Newspapers as we know them today trace their origin to the days of Julius Caesar. The Acta Diurna, which translates from Latin as the “Daily Acts,” contained daily notices of trials, scandals, campaigns, and executions. Caesar was also the first to deliberately “make public and propagate” government news in the form of the Acta Senatus.
The gospel, translated as “good news” from the Greek, describes what God has done on our behalf. The term gospel is mentioned 75 times in the New Testament, and it is a central theme of Scripture. This good news centers around the redemptive story of Christ in His birth, death, and resurrection. When Jesus ascends into heaven following the resurrection, He issues the Great Commission to His disciples. They are told to make public and propagate this news to the end of the earth.
For those who shy away from communicating their faith to others, it is helpful to consider that today people crave good news more than ever before. In an article in Huffington Post, Sherman Yellen observes that bad news dominates our hearts and lives: “Is it unrealistic to crave good news at any age when we know that bad news makes the news? I don’t think so. No, ‘good news’ is the perfect news to me . . . perhaps because it is so rare and it is so necessary for us at this time.”
In his letter to the Romans, Paul offers a clear and systematic explanation of the good news of Jesus Christ: the gospel. The Apostle speaks of its necessity and its power: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).
The law demonstrated our need for deliverance from the power of sin. The gospel articulates what God has done for us through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (3:23–25).
The gospel is the foundation of what we believe. Understanding the gospel means knowing what God has done for us in the past and what He guarantees for our eternal future.
This is the good news: the perfect life, death, and resurrection of Jesus delivers us from the power and condemnation of sin. We are not to keep it to ourselves, but to distribute it freely through our words and through our lives. Good news, indeed!