How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7—NKJV)

I am sure you have heard of the expression, “That is the Gospel truth!” What the person is trying to protest is that his testimony is infallible and unquestionably true to fact. Apparently this phrase has been out and about since the late 1800’s. Sometimes the term is shortened to simply one word, “Gospel!” Since the late 1600’s similar terminology was applied to speak of biblical doctrines, especially of the good news of salvation.

The Bible word for Gospel is the word euangelion, though it originally denoted a reward for good tidings, the meaning settled down to the idea of the good news itself. The Latin term is evangelium and middle English translated it into the word “godspell,” meaning good (god) + tale (spell), good tidings, good story, good news. In the New Testament the word denotes the good news of the Kingdom and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Biblically speaking, the word only applies to this narrow field. The first four books of the New Testament are “The Gospels” (good news of Jesus Christ), though you will hear certain type of songs called “Gospel Music,” and well-meaning (but doctrinally uprooted) churches have expanded its use to include something called “The Social Gospel.” The authentic, biblical Gospel cannot be fully understood without a clear grasp of the Old Testament text stated above. This verse in Isaiah introduces the good news to man of the vicarious death of the Son of God, the “Suffering Servant,” which is fully elaborated in Isaiah 53. This Gospel is the glad tiding of salvation which God addresses to a world lost in sin. Apart from Isaiah 53, the good news of the New Testament cannot be understood. Jesus Christ is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, and to diminish His centrality with any addition of works or self-righteousness disembowels the Gospel. The Gospel truth must never be “tweaked,” sugar-coated, or highjacked; it must be Gospel truth in every sense of the word! (Galatians 2:14)

The New Testament authors took this passage as their foundation, as is seen in the recounting of the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch found in Acts 8:26ff. The unfolding of the Gospel by Philip began at the reading of Isaiah 53:7–8, and Philip “preached Jesus to him.” Jesus Christ fulfilled all the prophecy found in Isaiah, and the facts of His sacrificial death, burial, and His resurrection become the touch-points of His work of purchasing pardon for sin and eternal life in the presence of the Father for all who will believe in Him.

Any believer who desires to “proclaim peace,” “bring glad tidings of good things,” and “proclaim salvation” to the lost around him must keep certain Scriptures in mind in order to stay on point with his message. Remember:

  • The Gospel’s Power—“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The person who accepts by faith the Gospel is redeemed, reconciled to God, forgiven, saved, justified; in short, he is born again.
  • The Gospel’s Author—“The Gospel which is preached by me is not according to man…it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11, 2:16). The Gospel is all God from start to finish. Man cannot devise his own good news.
  • The Gospel’s Force—“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:4–7, Ephesians 2:6–10, Acts 20:24). Sovereign, unmerited grace is the force of the Gospel.
  • The Gospel Facts—“I declare to you the Gospel…Christ died for our sins…was buried…and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:1–11 and Galatians 2:20). The Gospel centers on Christ, He is the sole (and “soul” as well!) focus.
  • The Gospel Implication—“…?in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8–9, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Ephesians 2:8). Repent and Believe!
  • The Gospel Appeal—“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us, we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:20–21). Believers need to put their feet to work and tell forth the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Have you responded to the Gospel call to repent and believe? Do you know the Gospel well enough to proclaim it at every opportunity God grants to you? Get up and get busy with the work of God! Trust and obey.