Paul’s Pastoral letters, those written to Timothy and Titus, contain references to the word “gospel” and we want to dip into 1 Timothy 1 today:
8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the
ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill
their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers-and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
The Greek is not entirely clear. Literally, it says “according to the gospel of the glorious of the blessed God…”. The best explanation seems to be the “glorious gospel.”
More important, the gospel itself contains within it and entails both sound doctrine and moral behaviors. In fact, Paul does something here that might make a Lutheran wince: the law is designed to point the sins of sinners since those behaviors do not conform to the gospel. The law reveals sin but the Law here gets closely connected to the gospel. Paul doesn’t define gospel here; he assumes we know whereof he speaks.
We can assume it refers to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, what God intends for each of those, and the blessed power of the Spirit to make God’s people what they are designed to be.