To read the other parts of this series, please see the end of this post. I am also posting this entire paper with sources as a pdf here.
First, I am going to restate my definition of the gospel that I wrote in part one of this series:
The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ was sent by God into the world to save sinners from eternal damnation; Jesus Christ, a perfect and righteous man who never committed a sin, took the sins of the world upon his back and was crucified on a cross; He was raised from the dead to forever reign in glory as our Lord, that whoever believes in Him and repents of their sins will be saved. The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).
God is fundamental to the gospel. We cannot fully understand the gospel if we do not know first who God is. God is holy and God is just, in the very least. It is because of this that He demands perfection, and it is because of this that He cannot even look upon sin. This is why we – as sinners – need a Savior in order to live eternally with God. The gospel message is that Jesus Christ is that Savior, sent by God – because God loved us so much (John 3:16). Jesus Christ came, He died, He was buried, He was resurrected, and He ascended to the right hand of the Father. This is the good news. I absolutely love 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” That pretty much sums it up, right?
God is holy, He is just, He is merciful, He is magnificent, He is kind, He is patient, He is eternal, He is power, He is all knowing, He is love, and He is grace. He is our great treasure, He is the rock that we cling to, and He is our reward. God truly is sufficient for our every need. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NASB)
I will defer to what John Piper says in Desiring God: “My responsibility as a preacher of the gospel and a teacher in the church is not to preserve and repeat cherished Biblical sentences [believe in the Lord Jesus], but to pierce the heart with Biblical truth.”
The gospel is truth. When we really grasp that fact, then we don’t need anything else but the gospel. We don’t need to add to it by speaking a word of faith; we don’t need to doubt God’s word in telling us that we are saved and justified by faith. Everything that we have on this earth has been given to us by the grace of God and it should be our desire to use all that we have to bring glory and honor to Him. He is our peace; nothing else do we need. May we worship God and our Lord Jesus Christ with the echo of Revelation 5:13: “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!””
– Adam Smith