What Is the Gospel?

Ever since reading this summary of the gospel in Dever and Alexander’s book, The Deliberate Church, Crossway Books, 2005, 221 pages), I have sought to be all the clearer in my presentation of the gospel to unbelievers and in my teaching of the gospel to our new member classes.

This Gospel, then, is that God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. He created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever, but we have all sinned, both in Adam as our representative head, and in our own individual actions (Rom. 5:12; 3:23). We therefore deserve death—spiritual separation from God in hell (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:3)—and are in fact already spiritually stillborn, helpless in our sins (Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:6-8; Eph. 2:1) and in need of God to impart spiritual life to us (Ezek. 37:1-14; John 3:3). [Given our desperate condition what follows is why the Gospel is supremely good news] But God sent His Son Jesus Christ , fully God and fully man (Phil. 2:5-11), to die the death that we deserved, and he raised Him up for our justification, proving that He was God’s Son (Rom. 5:1; 1:4). If we would have Christ’s perfect righteousness credited to us, and the penalty for our sins accounted to Him, we must repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ for salvation (2 Cor. 5:21; Mark 11:14-15) (p. 28).

How strong is your knowledge of the gospel, the whole gospel, and nothing but the gospel?

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