On the discussion board for my book, someone asked the question "What is the gospel."
And at first I gave the answer representing what the gospel Jesus spread would have been: the idea that the time of the Kingdom was at hand to a people who had been yearning for it for centuries. By the way, I discuss this gospel in a youtube video here.
But then the person asked me "But what is the good news for me?" And that is an excellent question...what is the Good News today...I decided I'd give my answer here for anyone who cared.
Well, there are several pieces of good news for you:
First piece of good news:
God has declared through Christ that God's Kingdom is now open to all races. You, as a Gentile, no longer are excluded from God. You are no longer a second-class citizen simply because you do not follow the covenant given to Abraham's heirs. That's a HUGE piece of good news that people today simply take for granted. But consider the situation of 1st century Gentiles, many of whom were attracted and respected the Jewish faith but could not bring themselves to convert. The idea that the Jews no longer had God's favor cornered is a huge bit of Good news.
Second piece, related to the first:
God has declared through Christ a new covenant whose joiners receive the holy spirit as a "signing bonus." This is an INCREDIBLE piece of good news if you put yourself in the mind of a 1st century believer. The Jews had only rarely tastes the Holy Spirit, and only for short bits of time. This person or that person of old may have been "in the spirit" for a time, receiving special revelation...but now EVERYONE in God's community has access to it. UNBELIEVABLE. Note that the Spirit is what Christ refers to at the end of Luke when he says "That which was promised" and in John he says it can only come if he dies...and in Acts it is repeated referred to as "the gift"
Third piece of Good News:
God has declared through Jesus' resurrection what God intends to do to everyone later on. Jesus resurrection is proof that God raises the dead (and it also is a warning to those who think they can do anything they want in this life without consequences). Note Paul's words to Felix in Acts 24:14-21 .