The Gospel: A Summary and Starting Point

I believe the Gospel is the most important truth you can know. I think it is the central message of God’s Word to us, the Bible.

If I had to summarize it, here is my attempt:

“The Gospel is the good news that, although God is holy (meaning he doesn’t tolerate sin in his presence), and I am a sinner (meaning he wouldn’t tolerate me in his presence), God loves me. He wants a relationship with me. So he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to Earth, born as a human baby. Jesus lived a sinless, perfect life — until he died on a cross. He died on that cross for my sins, in my place, taking the punishment that I deserve. Days later he resurrected, back to life, defeating death itself (which gives me hope!). Then he ascended to Heaven, where he now invites​ me to join him, in glory, for eternity, as a free faith gift of salvation.”

If I had to put it into four words: “People sin, Jesus saves.”

Whenever you discuss the collision between our sin and our Savior, the nature of humanity vs. the nature of God, you are discussing the Gospel. The work of Christ to restore that great conflict unfolds into the most beautiful story.

Few truths will still be relevant billions of years from now, but the Gospel is knowledge that stands the test of eternity.

The Gospel rewards exploration richly. I think it should be the guiding principle of my life. The Gospel should not just be a piece of wisdom I am aware of, but the bedrock of my faith lived actively. It should color my relationships, affect my decisions, and filter my perception.

One good fact about the Gospel is that, although Christianity has many terms born from the minds of theologians and only defined within the past few centuries, the Gospel is not among them. Scripture itself refers to the Gospel, usually in the context that we are called to share it.

But if my own understanding of what the Gospel is ever fails me, included too is the tidy summary we find in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

I am convinced that laboring on behalf of the Gospel is worthy work. Much more could be written on it, and I hope to take part. May we strive for its spread and remain unashamed, for it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe.