What is the gospel?
What is the gospel?
When I posted a version of this article over a year ago on my now-defunct blog, I kept seeing these Facebook posts from friends who, every so often, referred to “applying” or “remembering” or “resting in” the Gospel.
Reformed pastors, authors, bloggers, etc. are fond of using gospel in every verbal sense. The thing is, they do so to the point where it becomes another form of Christianese.
Last time I checked, Christianese never did anything worthwhile for anyone; in my mind, therefore, the verbage almost waters down the true, bonafide, 200-proof gospel. You don’t know if it has more to do with having a master’s degree in theology than with Jesus or what.
So, what is the gospel?
Now I would remind you, brothers,1 of the gospel gI preached to you, which you received, hin which you stand, 2and by which iyou are being saved, if you jhold fast to the word I preached to you—kunless you believed in vain.3 For lI delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died mfor our sins nin accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised oon the third day pin accordance with the Scriptures, – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (ESV)
One detailed, long explanation reflecting a Reformed point of view comes from an article by Iain Murray in a 2000 issue of the Founders Journal.
Reformed guys sure like to write, don’t they 🙂
What concerns me the most is that, in all of the explanations from my Reformed brothers and sisters of what the gospel is and does and how it changes everything, that the core of the concept is being overlooked: the Gospel as good news.
The gospel at its core is not overly complicated, and Jesus never spoke as if He was trying to earn his Masters of Divinity from the Jewish priests.
It’s simple, really: we are damned by a Holy God for our sins. God’s only Son made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins and have them covered for all eternity by dying as a sacrifice on our behalf. If we only confess our sins, repent of them, and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior, we will be reconciled to God.
Sometimes, simple is best.
I like Steve Brown’s definition: