The "gospel" or "evangel" simply means good news.  This message of good news from God is at the center of our evangelical faith. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus Christ Himself traveled through villiages and cities during His lifetime "preaching the gospel." (Luke 20:1, Matt. 4:23). This message was central to Jesus' teaching and ministry, and it is the central to our identity as a church.

The Bible is the story of God's redemption of mankind. The good news begins with God. The God of the Bible is perfectly holy, perfectly just, and perfectly loving. The almighty, eternal God is perfectly good.

But the gospel message also gives bad news. Although God is good - we are not. "None is righteous, no not one" (Rom. 3:10). We offend God's holiness with our sinful thoughts and actions. Each and every human life reveals that we are all selfish, corrupt, and unholy. The Bible says that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23). And because of this, we justly deserve God's judgment (Rom. 6:23). Left to ourselves, we would all be rightly condemned and forsaken by God. 

But there is good news for sinners! In His love, God did not leave us alone in our sin and lostness, but the eternal Word of God put on human flesh and lived among His lost sheep. Jesus Christ showed humanity what perfect love and holiness is like. His life was characterized by perfect gentleness, compassion, justice, mercy, and peace. He was tempted like all of humanity, but perfectly righteous. His own people did not receive Him as the the Christ (John 1:11). Rather, they charged Him with blasphemy and crucified Him on a Roman cross. But after three days He rose from the dead and appeared to more than five hundred of His disciples! All of this was God's gracious plan of redemption from before the foundation of the world.

The good news that we celebrate and teach centers on what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. At the cross, Jesus Christ was condemned as a sinner - even though He was righteous. He became a sacrificial substitute for sinful people who trust in Him. He was counted as a criminal and sinner, so that sinners could be counted righteous. This amazing grace and forgiveness cannot be earned by humanity, but is given as a free gift of God, received only by faith alone in Jesus Christ. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)

Anyone can receive this free gift, but it demands a response. People from every corner of the globe are now called now to repent from sin and trust in Christ's sacrifical death. Anyone who turns from sin and puts their faith in Christ can now be saved, forgiven, and granted eternal life with God. This announcement of God's grace and forgiveness, through the Cross of Jesus Christ, is good news for all the peoples of the earth.

That is the gospel.