Blog #Gospel

The Gospel in Scripture: Exploring Its Many Forms

“The new is in the old concealed; the old is in the new revealed.”


You may be wondering, “What is the gospel in the Bible? Where is the gospel in scripture?”

The gospel as God’s rescue plan is complete, starting in Genesis with the snake and the woman, the Jewish law and sacrifices, the Old Testament prophets, and throughout the New Testament. 

The gospel can be traced in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament. The book of Matthew begins with a detailed genealogy of Jesus’s forebears. 

Then, moving on to the books of Mark, Luke, John, and the Acts of the Apostles, all of which describe how the disciples and Paul took the gospel to all nations as Jesus instructed them.

The gospel continued to be preached throughout the Roman Empire and expanded into other parts of the world through the Pauline letters, where Paul instructs churches on living out the gospel.

Yes, the Gospel in scripture is God’s rescue plan, starting when Eve took that first bite of fruit and ending in Revelation at Jesus’s victorious return. 

Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll learn in this blog post:

  1. The Gospel in Scripture: Exploring Its Many Forms
  2. The Gospel in Old Testament Narratives
  3. The Gospel in the Life and Teachings of Jesus
  4. The Gospel in the Acts of the Apostles
  5. The Gospels in Epistles and Letters
  6. Discovering Biblical Unity in Diverse Expressions

The Gospel in Scripture: Exploring Its Many Forms

We live in such a rush as we work, play, and raise our families that we have no time to slow down and absorb the gospel. 

While it may seem simple to some, the gospel in Scripture starts in Genesis and moves forward through the Mosaic Law and the Old Testament prophets before culminating in the person of the Lord Jesus in the Gospels.

Since the gospel writers were intimately familiar with the Old Testament, they used Old Testament references concerning the future Messiah in their writings. The writers also showed how Jesus fulfilled the gospel in Scripture:

  1. Matthew compares Jesus’s healing ministry in Matthew 8:14-16 to Isaiah’s picture of the suffering servant in Isa. 53:4. Matthew directly quotes Isaiah 53:4 in that passage.

    Matthew also presents Jesus as the New Moses, fulfilling the Old Testament scriptures. He shows that Jesus’s resurrection from the dead has made Him the King of heaven and earth.
  2. The gospel writers use indirect Old Testament references pointing to Jesus. For example, Mark 1:9-11 shows Jesus’s baptism, and Mark references three Biblical texts for God’s declaration, “You’re my beloved Son, in you, I am well-pleased.” 

    These verses blend three Old Testament scriptures: Genesis 22:2, Isa. 42:1, and Ps. 2:7.
  3. Mark focuses on Jesus’s announcement of the kingdom of God’s arrival, which was mysterious to Jesus’s followers and caused misunderstandings.
  1. Luke emphasizes Jesus’s gospel presentations to the world outside of Israel. Through Luke’s narrative, we see Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit, fulfilling God’s promise in the Old Testament that His salvation includes all nations.

    “Then, He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations beginning in Jerusalem.’” Luke 24:45-48 NIV.
  1. John highlights Jesus as “God-becomes-human,” using signs showing the truth of Jesus’s messianic claim and His gift of eternal life for all who trust in Him.

Gospel in Old Testament Narratives

Old Testament Page of the bible : The Gospel in Scripture

The gospel is found in the Old Testament narratives. The Old Testament also makes it clear that the Messiah must go through suffering on the cross, death, and resurrection. 

The Lord Jesus says in Luke 24:25-27 NIV, “He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”

Other Old Testament scriptures point to where Jesus was born and hint at Jesus’s long ancestral ties to Old Testament Israel.

  1. Micah 5:2 NIV states, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times.”
  1. Hosea 13:14 NIV says, “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?” 

This blog post, What Is the Gospel in the Bible?, explains the gospel in scripture, particularly in the Old Testament.

The Gospel in the Life and Teachings of Jesus

NewTestament Page of the bible : The Gospel in Scripture

The gospel of Jesus’s teachings is in all four gospels. Jesus wanted his listeners to understand his points concerning the Kingdom of God and the gospel as God’s rescue plan.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John reported Jesus’s gospel presentations, such as

  • Jesus spoke in parables, which he used one-third of the time when teaching. He used characters, setting, and the gospel in at least 50 parables.
  • Jesus used poetry to teach the gospels.
  • Jesus used proverbs to teach a crucial point. For example, in Matthew 26:52 NIV, “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
  • Jesus used exaggeration in his teachings, not in a dishonest way, but to drive home an important point. 

For example, “And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go to hell.” Matthew 5:30 NIV.

Jesus’s messages in his teaching and his subject matter centered on

  1. The kingdom of God’s arrival 
  2. Those living in the kingdom of God
  3. Jesus as Lord in the kingdom of God.

You’ll read in the four gospels that the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are used interchangeably. Both terms mean the same reality. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is here now and coming in the future.

The Gospel in the Acts of the Apostles

As you read through the Old Testament, the four gospels, and then into Acts, you see that the gospel, God’s rescue plan, was spreading like fire past Jerusalem, Judea, and into Samaria.

Jesus’s ascension to heaven opened the door for the Holy Spirit to come to the apostles and other believers at the beginning of Acts. Jesus told his followers this while eating a meal together in Acts 1:4-5 NIV:

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized by the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus also commissioned his followers when he said in Acts 1:8 NIV:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The whole trajectory of Acts shows Jesus’s followers going out to the rest of the world and proclaiming the gospel in life. 

Part of God’s rescue plan included the promise in Acts 1 and its fulfillment in Acts 2. After Jesus’s ascension, the 12 disciples sat together at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them.

“Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:2-3 NIV.

In Acts 2, God equips his people with foreign languages to go into the world and preach the simple gospel. points out the main character in Acts is “the word of God,” which means the gospel in scripture. The article’s author points out that Acts 8:25 and Acts 10:36 emphasize the word of God as the main character.

The word of God attracted outsiders. Luke, the writer of Acts, documents in Acts 10:44 and 11:1 that Samaritans and the Gentiles, whom the Jews considered outcasts, were included in the early church’s growth. 

Jesus made it clear that all believers must make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20), with priority made for the Jews first (Rom. 1:16) and then the Greeks (Gentiles). We see this gospel growth as the word of God advances beyond Israel.

“Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews.” Acts 11:19 NIV.

The Gospel in Epistles and Letters

You grow deeper into the gospel in life as you continue to study God’s Word from Acts and Paul’s epistles and letters to the churches throughout the Roman Empire.

Paul continues to preach the gospel in life by providing greater insight into God’s rescue plan. 

Paul dedicated his life to preaching the gospel in scripture so that everyone would know that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, lived on earth, died on the cross, rose three days later, and ascended into heaven.

And the word of God is the vehicle for bringing this truth to the nations.

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV, Paul further proclaims that “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

In Paul’s letters and epistles, you’ll find the theological depth of the gospel’s message and its exhortations to apply in daily life.

If you want to delve deeper into how the gospel permeates scripture from the Old Testament through the New Testament, read #Gospel: Life, Hope, and Truth for Generation Now

You can download a free chapter to see if this book helps answer the question, “What is the gospel in the Bible?” This book can be read for personal study and growth or as a small group book study.

Discovering Biblical Unity in Diverse Expressions

When you see the gospel in all of scripture, it’s mind-blowing how God used different authors throughout the history of time to build a cohesive message in the gospel throughout scripture.

As God the Father’s rescue plan for humanity unfolds in the Bible, you’ll love Him deeper and be motivated to share the gospel in your corner of the world.


You can trace God’s hand with the gospel in scripture as he inspires different writers over hundreds of years. First, the Old Testament provides evidence of the Messiah’s coming. Then, the New Testament writers provide details about the Lord Jesus’s life as the Messiah.

The Acts of the Apostles show how the word of God and the gospel message spread throughout the Roman empire. Then, in his letters and epistles, Paul explains how to apply the gospel to life.

Continue traveling in the scriptures, learning more about the #Gospel: God’s Rescue Plan.

Keep exploring the Gospel in-depth with the #Gospel book. Discover profound insights, personal growth, and a tool for discipleship. #Gospel leads you through Paul’s explanation of the Gospel in Romans. Unveil life, hope, and truth for generation now. Start your journey with #Gospel today. Discover more about the book here.

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