GOSPEL – The Good News of Salvation
A powerful message seen throughout the Bible is the message of salvation. The Bible introduces us to a perfect creation. We are told that in God’s estimation it was “very good.” God rebuilt this perfect earthly environment out of the destruction caused by Satan’s rebellion. The pinnacle of His work was man – made in God’s own image and created to have a relationship with the Creator. God’s intent was to give man the potential to attain to His image spiritually and thereby add sons to His eternal Family.
Satan’s destructive influence immediately impacted the relationship between Creator and created when Eve was deceived into transgressing God’s instruction and Adam followed along. Subsequently the potentially beautiful relationship between God and mankind was cut short and man was cut off from the tree of life. However, God’s plan overrides anything Satan could do.
The biblical concept of salvation is deliverance – something saved or rescued. The root word implies to “open wide”, “to make free”. God’s plan calls for the deliverance of man from the bondage of sin. That is to make man free from the condition in which Adam and Eve’s decision left man. The Apostle Paul speaks of the creation being in bondage and in need of deliverance (Romans 8:21). Paul’s context was that mankind was in need of salvation. He began his letter to the Church in Rome by saying he was preaching the gospel to them and he said it was “the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:15,16).
The book of Matthew records for us quite clearly that salvation is through Christ. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). A major thrust of the gospel of Christ is the good news of salvation. It is through Christ and His incredible sacrifice that the penalty for sin is paid and we are made free. The way ahead for a person who is called of God and who has faith in Christ’s sacrifice is made wide. They are free from bondage and are free to walk in The Way. They can have a personal relationship with God. When Christ began His ministry, He preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15). To those who would hear it He said the appropriate response was repentance and believing the message. That involves having faith in His sacrifice and living a changed way of life.
God is a family and He has planned to increase that family despite Satan’s attempts to prevent it happening. However, God’s plan and purpose is a mystery to most, revealed only to those whom He chooses. These individuals constitute the Church. To this group Paul stated, “… having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on the earth – in Him” (Ephesians 1:9-10). Paul continued by saying this was the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
The gospel of our salvation is the gospel of salvation for all mankind. The gospel contains the offer of salvation and outlines the way that leads to it. It contains the essentials necessary for man to have a relationship with God. Within the gospel message is the Eternal’s desire for all His creation, focusing especially on mankind who was created in His image. Man was created to be a part of God’s eternal spirit family. That is good news.
When God makes the gospel a universal message and Satan’s counter influence is removed, mankind will see a light shining in a dark place. When God’s Kingdom is established on this earth, the world will finally be able to begin to rejoice in the good news of their salvation.
— Brian Orchard