What is the Gospel?

by | Jan 1, 2023 | ALERT Ethos

At ALERT we believe that the Gospel is what transforms a man. The Gospel is the good news about what Jesus Christ has done to reconcile sinners to God. Here’s the whole story:

  1. The one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know him (Gen. 1:26-28).
  2. We sinned and cut ourselves off from him (Gen. 3; Rom. 3:23).
  3. In his great love, God sent his Son Jesus to come as king and rescue his people from their enemies—most significantly their own sin (Ps. 2; Luke 1:67-79).
  4. Jesus established his kingdom by acting as both a mediating priest and a priestly sacrifice—he lived a perfect life and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of many (Mark 10:45; John 1:14; Heb. 7:26; Rom. 3:21-26, 5:12-21); then he rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted his sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us had been exhausted (Acts 2:24, Rom. 4:25).
  5. He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness (Acts 17:30, John 1:12). If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God (John 3:16).

The Gospel is built on the free and unmerited promises of God. It stands in contrast to every legalistic attempt to gain God’s favor by human effort. It is received by faith in Christ alone. In this way, it stands in distinction to law, which is built on legal demands and works. In the Gospel, God provides the solution to the problem of the unrighteousness of man. By sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the just demands of the law through Jesus’ sinless life—and by removing the curse of the law in the death of Jesus—God provides what He requires. The Gospel secures for believers every saving benefit in Jesus Christ by grace alone (Eph. 1:3). These benefits are applied to believers through their union with Christ. They are received only by faith, which is worked in the people of God by His Holy Spirit. 

The Gospel is not simply the doorway of salvation that Christians pass through, and then leave behind. Pastor Harry Reeder (1948-2023) wrote: “Early in my Christian life, I thought the gospel was the message to win people to Christ, then, in disciple-making, one moved on to ‘deeper things.’ What a fallacy! You never move beyond the gospel. You go deeper and higher with the gospel, but never beyond the gospel. The gospel is what defines how to be a Christian man, woman, spouse, parent, and citizen. The gospel brings the reign of Christ’s kingdom to our hearts and throughout the world. The gospel blessings give joy to the Christian life and the ability to rejoice even in suffering. The gospel imperatives direct our new desire to lovingly obey our Lord. The gospel provides the foundation, the formation, and the motivation as it ignites our loving obedience to Christ as we discover the transforming truth that ‘He first loved us’ (1 John 4:19).” 

Finally, the greatest good of the Gospel is not forgiveness, justification, or eternal life—as good as these are. The highest, fullest, deepest, sweetest good of the Gospel is God himself, enjoyed forever by His redeemed people.

Material compiled from 9Marks, Ligonier Ministries, and Desiring God.