“The good news is not “God loves us,” but “God loves us at the cost of His Son.” ” –Derek Thomas
The Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ
What is the Gospel? from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.
1. Jesus Christ is God. (He is the Son of God and Lord.)
John 1:1;14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Hebrews 1:8 – “But of the Son He says, “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.”
Romans 1:3&4 – “concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of Davidaccording to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,“
2. Jesus Christ is human. (He is the Son of man.)
Philippians 2:6-8 – “(Christ Jesus) who, although He existed in theform of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.“
I Timothy 2:5-6 – “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.“
3. Man is a guilty sinner by nature and by choice. Because of this man is separated from and totally helpless before a holy God.
Romans 2:5 – “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,“
Romans 3:10-12, 23 – “as it is written,“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,“
Revelation 20:11-15 – “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whosepresence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, andbooks were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books,according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
4. Jesus Christ lived a perfectly sinless and righteous life and died in our place for our sins.
I Corinthians 15:3 – “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,”
I Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He mightbring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;“
Romans 3:24-26 – “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in theforbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.“
5. Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead.
Matthew 28:6 – “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.“
I Corinthians 15:4-6 – “and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;”
I Corinthians 15:12-20 – “Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those whoare asleep.“
Luke 24:46 – “and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,”
6. Salvation is by God’s grace, apart from works, through faith in Jesus Christ and His work alone.
Romans 3:24, 28 – “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; …For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.“
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Acts 16:31 – “They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Romans 10:9, 13 – “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;…for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
Thoughts on the Gospel from Pastors through the Ages
Jeremiah Burroughs, a faithful Pastor from the 1600’s said of the Gospel:
“As all mankind was lost in Adam and became the children of wrath, put under the sentence of death, God, though He left His fallen angels and has reserved them in the chains of eternal darkness, yet He has thought upon the children of men and has provided a way of atonement to reconcile them to Himself again… Namely, the second person of the Trinity takes man’s nature upon Himself, and becomes the Head of a second covenant, standing charged with sin. He answers for it by suffering what the law and divine justice required, and by making satisfaction by keeping the law perfectly, which satisfaction and righteousness He tenders up to the Father as a sweet savor of rest for the souls that are given to Him… And now this mediation of Christ is, by the appointment of the Father, preached to the children of men, of whatever nation or rank, freely offering this atonement unto sinners for atonement, requiring them to believe in Him and, upon believing, promising not only a discharge of all their former sins, but that they shall not enter into condemnation, that none of their sins or unworthiness shall ever hinder the peace of God with them, but that they shall through Him be received into the number of those who shall have theimage of God again to be renewed unto them, and they shall be kept by the power of God throughfaith unto salvation.”
Martin Luther, the German monk, priest, professor of theology and figurehead of the Protestant Reformation, the man who famously nailed his 95 Theses to the Church door in 1517, said this of the Gospel:
“At its briefest, the gospel is a discourse about Christ, that He is the Son of God and became man for us, that He died and was raised, and that He has been established as Lord over all things.”
Pastor Alistair Begg sums up the Gospel in a simple and concise way;
“Here’s the gospel in a phrase. Because Christ died for us, those who trust in him may know that their guilt has been pardoned once and for all. What will we have to say before the bar of God’s judgment? Only one thing. “Christ died in my place.” That’s the gospel.”
Author and Professor D. A. Carson helps further our understanding by showing us how it attaches to the whole:
“The gospel is integrally tied to the Bible’s story-line. Indeed, it is incomprehensible without understanding that story-line. God is the sovereign, transcendent and personal God who has made the universe, including us, his imagebearers. Our misery lies in our rebellion, our alienation from God, which, despite his forbearance, attracts his implacable wrath. But God, precisely because love is of the very essence of his character, takes the initiative and prepared for the coming of his own Son by raising up a people who, by covenantal stipulations, temple worship, systems of sacrifice and of priesthood, by kings and by prophets, are taught something of what God isplanning and what he expects. In the fullness of time his Son comes and takes on human nature.He comes not, in the first instance, to judge but to save: he dies the death of his people, rises from the grave and, in returning to his heavenly Father, bequeaths the Holy Spirit as the down payment and guarantee of the ultimate gift he has secured for them—an eternity of bliss in the presence of God himself, in a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. The only alternative is to be shut out from the presence of this God forever, in the torments of hell. What men and women must do, before it is too late, is repent and trust Christ; the alternative is to disobey the gospel.”
Pastor Mark Dever puts the emphasis in the most important place – God:
“Here is what I understand the good news to be: the good news is that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from him. In his great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust in him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us had been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and to trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God. Now that is good news.“
R. C. Sproul is wordy, but worth every moment:
“There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the Gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the Gospel to you when they tell you, “You can have a purpose to your life”, or that “You can have meaning to your life”, or that “You can have a personal relationship with Jesus.” All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the Gospel.
The Gospel is called the “good news” because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not.And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness – or lack of it – or the righteousness of another.
The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.
The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No.For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the Gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith – and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him – and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity. “
Pastor John Piper highlights the joy and glory found in this amazingly, good news:
“The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. The Gospel is the good news of our final and full enjoyment of the glory of God in the face of Christ. That this enjoyment had to be purchased for sinners at the cost of Christ’s life makes his glory shine all the more brightly. And that this enjoyment is a free and unmerited gift makes it shine more brightly still. But the price Jesus paid for the gift and the unmerited freedom of the gift are not the gift. The gift is Christ himself as the glorious image of God – seen and savored with everlasting joy.”