in depth analysis of the gospel which you can check out on their blog.