What is the Gospel?
Here’s a helpful summary of God’s work from creation to new creation as He redeems sinners and restores them to what He created them to be as reflections of His glory and grace.
Created by his mere voice, God spoke everyone and all creation into existence through his life giving word. Though all this creation was declared good, mankind chose to worship unsatisfying idols instead of our creator, breaking the perfection of creation and staining the world with death, disease, pain and suffering.
All is not lost, as our Father had from the beginning prepared a rescue mission, through the same power that created all things. The Word becomes flesh in the most unlikely of places and the greatest story ever told begins.
God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. He created man to glorify and enjoy Him forever (Gen. 2:7, 16-17; 18:25; Matt. 25:31-33). Man was created in God’s image to serve, worship, and reflect Him.
Man rebelled against God by sinning against His holy character and law (Gen. 3:1-7). We’ve all participated in this sinful rebellion, both in Adam as our representative head and in our own actions (1 Kings 8:46; Rom. 3:23; 5:12, 19;Eph. 2:1-3). As a result, we have alienated ourselves from God and have exposed ourselves to His righteous wrath, which will banish us eternally to hell if we are not forgiven (Eph. 2:12; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Matt. 13:50). But God sent Jesus Christ to rescue lost and helpless sinners, while they were yet His enemies.
Christ, being fully God and fully man, was sent by God to die the death that we deserved for our sins–the righteous for the unrighteous–so that God might both punish our sin in Christ and forgive it in us (John 1:14; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:6-8;Eph. 2:4-6). Christ bore the wrath that man deserved, and was raised to new life in order that those who put their faith in Him would be saved.
The only saving response to this Good News (a.k.a. “the gospel”) is repentance and belief (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 3:7-9; John 20:31). We must repent of our sins (turn from them and to God) and believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God. Through repentance from our sin and faith in the death and resurrection of Christ, we are welcomed into the family of God as those declared righteous in the sight of God. As we grow in grace and truth, God transforms us into the image of Christ and we begin to bear the fruit of righteousness, and await future glorification.
*See Titus 3:4-7; 2 Cor. 5:21; and Ephesians 1:7-10 for succinct summaries of the gospel. See 2. Corinthians 3:18; John 17:17; Romans 12:1-2 for succinct pictures of sanctification; and see Colossians 1:15-20; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:1-4 for an overview of the person and work of Christ.
**This gospel summary was adapted from The Deliberate Church by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander.