If someone were to ask you, “What is the gospel?” Would you be able to give them a scriptural answer? If this question was placed before a denominational preacher, the response will most likely be 1 Corinthians 15:1-9, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, but these statements are simply facts about the gospel. They are only part of the gospel, the part to be believed. So then, what is the gospel? First, the word “gospel” means “glad tidings or good news,” and the real good news comes to us through God’s gospel announcement, “For I [GOD] will be merciful toward your iniquities, and your sins I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). This promise was to be fulfilled after the resurrection of Christ, beginning in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. On that day, Peter preached and opened the doors of Kingdom of Heaven and concluded with conditions, “Repent [imperative] and be baptized [imperative]… [WHY?] for the forgiveness of sins [the promised gospel message]” (Acts 2:38). Therefore, the gospel is to be obeyed.
The denominational teachers will claim, “All you have to do is believe/put your faith in the gospel,” but the Bible states that we are to OBEY the gospel. In 2 Thessalonians 1:8, the Apostle Paul speaks of the final destination of those who “do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In 1 Peter 4:17, the Apostle Peter speaks about “the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God.” Therefore, we learn that the gospel consists of commands that are to be obeyed, as well as facts to be believed; it takes both to make the gospel (John 3:36; ESV). What commands are to be obeyed? The promise and terms of the remission of sins, announced in the Great commission make up the gospel of Christ, but that announcement was conditioned upon these acts: Belief in the gospel facts. Repentance of sins. Confession of Christ. Baptism for the remission of sins. When a person does these things, that person is granted the remission of sins. In fact, Christ, through Mark (16:16), epitomizes all these conditions by naming the first and last. “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” So then, what is the gospel? The gospel is the good news about the remission of sins through obedience to Christ by believing the facts, repenting of sins, confessing faith in Christ, and being baptized for the remission of sins.