The Gospel: The Life, The Death, and the Resurrection of Jesus

GOSPEL DEFINED

Gospel simply means “good news.” The Bible uses the word, “gospel,” to tell the message that God has fulfilled his promise to send a Savior to rescue broken people, restore creation’s glory, and rule over all with compassion and justice.[1]  That Savior is Jesus Christ and the impact of His life, death, and resurrection is both personal and cosmic in reach. In its simplest form, the gospel is God’s reconciling work in Christ – that through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, God is making all things new both personally for those who repent and believe, and cosmically as He redeems culture and creation from its subjection to futility. 

The cross of Christ is at the heart of the gospel. The power of the gospel is the resurrection of Christ. The ascension of Christ is the glory of the gospel. [2]

We want to avoid the mistake of minimizing the gospel in our minds and hearts to a few evangelistic points. Timothy Keller states there are three ways to understand the gospel that are equally true and central for the Christian on his or her journey:

1.     The gospel of Christ is the historical truth of Jesus who lived, died, and was resurrected, paying for our sins with his life.

2.     The gospel of sonship is about God’s radical, transforming, adopting grace.  It’s about God’s accepting us because he accepts Jesus and not because of anything we’ve done.

3.     The gospel of the kingdom is about God’s kingdom coming to earth through Jesus and through the church. It’s about the renewal of creation, the new-making of all things, a cosmic redemption project that has been inaugurated by Jesus.[3]

GROWTH IN THE GOSPEL

The gospel is not just the ABC’s but the A to Z of the Christian life.[4] There are depths of the gospel that are always there to be discovered and applied to our ministry and daily life in Christ.  It is endlessly rich. Growth in the gospel is when we experience it in such a way that it fundamentally changes us and becomes the source of our identity and security.[5] In so doing we learn and believe that growth in the gospel is not about how we perform but who we are – imperfect people, clinging to a perfect Christ, being perfected by the Holy Spirit.[6]  In essence, we are saved by believing the gospel and are transformed in every part of our minds, hearts, and lives by believing the gospel more and more deeply as life goes on (Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 1:6; 3:13-14).[7]

 

[1] Chapell, Bryon.  What is the Gospel?  Crossway: Wheaton, IL.  2011.

[2] Village Church website

[3] Montgomery, Faithmapping.

[4] Keller, 48.

[5] Greear, Gospel, xv.

[6] Dodson, 18.

[7] Keller, 48.