The GospelWhat is the Good News of Jesus Christ?
(Adapted from Knowing God, by J. I. Packer)
The word “gospel” means “good news.” It is God’s good news about salvation in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This good news is what the Bible is all about and what we preach and teach at Grace Baptist Church.
In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul refers to the gospel as:
- “My gospel” (2:16),
- “The gospel of Christ” (1:16; 15:19), and
- “The gospel of God” (1:1; 15:16).
Is this confusing? What Paul means by these expressions is that the gospel is:
- My gospel – the gospel that he preaches, stresses the urgency to proclaim the gospel.
- The gospel of Christ – points out the great Subject of the gospel.
- The gospel of God – identifies the origin of the gospel in the councils of God. The gospel is God’s good news for people who are lost in sin.
The Gospel Message
J.I. Packer summarizes the gospel message in the following four points.
The Gospel Message Is About God
The gospel tells us who God is, what His character is, what His standards are and what He requires of us.
The gospel starts by teaching us that we, as creatures, are absolutely dependent on God, and that He, as Creator, has an absolute claim on us. Only then can we understand sin and appreciate the good news of the Gospel about Christ.
The Gospel Is A Message About Sin
The Gospel tells us that we have fallen short of God’s standard and are consequently under the wrath of God. It teaches us to see ourselves as God sees us and to think of ourselves as God thinks about us.
Although we may think of sin as something that we do that hurts other people, the Bible depicts sin as an offense against God and His total demand on our lives.
The Gospel Is A Message About Christ
The person and work of Jesus Christ is the heart of the gospel message. In fact, it is the focal point of all Scripture. Christ is the culmination of all that the OT prophets predicted and the only hope for the sinners who recognize their guilt before God.
Christ’s perfect life, His death in the place of sinners and His resurrection and ascension to God’s right hand are the core of the gospel preaching of the apostles.
The Gospel Is A Summons to Faith and Repentance
The gospel demands a response. New Testament gospel preaching commanded the hearer to respond with repentance and faith. Both repentance and faith are acts of the whole person:
- Repentance is not just feeling sorry – it is a complete change of mind and heart, a new life of denying self and serving Christ as Lord.
- Faith is more than mere belief – it is casting oneself completely on the promises of Christ and the forgiveness that comes only through Him.