What is the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ was born in a manger to the Virgin Mary, fully human and fully God. He lived a sinless life, fulfilling the Hebrew law in all respects. He confirmed his divinity through his miracles and preached that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Judas Iscariot betrayed him so that he was taken into captivity, tortured, and then crucified on a cross. He died on the cross for our sins. Three days later God raised him from the dead. He appeared to many witnesses numerous times. He ascended to the right hand of the Father in full view of many witnesses, promising to return.
By confessing our sin and our need for Jesus to save us, and believing that God raised him from the dead, we will be saved. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord in this way will be saved. God does not wish for any people to die in their sinfulness, lost without him, but that everyone should find eternal life in through Jesus Christ.
God calls us all to repent, believe and to follow Jesus Christ as his disciples all the days of our lives. The gospel is redemptive social action, rescuing people from an eternity in hell and granting them the hope of heaven. Our eternal hope then grants us courage to live redemptively in this world, caring for the fatherless, the widows, the poor and marginalized and those who cannot defend themselves. And in so doing, we act as Christ’s hands extended while also proclaiming the message of the cross and resurrection.
I reject the false dichotomy which suggests social justice (doing good deeds for others less fortunate) is the gospel rather than a natural outcome of redeemed lives, and that sharing with people what Jesus did for us and inviting them into relationship with God is somehow an inferior expression of the gospel, or not a gospel at all.