What is the Gospel?
Gospel means "good news announcement", but what is the "good news"? And why is it "good"?
When humanity was first created by God, we were instructed to live as God's representatives on the earth. Rather than representing God, ou first parents chose to represent themselves; they desired equality with God. This decision bent every human after them inward. Rather than living to reflect the glory of God, our natural inclination is now to seek our own attention and glory, this is what we call the "sin nature"- we all have it.
The grand story of the Bible tells us how God sought out a people who would reflect His glory and goodness but like Adam and Eve, those people continuously rebelled against God. If humanity were to continue on this same trajectory of rebellion against God, we would all forever be separated from Him.
But God had a plan. In the Old Testament, speaking through His prophets, God promised again and again that one day, in his mercy, he would send a king who would lead His people into righteousness.
The Gospel is the Good News announcement that God sent the king he promised to send. His name is Jesus, and because he proved himself to be the promised king we call him Jesus the "Christ" (which means anointed king). King Jesus isn't just a man, he is the eternal Son of God. Even while we were in sinful rebellion against Him, God loved us and showed mercy to us and gave us His own Son!
The wonder of it all is that even though Jesus lived a sinless life, he was nailed to a cross and killed to take the punishment that his people deserved.
As a sign to all of King Jesus' faithfulness and divinity, God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in a position of ultimate authority. Because of Jesus' defeat of death, those whose faith is in him now have the hope of eternal life.
What does it mean to have faith in Jesus?
When we, enabled by the grace of God through the Holy Spirit, repent of our rebellion against God and put our trust in Jesus as our King, we are saved from our sin. Simultaneously, we are adopted by God as His children and justified (made right) before Him in Christ. As a result of this salvation, we are gradually transformed to better reflect God's glory by the Spirit. (1 Peter 1:3, John 3:16, Romans 5:1, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 2:4-9, 2 Corinthians 5:21)