The Gospel Message
In his book Knowing God, J.I. Packer summarizes¹ the gospel message in 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.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
And all of this to the Glory of God Alone
¹ J.I. Packer summary thanks to Grace Baptist Church, Ottawa.