You Can’t Define a Story
by MW Cook
People use the word Gospel a lot in my circles. We talk about knowing the Gospel, understanding the Gospel, defining the Gospel. I’ve heard many a preacher talk about how important it is to have a thorough understanding of the Gospel and a right definition of it. But, funnily, usually they don’t actually come through and define it for me. That always bothered me, y’know? Because, how the heck am I supposed to go to heaven if I can’t define the Gospel? Some people try, though. I’ve heard people say that ‘Believe of the Lord Jesus Christ’ is the Gospel. Remember that story? When the jailer wanted to know what he needed to do to be saved? But was that really the Gospel? Or was it just the answer to the jailer’s question?
It hit me today, though. I figured out what the Gospel was. Are you ready for it? Here it goes:
Good News (or story)
We made up the word, eh? We couldn’t figure out how to translate the Greek word so we made up one. Clever of us.
But, of course, I can’t leave it there. That would be cheating. Even though I know that the word Gospel is no more or less than Good News (or story), I still ought to figure out what that good story is.
Boom! Epiphany! I’m on a roll today! I figured out what the Good News is! It’s right there in the beginning of the New Testament! What is the first book called?
The Gospel According to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
What is the Gospel? The whole story. The whole deal. All of it. That’s why preachers stumble when they try to define it (and not leave out any of the details that, left out, will damn you). That’s why Jesus never even tried to define it. You can’t define a story. You can’t define a life. The Gospel is the whole Good News (or story) of Jesus and everything that he is.
Good luck putting a tag on that!