[Column] What is the Gospel?

What is Gospel? It is the power of God’s salvation (Romans 1:16). In the Chinese character rendition, Gospel is written with the characters 福 meaning blessing and 音 meaning noise. Therefore, 福音 means hearing the news of God’s blessings and making noise about it. The first hymn in the Korean hymnbook is Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow. The message of this beautiful hymn is that we are to ascribe unto God praise and honor for all blessings flow from Him. Indeed, all blessings including wealth, health, children, etc. come from God. However, the greatest blessing is eternal life and salvation.

The etymology of the word Gospel is god and spell. In other words, it is a story from God. Gospel is the most joyous and the greatest news in the history of humanity. If the death of Kim Jung-il will grace the front page of all major newspapers, how much greater would be the news of the coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior, to the mankind perishing in sin and death? Gospel is the forgiveness of sin and attainment of salvation and eternal life through the death of Christ on the Cross. The meaning of the name Jesus is “The Lord saves” (Matthew 1:21). What else can be the greater news than this?

For this reason, Apostle Paul confesses, “I am not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16). What would you say in response if asked, “How many people did you bring to Christ?” in the Last Judgment? The Bible says Christ will be ashamed of us if we are ashamed of Him and His gospel for evangelization (Luke 9:26). Should we be rebuked by our Lord for have been ashamed by Him? “Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep” (Isaiah 56:10). The believers who do not pray or evangelize are mute Christians. We must become trumpeting Christians, not mute Christians.

Recently, a group of church members from Yoido Full Gospel Bundang Church visited Hawaii. Among them was a female deacon whose last name was Kim. Although a fairly new believer for only six years, she evangelizes everyday inspired by God’s grace. She brings from 20 to 50 souls to Christ every week to church service. They meet at one location every Sunday so that the chartered bus can pick them all up for church service. Is it not a miracle or God’s grace that those who have never known Christ worship Him on Sunday? Deaconess Kim strives towards evangelization because she had an in-depth and intimate experience with the Gospel and divine grace. How much do we know about the Gospel? Is the Gospel of the Lord truly a source of our pride?

There is a magician named David Blaine, who is perhaps best known for having survived underwater for seven days without food. In spite of this astonishing feat, Guinness dismissed it as not measuring up. I wouldn’t even try this for a million dollars but why did he do it? Because of his desire for worldly recognition. This world will one day pass away and only the Word of God and salvation will eternally remain (Isaiah 40:8). We must rejoice that our names are written in the book of life in heaven (Luke 10:20) and live the remainder of our lives as witnesses to the Gospel (Romans 1:15). The Gospel is the power of God’s salvation.

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