You may read the inaugural sermon of the new head of the World Council of Churches here.
He says, essentially that there is one sine qua non, without which nothing, bottom line.
“Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
It has ever been thus since the beginning. The canonical gospels lay the basis for the creedal religion of Christianity and the fundamental creeds contain the emphasis that derives from St. Paul’s declension of reality. Which happens to include the earliest text in the New Testament, if not the earliest recorded memories.
So. If I say there is a different understanding of the gospel, I am in a distinct and hardly heeded minority. But I say it anyway.
What Jesus said is why he was killed and it is a message that is palpably universal, just as Paul’s message is palpably in your face and divisive.
Jesus said that the One he called Abba in his daily prayer is near at hand and that this is the gospel or good news. He said that those who repent their wrongdoing and accept the powerful reality of Abba’s presence are capable of ascending to the exalted state of little children who have no airs to put on. He said in short that religion as we have known it, including the religion that would be articulated by Paul, was, and is, kaput.