The Greek word for gospel is euangélion – good tidings, good news, a positive message that genders hope. In the Old Testament, ‘good news’ is always used by the prophets as a reference to God’s salvation.
The good news of salvation is in the forgiveness and hope that Christ offers us when we believe that He came, died on the cross, was buried and resurrected.
The gospel defines us and is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes. It is our calling into God’s plan of salvation and hope we share with others.
And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation – Mark 16:15
As followers of Christ, we can make the decision to follow the leading of the Spirit and His call or we can still go our own way. I am not sure if we decide to go our own way as to when we are no longer followers of Jesus.
Paul expressed many times how the Spirit of God was leading him through the instinct and motion of the Spirit and how his whole life was framed according to God’s will and pleasure. The outcomes of his journey did not depend on the journey itself but rather that he obeyed and was faithful – for we know some of the outcomes Paul faced, even death. It was if Paul was addicted to following Jesus – to the profit of the Church – even neglecting his own safety. At one point, he even deprived himself of his most faithful companion, Timothy, so that the Macedonian church would not have to wait for him.
We see a little bit of Paul at this very moment in his letter to the Romans. He writes —
Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him shall see,
and those who have never heard of him shall understand.”
This is the reason that I have so often been hindered from coming to you. But now, with no further place for me in these regions, I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while. At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem in a ministry to the saints – Romans 15:20-25
Paul had an incredible desire to not want to build on the foundation of another – he wanted to work in bringing the gospel to a place that had never heard it before.
Now after these things had been accomplished, Paul resolved in the Spirit to go through Macedonia and Achaia, and then to go on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have gone there, I must also see Rome.” – Acts 19:21