From the Latin evangelium, meaning good tale or good news. Gospel has a number of distinct meanings. It refers to the Good News concerning Christ, the Kingdom of God, and salvation. It also refers to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. The word is used in connection with the first four books of the New Testament. For example, the Gospel of Mark or the Gospel according to Mark refers to the New Testament book ascribed to Mark in which the life and teachings of Jesus are described. In services of worship, the Reading from the Gospel or the Gospel Reading refers to the Scripture reading from one of the four Gospels.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by permission.