A technical definition of the word gospel is “good news.” Yet, just as a jeweler displays a beautiful ring or necklace against a dark velvet background to accentuate its beauty, so God first tells us the bad news to show just how good the good news of the gospel really is. That bad news is that we have all sinned—sometimes in ignorance, but often knowingly.
Seeing our complete weakness, and our inability to do anything to alleviate our wretched condition, God did the ultimate for us. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6–8).
Because there was no other way to satisfy the righteous demands of God, because of our inability to improve ourselves (much less save ourselves), because we faced a future in hell because of our sin, God, in His great love, sent His own Son to come down from heaven and to die on the cross in our very place.
Paul personalized this by saying, “[Christ] loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).