what is the gospel?

The gospel is the good news that God, despite sinful humanity's rejection of him, is willing to extend forgiveness to us through Jesus Christ and begin the process of restoring us to the perfect image of his we were originally created to be. This restoration extends to our four fundamental relationships - our relationship with God, with others, with ourselves, and with the rest of creation - four relationships that the Church is best equipped to serve. The gospel itself can be summed up in four "comfortable words": 

Hear these comforting words of our Savior Christ to all who truly turn to him...

'Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest' (Matt. 11:28); 

'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life' (John 3:16); 

'This is a true saying and worthy of all men to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners' (1 Tim. 1:15);

'And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and his is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world' (1 John 2:1-2). 

Through turning away from a life lived for ourselves (repentance), confessing our sins, and placing our trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, God will make us one with Christ, offer us the eternal life that Jesus possesses, connect us with his body, the church, and make us into his very own children.