Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark’s “Gospel opens with this stark and oh so important statement. In it, Mark defines just what the Gospel is, and by implication, what it is not.
The Gospel, is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Apart from the person and work of Jesus – there is no gospel.
The Gospel is not some disconnected bit of information – the gospel is wrapped up in this one, unique, man/God who put on human flesh, lived in perfect holiness, died for our sins at Calvary, rose again and is coming again. No one else could do it, and without these realities, there is no gospel at all. The “message” is about Him. Without Him, there is no message.
Recently I was at the funeral of a saint, but sadly, while much was made of “God” in the abstract as sort of a non-descript deity, of God’s purposes and works, of His supernatural power and how people are to have hope and promise for their lives – there was no cross. No Jesus coming in human flesh. No call to repentance from sin and the world and to faith in Him. Much was made of the one who had passed. But very little was made of the Christ who the saint served.
What of Him?
This is the truly great and necessary question. Without which a right answer to -leaves countless individuals religious, but lost.
In a very real way, this remains the ministry of the Church as it was with John the Baptizer when Jesus is about to appear on the scene. In all of our preaching and teaching, we are PREPARING THE WAY OF THE LORD – announcing His return. And in it, we constantly call people to faith and repentance. To know that in His return, He will not come this time with “reference to sin” or to help with it, but only to judge it. His propitiation has already been offered. If it is not received by faith now in this time – it will be too late when He appears.
The Gospel must begin with an announcement. All must prepare themselves, because the Lord is to visit us. How then shall we be ready? How then, shall we live? We ever preach, and ever live in the light of His second coming now, even as they did in the light of His incarnation.
And all of this leads us back to that first verse – the Gospel is about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Nothing else is the “Gospel”. Nothing less is the “Gospel”. For no person or thing other than Him can save us from the coming just wrath of God.