“That which has actual existence,” thus the dictionary defines the word fact. The same dictionary gives as a primary and basic definition for gospel, “good news, glad tidings, esp., the good news concerning Christ.” Thus, we are concerned with facts relating to the good news brought by Jesus Christ.
Let us note some scriptures, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2: 10- 11). The original word for “good tidings” is of the same root word and is basically the same as “gospel.” Thus, the announcement of Jesus as Savior was and is a fundamental fact of the gospel.
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” begins Mark’s record. (Mark 1:1). He concludes his book with, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16). In this book, we should be able to find the facts of the gospel. However, I believe that Paul saves us a great deal of time in his explanation.
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day according to the scriptures (I Corinthians 15.1-4).
Of all the great religions of the world, none have within their structure such tremendous events. All of them had great leaders, and in many of them, their leader died for his particular faith. Yet only in the religion of the Lord God of heaven do we find the resurrection of this leader completely accepted by his followers. It is our faith in the fact of a resurrected savior that gives us hope, confidence, and security. A man died and arose again. This is not a “cunningly devised fable” but a fact. We must accept it as fact.
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are the central facts of the gospel. There are additional facts that are revealed to us. They are just as vital, for a denial of them will nullify the validity of these basic three.
We must believe that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, “Behold a virgin shall be with child” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). We must believe that he is the son of God; “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,” (John 3:16a). We must believe, as did Nicodemus, that his miracles were authorized of God, “for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him ” (John 3:2). It is a fact that his teachings and commands were approved of God; “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him,” (Matthew 17:5). We must believe that God gave Jesus complete authority for the kingdom of heaven; “All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.'” (Matthew 28:18). Unless we see in Jesus these truths or facts, we cannot be in God’s grace. The apostle Paul wrote thus on the subject of grace: “He (God) might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:7-8a). This faith is in Christ, and who would presume to deny that any of the above facts are not necessary?
We should be able to see that there are many facts of the gospel that men must believe. It is not enough to accept Jesus as the resurrected Savior. We must accept his life, his teaching, and his authority. These are facts. Facts are evidence to make clear a situation or idea. The facts of Jesus’s life, his goodness, kindness, care, and concern for others, make evident to us our manner of life for Him. The facts of his teaching give us evidence of erecting a good life here so that we might have that eternal life hereafter. The fact of his authority gives us confidence in his right to lead, guide, and direct us in the world.
Without these facts to believe, we have no hope, no commands, nor evidence of any power in the gospel of Jesus.