The “gospel” is shorthand for the good news of God’s plan of salvation as communicated to us in God’s Word, the Bible, through the story of creation, rebellion, redemption, and restoration.
God is the creator of everything in the universe (Gen. 1:1). Man is God’s special creation uniquely designed in God’s own image. Adam, the first man, was called of God to be the representative head of all humanity to have dominion over and care for God’s good creation (Gen. 1:26-30).
The relationship between God and the first persons created, Adam and Eve, was very good (Gen. 1:31)—one marked by intimate fellowship. Out of such intimate love, reverence for the holy image in which he created man, and desire for human flourishing, God required of man perfect obedience to his law. However, in their pride they sinned against God, thus entering into an estate of rebellion and subject to a judgment of death as penalty for breaking God’s law (Gen. 3:1-7). The whole creation was affected by sin. All humankind became subject to the same judgment because of the sin of Adam, the representative head from which all humanity descends, by inheriting a nature corrupted by sin (Rom. 5:18). It was not only by nature but because of their own individual sins that all men became subject to judgment also (Rom. 3:23). Adam being the steward of God’s creation, the natural realm also fell subject to the corruption of man's sin (Rom. 8:20-22).
Because of God's deep love for his creation, he would not let man’s sin be the end of the story. The relationship between God and man being severed, God declared that he would make all things right by the work of his own hand through a righteous descendant of his own sovereign choosing to save his people from the judgment of eternal death which they deserved (Gen. 3:15)—the rest of the Bible is the dramatic unfolding of this plan of salvation. However, sin could not go unpunished. Thus, God out of sheer grace—an unmerited gift of love and mercy—sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, in the flesh to (1) live an obedient, perfect life which man could not do himself, (2) innocently suffer and be killed for a judgment which man rightly deserved, and (3) rise from the grave to defeat the power of eternal death so that man might have eternal life with God and righteous relationship restored with him forever (John 3:16; Rom. 5:1-21; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 5:12-22).
The redemptive work of Jesus Christ not only saves God’s people from condemnation, but also commences rescue of the entirety of God’s creation from the curse of sin under which it was subject—the Lord is about transformation of the whole creation order (2 Pet. 3:7-13; Rev. 21:1). After he was raised from the dead, the victorious Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and he now reigns on the throne of God (Acts 1:6-11; Rev. 4:1-11). Christ has promised to return (Matt. 24:29-31, 36-11) to usher in the new heavens and new earth, the culmination of God’s story of salvation where his redeemed people live in restored intimate relationship with him for eternity (Rev. 21:1-22:6). We rest in that promise, for God has kept every promise he has made to us (2 Cor. 1:20).