A lot of people normally go to 1 Corinthians 1-4 to find out what the Gospel is.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And it seems like a good place to go: it says that Paul is declaring the Gospel here.
But what they seem to not notice is that the passage does not end there: it ends in a colon. And the passage continues for two more sentences after that:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Now, there is the Gospel. And if you do not include that specific order of appearances you are not preaching the true Gospel, and are in danger of heresy.
Ah… no. 🙂
This passage is telling a condensed history of the crucial things that Jesus did. It is also giving evidence to prove to the hearer’s mind that what he is saying is indeed true.
So what is the Gospel?
Well we can turn to another passage that purports to answer that question.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
What is the Gospel: it is the power by which God saves those who believe in it…
That is really the only thing in common between this passage and the other: Jesus. So now I can tell you what the Gospel is in one word: Jesus.
That also means that by yielding to Christ in us, conforming to His image, and doing as He would do, we are proclaiming the Gospel.
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Our ‘good works’ are the fruit of faith and of the Spirit: Christ shining in us.
And in that sense, every Christian ought to proclaim the Gospel from midnight to midnight, from noon to noon, from rising to rising, from setting to setting, from birth to death, to everyone and everything that we have any influence on, with no fear, with no compunction, with no vicissitude, with no compromise.