That’s quite the question for a brief Q&A! We’ll need a fuller post to hit on that.
Also, we don’t really have “organizational views” persay. We are a collection of individuals looking for truth, learning, unlearning, and constantly finding out how little we know.
At this point, for me personally, I would say the essence of the Gospel is in John 10:10 – “I’ve come that they might have life and have it abundantly.”
The life to come is a big part of this, of course, but I think we over-focus on that in the Church. We act like this life is some sort staging ground with the sole purpose of dividing between believers and unbelievers.
I disagree. I think this life is profoundly important, and I think this universe will continue to be our home in “the afterlife”. I think humanity is on a journey with God, and it’s a beautiful process.
In the here and now, I believe the Gospel is both the message of Jesus AND the person of Jesus. He showed us the path to wholeness and life, and in Him we “live and move and have our being”.
So in a nutshell, I believe the Gospel is that God became man to reveal Himself as our Father, show us the path of life, and deliver us from the destruction we inflict upon ourselves.
“God proclaims peace on earth, and that He has good will toward all men.”
That, to me, explains the gospel perfectly. It is only when this message is called into question that confusion and complexities arise. If all thoughts and study will be measured by the above statement, it will answer every question. 🙂
The gospel is the ‘Good News’ to the unbeliever that transforms lives. Therefore we need to find out where that gospel was preached, to whom was it preached & what was the result. Acts 2:38 meets all of the requirements. Peter preached the gospel to unbelievers by stating, ‘Repent, be baptized in Jesus’ name & receive the Holy Spirit’ 3,000 unbelievers were saved that day.
In case you’re interested, Preterists would say the gospel was that Yahweh sent his son to warn the Jews to repent for the kingdom of heaven was soon coming (Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3, 5). Those who repented would be saved from the coming destruction (70AD) because God would forgive them as a result of Christ’s death on the cross (Mark 10:45). They would then live under the rule of the exalted Christ.
Again, the gospel is for unbelievers & not believers, therefore any interpretation of the gospel that is taken from letters written to the saints are not the gospel. Romans 10:9, Eph. 2:8-9, & Corinthians are ALL written to saints: People who have repented of their sins, been baptized in Jesus’ name & received the Holy Spirit. THAT is the gospel.