what is the gospel?
The Gospel is the good news that God himself has come to rescue and renew creation in and through the work of jesus christ on our behalf. Even though we could never reach him on our own, god reached out to us in his incredible love and grace.
God created everything and everyone both in heaven and on earth. Every created thing is intended to bring God glory. Humanity was created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever specifically in the context of relationship.
Mankind rejected this intended relationship with God and chose instead to worship other things. The Bible explains that this rebellion against God is universal, all have sinned. It also explains that the result of sin is death, a permanent separation from our Creator.
Jesus entered human history for the purpose of redemption. He is God in the flesh as John 1 explains. He lived a perfect life, entirely without sin, He is the only human to ever do this. Jesus was beaten and died on a cross. His death was the ultimate payment. Jesus freely offered his blood, his life, in order to fully satisfy the penalty of human sin. His sacrifice was perfect, there is nothing that can ever be added to it, His death was entirely sufficient for each person who would believe. God offers each of us complete forgiveness for our sins because of this incredible act of grace.
On the third day after His death, Jesus rose from the grave. His resurrection was proof of two specific things: He is exactly who He says He is, God in the flesh; we can trust that His sacrifice was entirely sufficient for us and that as a result, we can experience a resurrected life both spiritually and physically because of Him. Jesus gives us a new nature, He gives us a new identity, He gives us a new life.
Following Jesus is not about being part of a religion. Following Jesus is about living in a reconciled relationship with our Creator, as we were intended to experience from the very beginning. Relationship with Jesus is all about what He has done, not what mankind should do. We could never do enough to earn this kind of relationship with God, we can experience this unity with God only because of His magnificent grace.