The gospel is a report from heaven to be believed and trusted to for salvation. First, we shall view the gospel in the nature of a report in general. And,
1. There is the subject of a report or the thing that is reported, viz., some design, action, or event, true or false. The subject of the gospel report is a love-design in God for the salvation of sinners of mankind (2Ti 1:9-10). Such was the gospel report that was first made in the world (Gen 3:15). It is the report of an act of grace and kindness in God, in favor of them, whereby He has given them His Son for a Savior (Joh 3:16; Isa 9:6) and eternal life in Him (1Jo 5:11). The report of the event of Christ’s dying for sinners and a crucified Christ’s being ready for marriage with sinners (Mat 22:4), [which is] a subject of the utmost importance.
2. There is the place whence the report originally comes. And the place here is heaven, the bosom of the Father. Hence, the gospel is called “heavenly things” (Joh 3:12), revealed from the bosom of the Father. The original place of a report is the place of the transaction, and that at some distance from where it is reported. So,
(1) The gospel is a report from heaven, where the design of love was contrived, the gift of the Son was made, and from whence He came to die for sinners, and where He is ready to match with them. The gospel may come from one place of the earth to another, as it did from Jerusalem to other places of the world (Isa 2:3; Luk 24:47). But it came from heaven originally (Luk 2:13-14).
(2) The gospel is good news from a far country, and so should be as acceptable as cold water to the thirsty (Pro 25:25). The farther off a country is from whence a report comes, we think ourselves the less concerned in it; and so do carnal men treat the gospel report. Far indeed it is. But as far as it is, we must spend our eternity in it or else in hell; and therefore it does most nearly concern us.
3. The matter of a report is something unseen to them to whom the report is made. And so is the matter of the gospel report. It is an unseen God (Joh 1:18); an unseen Savior (1Pe 1:8); and unseen things (2Co 4:18) that are preached unto you by the gospel. So the gospel is an object of faith, not of sight (Heb 11:1). We receive it by hearing, not by seeing (Isa 55:3). It is not what we credit on our eyesight, but upon the testimony of another, viz., of God. Hence, the carnal world are fond of seen objects (Psa 4:6), but slow to believe the gospel.