what is the gospel message

So, when the Athenians asked him to explain what his talk of Jesus and the resurrection was all about, he spoke to them first of God the Creator and what He made man for. It tells us who He is, what His character is, what His standards are, and what He requires of us, His creatures. View all posts by Linda Willows. But now, my point is that, even if a man thinks that this statement would be true if he made it, it is not a thing that he ever needs to say or ever has reason to say when preaching the gospel. The Alcoholics Anonymous gospel of salvation is that our sins can be taken away “root and branch” without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The essential content of this saving message is clearly laid out for us in the Bible. In common honesty, we must not conceal the fact that free forgiveness in one sense will cost everything; or else our evangelizing becomes a sort of confidence trick. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Joh 3:16). There is death, sickness, and suffering all around us. “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev 22:17). So, You Want To Downplay Doctrine? Are You Ready For Wolf Attacks? Don’t ever think of the gospel as, “That’s the way you get saved, and … Nor would it be saving faith if a man in that condition called on the Lord Jesus Christ just to soothe him, and cheer him up, and make him feel confident again. What the New Testament calls for is faith in (en) or into (eis) or upon (epi) Christ Himself—the placing of our trust in the living Savior Who died for sins. It does not, therefore, follow that a man is convicted of sin when he is distressed about his weaknesses and the wrong things he has done. That is why i…. (ii) The demand is for repentance as well as faith...If there is to be repentance, however, there must, again, be a foundation of knowledge...More than once, Christ deliberately called attention to the radical break with the past that repentance involves. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” said Paul (Act 16:31). But now, my point is that, even if a man thinks that this statement would be true if he made it, it is not a thing that he ever needs to say or ever has reason to say when preaching the gospel. With a love for people expanded by extensive travels to more than 20 countries and work in regions of crises, she expresses a lifelong dedication to the Heart of what unites us - God's Love. God made us. Do you want peace of mind? For nothing less than this is faith. If there is to be faith, however, there must be a foundation of knowledge: a man must know of Christ, and of His cross, and of His promises before saving faith becomes a possibility for him. The enemy will always seek to rob the gospel of both its stigma and power. Two points need to be made about the declaring of this part of the message: (i) We must not present the Person of Christ apart from His saving work. It shows us ourselves as God sees us and teaches us to think of ourselves as God thinks of us. This was not, as some have supposed, a piece of philosophical apologetic of a kind that Paul afterwards renounced, but the first and basic lesson in theistic faith. And this also is a necessary step. And where there is no clear knowledge, and hence no realistic recognition of the real claims that Christ makes, there can be no repentance, and therefore no salvation. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me…whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Mat 16:24-25). Willows was the Founder and Director of a non-profit Humanitarian NGO with the United Nations. Such is the evangelistic message that we are sent to make known. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the message of the good news of salvation offered to mankind by grace through faith in the finished works of Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). Currently she is devoted to community, writing projects and Christian outreach. Repentance and faith are rendered matters of duty by God’s direct command, and hence impenitence and unbelief are singled out in the New Testament as most grievous sins. So, when the Athenians asked him to explain what his talk of Jesus and the resurrection was all about, he spoke to them first of God the Creator and what He made man for. But the Christ who is depicted and desired merely to make the lot of life’s casualties easier by supplying them with aids and comforts is not the real Christ, but a misrepresented and misconceived Christ—in effect, an imaginary Christ. More than once, Christ deliberately called attention to the radical break with the past that repentance involves. Nothing can be achieved by talking about sin and salvation where this preliminary lesson has not in some measure been learned. Nor should we be preaching the gospel (though we might imagine we were) if all that we did was to present Christ in terms of a man’s felt wants: “Are you happy? by J. I. Packer 1. To call Jesus a “Savior” is to say we need to be saved. What the New Testament calls for is faith in (en) or into (eis) or upon (epi) Christ Himself—the placing of our trust in the living Savior Who died for sins. “God…commandeth all men every where to repent,” Paul told the Athenians (Act 17:30). The gospel is a message about Christ—Christ, the Son of God incarnate; Christ, the Lamb of God, dying for sin; Christ, the risen Lord; Christ, the perfect Savior. For the persons to whom the benefits of Christ’s death belong are just those who trust His Person and believe, not upon His saving death simply, but upon Him, the living Savior. You Can’t Outgrow the Gospel. Evangelistic preachers and personal workers have sometimes been known to make this mistake. The gospel is a message about sin. With these universal commands, as we indicated above, go universal promises of salvation to all who obey them. All Rights Reserved, Joel R Beeke, Dr Michael S Horton, Richard B Gaffin Jr, Greg Gilbert, Comfort in Remembering God's Judgments of Old in the Midst of Trial, An Encouragement to be Valiant in a Time of Persecution and Martyrdom, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, Rethinking Regeneration (5-Part MP3 Series). There are lots of ways to articulate the Gospel message in its entirety and plenty of places to learn it. It is true that it is the living Christ Who saves and that a theory of the atonement, however orthodox, is no substitute. The gospel is a message … What is the Gospel? For the very idea of sin in the Bible is of an offence against God that disrupts a man’s relationship with God. With these universal commands, as we indicated above, go universal promises of salvation to all who obey them. It is a message not only of eternal life but one that encompasses the total plan of God to redeem mankind from the ravages of sin and death, from Satan and the curse that is upon all the earth. Faith and repentance are both acts, and acts of the whole man…faith is essentially the casting and resting of oneself and one’s confidence on the promises of mercy which Christ has given to sinners, and on the Christ Who gave those promises. In common honesty, we must not conceal the fact that free forgiveness in one sense will cost everything; or else our evangelizing becomes a sort of confidence trick. The Bible presents a clear and consistent message that all people have sinned. Everyone has a bad conscience about some things in his past, matters in which he has fallen short of the standard that he set for himself or that was expected of him by others. The Gospel is a message about God. The Gospel message is expressed as a command because Jesus deserves to be exalted and obeyed by all mankind. Nothing can be achieved by talking about sin and salvation where this preliminary lesson has not in some measure been learned. Answer: The word gospel means “good news,” which is the message of forgiveness for sin through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. He could begin at once to declare Christ to them as the fulfillment of Old Testament hopes. We are all sinners. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. For the very idea of sin in the Bible is of an offence against God that disrupts a man’s relationship with God. The repentance that Christ requires of His people consists in a settled refusal to set any limit to the claims that He may make on their lives...He had no interest in gathering vast crowds of professed adherents who would melt away as soon as they found out what following Him actually demanded of them. The gospel is a message about God. Historians affirm that the earliest Christian message is the Gospel as Paul wrote to the church in the Greek city of Corinth. Willows was the Founder and Director of a non-profit Humanitarian NGO with the United Nations. 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 good news … It needs to be said that faith is not a mere optimistic feeling, any more than repentance is a mere regretful or remorseful feeling. Jesus is not only the author and messenger of the gospel but that in fact, He is the subject of it. We must not, in presenting the gospel, isolate the cross and its benefits from the Christ Whose cross it was. When asked by His hearers what they should do in order to “work the works of God,” our Lord replied, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (Joh 6:29). 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. Excerpt From Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God  by J. I. Packer. Nor am I at present inviting you to make up your mind on this question, if you have not done so already. However, God’s plan of salvation began shortly after Adam and Eve rebelled against Him, if … 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. We can learn again from Paul at this point. God created Adam and Eve with purpose. Thus, it leads us to self-despair. Only when we have learned this can we see what sin is, and only when we see what sin is can we understand the good news of salvation from sin. (Genesis 1-2) In these two chapters God creates all of the universe and everything in it (Genesis 1:1), including the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. Two points need to be made about the declaring of this part of the message: (i) We must not present the Person of Christ apart from His saving work. The Message of Jesus: The Gospel According to Paul: A Bible Study. And the beginning from which Paul started in such cases was the doctrine of God’s Creatorship and man’s creaturehood. And if we taught people to look to an imaginary Christ, we should have no grounds for expecting that they would find a real salvation. This being so, one thing becomes clear straight away: namely, that the question about the extent of the atonement, which is being much agitated in some quarters, has no bearing on the content of the evangelistic message at this particular point. There is a pitfall here. The Roman Empire changed even during the life of Paul. And where there is no clear knowledge, and hence no realistic recognition of the real claims that Christ makes, there can be no repentance, and therefore no salvation. But what is the Gospel? The answer is in verse 3, “Christ died for our sins.” Our biggest problem is our sin—our rebellion against God. It would, in reality, be a mere conundrum, serving only to mystify...the truth is that you cannot make sense of the historic figure of Jesus until you know about the Incarnation—that this Jesus was in fact God the Son, made man to save sinners according to His Father’s eternal purpose. What Is the Gospel Message? “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev 22:17). The gospel is not, “Believe that Christ died for everybody’s sins, and therefore for yours,” any more than it is, “Believe that Christ died only for certain people’s sins, and so perhaps not for yours”...We have no business to ask them to put faith in any view of the extent of the atonement. While on earth, Jesus continually proclaimed the gospel message. Do you feel that you have failed? The gospel is a bold message, and we are not ashamed of proclaiming it. The aim of The BELOVED is to awaken Christian Unity, embolden Fellowship and inspire Hope to all. RT Kendall writes in early summer of 2015: "The gospel is always under siege, particularly at a theological level. Why Do I Need to Keep Asking for Forgiveness? What is the Gospel Message? Excerpt From Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God  by J. I. Packer. In their concern to focus attention on the atoning death of Christ as the sole sufficient ground on which sinners may be accepted with God, they have expounded the summons to saving faith in these terms: “Believe that Christ died for your sins.” The effect of this exposition is to represent the saving work of Christ in the past, dissociated from His Person in the present, as the whole object of our trust. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Find Hope and Encouragement in The LORD, The HOLY BELOVED. 2. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Linda's journey includes writing, prayer, and daily devotion, "surely, I know less and less as my heart empties to the majesty of Seeing Jesus Christ". When asked by His hearers what they should do in order to “work the works of God,” our Lord replied, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (Joh 6:29). We never know what sin really is until we have learned to think of it in terms of God and to measure it, not by human standards, but by the yardstick of His total demand on our lives. These truths are the foundation of theistic religion; and until they are grasped, the rest of the gospel message will seem neither cogent nor relevant. We can learn again from Paul at this point. Learn how your comment data is processed. What is the Gospel Message? And in 1 John 3:23 we read: “This is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ…”. The question of the designed extent of the atonement does not come into the story at all...The fact is that the New Testament never calls on any man to repent on the ground that Christ died specifically and particularly for him. In Christianity, the gospel, or the Good News, is the news of the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15). The gospel is not, “Believe that Christ died for everybody’s sins, and therefore for yours,” any more than it is, “Believe that Christ died only for certain people’s sins, and so perhaps not for yours”…We have no business to ask them to put faith in any view of the extent of the atonement. It shows us ourselves as God sees us and … “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me...whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Mat 16:24-25). The gospel is a message about sin. It is indeed true that the real Christ, the Christ of the Bible, Who [reveals] Himself to us as a Savior from sin and an Advocate with God, does in fact give peace, and joy, and moral strength, and the privilege of His own friendship to those who trust Him. I’ve used this structure to train catechists, evangelists, core members, parents, youth ministers, etc. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. In our presentation of the gospel, therefore, we need to stress these things, in order to lead sinners to abandon all confidence in themselves and to trust wholly in Christ and the power of His redeeming blood to give them acceptance with God. To change your purpose, change the direction of your life. It tells us how we have fallen short of God’s standard, how we have become guilty, filthy, and helpless in sin, and now stand under the wrath of God. Therefore, the gospel is the truth that we are all sinners or criminals before God, and under the sentence of eternal death or separation from God and all that is good. Repentance and faith are rendered matters of duty by God’s direct command, and hence impenitence and unbelief are singled out in the New Testament as most grievous sins. It would, in reality, be a mere conundrum, serving only to mystify…the truth is that you cannot make sense of the historic figure of Jesus until you know about the Incarnation—that this Jesus was in fact God the Son, made man to save sinners according to His Father’s eternal purpose. —Christ, the Son of God incarnate; Christ, the Lamb of God, dying for sin; Christ, the risen Lord; Christ, the perfect Savior. Are you satisfied? Do you want a friend? It is true that it is the living Christ Who saves and that a theory of the atonement, however orthodox, is no substitute. It tells us how we have fallen short of God’s standard, how we have become guilty, filthy, and helpless in sin, and now stand under the wrath of God. But it is not biblical thus to isolate the work from the Worker. It does not, therefore, follow that a man is convicted of sin when he is distressed about his weaknesses and the wrong things he has done. 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. He called them to “be fruitful and … And this is all that has to be said. “Our hearts are confident because of God’s Love, encouraged by the joy of His Loving Presence, gathered together by the enduring power of His Spirit.”. This was not, as some have supposed, a piece of philosophical apologetic of a kind that Paul afterwards renounced, but the first and basic lesson in theistic faith. It is here with the assertion of man’s complete and constant dependence on his Creator that the Christian story starts. The ‘Sexual Rights’ Movement Is Gaining Power Globally. We must be on our guard, therefore, against equating a natural bad conscience and sense of wretchedness with spiritual conviction of sin and so omitting in our evangelism to impress upon sinners the basic truth about their condition—namely, that their sin has alienated them from God and exposed them to His condemnation, and hostility, and wrath, so that their first need is for a restored relationship with Him... 3. After his baptism by John and his temptation in the wilderness, Jesus "came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is near: repent, and believe the gospel'" (Mar k 1:14-15, my translation). If We Say that We Have No Sin, We Deceive Ourselves, The Difference Between Legal & Gospel Mortification. You do not find such statements in the sermons of, for instance, George Whitefield or Charles Spurgeon. We plunge right into this theme at the beginning of the book. In our own presentation of Christ’s gospel, therefore, we need to lay a similar stress on the cost of following Christ, and make sinners face it soberly before we urge them to respond to the message of free forgiveness. The gospel is the biblical message of a crucified and risen Savior. It is a message made up of four essential ingredients. “Come unto me…and I will give you rest,” said our Lord (Mat 11:28). I do not propose to discuss this question now; I have done that elsewhere. This message is expounded upon as a narrative in the four canonical gospels, and as theology in many of the New Testament epistles. It is sometimes said that it is the presentation of Christ’s Person, rather than of doctrines about Him, that draws sinners to His feet. This is My Comfort in My Affliction - Psalm 119:50. Are the Poor and Minorities Really Better off under Progressive Policy? These words are promises to which God will stand as long as time shall last. For preaching the gospel, as we have just seen, means [calling] sinners to come to Jesus Christ, the living Savior, Who, by virtue of His atoning death, is able to forgive and save all those who put their trust in Him. What we have to grasp, then, is that the bad conscience of the natural man is not at all the same thing as conviction of sin. We’ll proceed book by book, just skimming the surface, looking primarily at verses that use the Greek word for gospel or for preaching.. 1. That’s the gospel. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. © 2018 Monergism by CPR Foundation. Let us see how Paul describes the gospel. You never, never, never outgrow your need for the gospel. It is sometimes said that it is the presentation of Christ’s Person, rather than of doctrines about Him, that draws sinners to His feet. It is a powerful message, because it is God’s good news. We must know what it means to call God Creator before we can grasp what it means to speak of Him as Redeemer. We must be on our guard, therefore, against equating a natural bad conscience and sense of wretchedness with spiritual conviction of sin and so omitting in our evangelism to impress upon sinners the basic truth about their condition—namely, that their sin has alienated them from God and exposed them to His condemnation, and hostility, and wrath, so that their first need is for a restored relationship with Him…. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. For sin is not a social concept; it is a theological concept. The danger is that in our evangelism we should content ourselves with evoking thoughts of these things and making people feel uncomfortable about them, and then depicting Christ as the One who saves us from these elements of ourselves, without even raising the question of our relationship with God. What is the real gospel message? Do you feel that you have failed? 6:23) – not faith and something you do like baptism or faith and speaking in tongues or faith and going to a Oneness church, etc. It is here with the assertion of man’s complete and constant dependence on his Creator that the Christian story starts. Everybody’s life includes things that cause dissatisfaction and shame. Are you satisfied? (ii) But there is a second and complementary point: we must not present the saving work of Christ apart from His Person. It tells us that we owe our very existence to Him; that for good or ill, we are always in His hands and under His eye; and that He made us to worship and serve Him, to show forth His praise and to live for His glory. Our job is to point them to the living Christ, and summon them to trust in Him...This brings us to the final ingredient in the gospel message. Start spiritual conversations in everyday life. Nor can you make sense of His life until you know about the atonement—that He lived as man so that He might die as man for men, and that His passion, His judicial murder was really His saving action of bearing away the world’s sins. It is not conviction of sin just to feel miserable about yourself, your failures, and your inadequacy to meet life’s demands. He never changed his message to fit the differences in culture due to the passage of time. These doctrines, to mention no others, are essential to the gospel...In fact, without these doctrines you would have no gospel to preach at all. Whereas our explanations of the gospel have often narrowly focused on forgiveness of sins through Jesus’ death, the apostles in Acts seem to have had a different focus—namely, the kingdom of God. Currently she is devoted to community, writing projects and Christian outreach. —Nor can you tell on what terms to approach Him now until you know about the resurrection, ascension, and heavenly session—that Jesus has been raised, and enthroned, and made King, and lives to save to the uttermost all who acknowledge His Lordship. For preaching the gospel, as we have just seen, means [calling] sinners to come to Jesus Christ, the living Savior, Who, by virtue of His atoning death, is able to forgive and save all those who put their trust in Him. The object of saving faith is thus not, strictly speaking, the atonement, but the Lord Jesus Christ, Who made atonement. B. Warfield (eBook Collection), Christianity, Logic, and Aristotle: God is Required, The Vindication of Wrath - Revelation 16:1-7. Faith and repentance are both acts, and acts of the whole man...faith is essentially the casting and resting of oneself and one’s confidence on the promises of mercy which Christ has given to sinners, and on the Christ Who gave those promises. It is a message made up of four essential ingredients. Luke reports that after Jesus was rais… If you are one of the many Christians who would like to learn how to: Better share the Gospel in natural ways. S life includes things that cause dissatisfaction and shame forth as the fulfillment of Old faith! His hearers had the Old Testament faith behind them lots of ways articulate... And suffering all around us you are commenting using your Facebook account Kendall writes in summer! 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