A few years ago at a Christian bookseller’s convention, with several thousand people present, one Christian group did a survey asking people to define the gospel. A hundred people responded. Those who sponsored the survey looked at the responses, and only one out a hundred qualified as an adequate description of the gospel. People think that the gospel is having a warm relationship with Jesus, or asking Christ into your heart. Those things are important, but that is not the gospel. The gospel has a clear content that focuses on the person of Christ, the work of Christ, and how the benefits of Christ are appropriated into the Christian’s life by faith.
Feed My Sheep, ed. Don Kistler, Soli Deo Gloria Ministries, 2002, p. 158.
The Gospel is a message about God and His holiness, man and his sinfulness, the Person and work of Jesus Christ, and a summons to repentance and faith. If these truths are not declared, then no matter what else might have been preached, it was not the Gospel.
Who Will Be Saved? Edited by: House, Paul and Thornbury, Gregory. Crossway, 2000, p. 189.
To the question: what must I do to be saved? The old gospel replies: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. To the further question: what does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Its reply is: it means knowing oneself to be a sinner, and Christ to have died for sinners; abandoning all self-righteousness and self-confidence, and casting oneself wholly upon Him for pardon and peace; and exchanging one's natural enmity and rebellion against God for a spirit of grateful submission to the will of Christ through the renewing of one’s heart by the Holy Ghost.
The death of Christ is the wisdom of God by which the love of God saves sinners from the wrath of God, and all the while upholds and demonstrates the righteousness of God.
Desiring God, Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1996, p. 60, used by permission, www.desiringGod.org.
The good news is that God Himself has decreed a way to satisfy the demands of His justice without condemning the whole human race. Hell is one way to settle accounts with sinners and uphold His justice. But there is another way. The wisdom of God has ordained a way for the love of God to deliver us from the wrath of God without compromising the justice of God. And what is this wisdom? The death of the Son of God for sinners!
Desiring God, Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1996, p. 59, used by permission, www.desiringGod.org.
The summary of the gospel is that our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, has revealed the will of His heavenly Father to us, and with His innocence has redeemed us from death, and has reconciled us with God. Therefore, Christ is the only way to salvation for all those who have been, are, and will be.
Quoted in: Is Jesus the Only Way? Crossway, 1999, p. 45.
The gospel by itself does not save, but God through the gospel saves a person in Christ.
1 Corinthians, Eerdmans, 1953, p. 347.
The Gospel is the good news of pardon to the guilty; and it enters into no calculations, in regard to the different degrees of guilt in those whom it addresses. It reveals an atonement sufficient for all; and every sinner of the human race is commanded to receive it as a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save the chief of sinners. The Gospel does not teach us how to lay a foundation for ourselves, but informs us of the sure foundation which God has laid in Zion, upon which all are equally invited and commanded to build their hopes, without any apprehensions of being upbraided for their past conduct by their gracious Creator.
The Gospel – What is it?
The gospel is so simple that small children can understand it, and it is so profound that studies by the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches.
Only the Christian gospel presents…a way in which justice and mercy kiss each other… First, Christianity confirms the fact that justice must be satisfied. Sin must be condemned according to its demerit. This means eternal doom. The sinner must be damned because God must be inexorably holy and just. His all-powerful Being must vindicate His all-holy Being. Christianity never compromises the ever-blessed purity and excellency of the divine nature. Second, Christianity alone finds a way to satisfy infinite justice and provide infinite mercy at the same time. What no other religion has dreamed of, Jesus Christ has accomplished. He underwent the infinite wrath of God against sin and lived to bestow His mercy on the damned sinners for whom He died. The infinite Son of God took upon Himself a human nature in which He underwent the full fury of the divine wrath. The omnipotent God satisfied His violated holiness by punishing sin completely in His blessed Son, who “became sin” for His people. The justice of God was vindicated in full in the substitute, His own Son, our Saviour dear. He survived that awful vengeance and rose victor over the grave by the power of His own divinity. Now He offers to every sin-sick and “pleasure”- burdened soul an everlasting mercy. Perfect mercy and perfect justice in the gospel of the crucified.
The Problem of Pleasure, Soli Deo Gloria, 2002, p. 24-25.
Grace does not demonize our desires nor destroy them nor lead us to deny them. Grace is the work of the Holy Spirit in transforming our desires so that knowing Jesus becomes sweeter than illicit sex, sweeter than money and what it can buy, sweeter than every fruitless joy. Grace is God satisfying our souls with His Son so that we’re ruined for anything else!
One Thing, Christian Focus, © Enjoying God Ministries, 2004, p.140. www.enjoyinggodministries.com. Used by Permission.
To preach the gospel is really to unfold the heart of God, the person and work of Christ; and all this by the present energy of the Holy Ghost, from the exhaustless treasury of Holy Scripture.
Notes on Numbers, 1869.
Let this be to you the mark of true Gospel preaching – where Christ is everything, and the creature is nothing; where it is salvation all of grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit applying to the soul the precious blood of Jesus.
Heed the warning of the Savior of the world, “Unless you repent you too will perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). Acknowledge your rebellion against God, turn from your sins, and trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Only Jesus is qualified to save. Indeed, He is God the Son who became a human being so that He could suffer the penalty of hell for sinners. I, therefore, urge you to throw away any hope of meriting heaven. Instead, place all your confidence for salvation in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Robert A. Peterson
Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment, P&R Publishers, 1995, p. 238. Used by permission.
The gospel according to Jesus is the gospel according to His apostles. It is a small gate and a narrow road. It is free but it costs everything. And though it is appropriated by faith, it cannot fail to produce the fruit of true righteousness in the life and behavior of the believer.
The Gospel According to Jesus, © John MacArthur, 1988, p. 220.