What is the gospel?

The word “gospel” simply means “good news.” We find God’s good news for us in the story of the Bible, where we discover God’s love and grace and peace we find only through Jesus Christ, which we receive by faith and repentance. This is why we preach, teach, sing, celebrate and live out God’s good news together.

There are many ways to summarize the gospel. Below you will find two descriptions of the gospel, one in an extended metaphor, and one in a careful description. We hope they will be of benefit to you. If you would like to learn more, please join us for worship or stop by to chat or contact Pastor Bob. It would be our greatest joy to help you experience the good news of Jesus.

The Knight, the Princess, and the Dragon (by Bob Wiegers)

Christians believe that the gospel is this: the knight has come to slay the dragon and rescue the princess. You’ll have to forgive me for borrowing the language of the old fairy tales, but then again many of the great stories through the ages involve the hero rescuing the helpless from great harm. So please hear me out as I channel the imagination of my four-year-old, who loves knights and dragons. Yet this is not child’s play. I am convinced that this is the very meaning of life.

So when I say Christians believe that the knight has come to slay the dragon and rescue the princess, here is what I mean. The dragon is all the evil in this world. Evil that we see on the evening news. Evil down the street. Evil in our homes. Evil on our lips and in our hearts. Evil now pervades the world, which God made good. We call this evil “sin” which results in spiritual, and physical death.

The princess is the helpless, hopeless, yet beloved people that are surrounded on every side, within and without, by the forces of evil. We can’t rescue ourselves. We are caught in, and take part in, evil. We are in fact as good as dead. We need a rescuer.

The knight of course is God himself. The one true God who made the universe and everything in it, came down to earth as Jesus, to conquer evil, to defeat sin and death, and rescue his people and give them true life. How did Jesus defeat evil? By the most unexpected way possible. He took on all the evil in the world, and died a sacrificial death on a cross. For 3 long days it appeared that the dragon had won. But then he was raised to life, and has defeated the power of death for his beloved people. He has slayed the dragon to rescue his people, and offers us true life and true joy.

So how do you become a part of his people? How do you become a Christian? According to Jesus, it requires just two steps: First, turn from the evil that pervades not only this world, but your own heart and life. Jesus says “repent.” Second, turn to Jesus, listen to him speak through the Bible, trust that He is indeed the one true God of the universe, that he did indeed rescue you from sin, and he is indeed worth praising and worshiping, and he is indeed worth giving your very life. Jesus says “believe.” Repent and believe.

Jesus Christ, our good knight, came to slay the dragon of sin, death and evil, to rescue all who will repent and believe in him.

A well-known Bible verse says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Repent and believe in Jesus today, and receive eternal life now and forever. This is the good news of the gospel. This is the story of the Bible. This is the story of Christianity. This can be your story too.

A Description of the Gospel (by Mark Dever, from The Deliberate Church)

The Gospel is this: that God is our holy creator and righteous judge, who created us to glorify him and enjoy him forever, but we have all sinned, both in Adam as our representative head, and in our own individual actions (Romans 5:12, 3:23). We therefore deserve death–spiritual separation from God in hell (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:3)–and are in fact already spiritually stillborn, helpless in our sins (Psalm 51:5, Romans 5:6-8, Ephesians 2:1) and in need of God to impart spiritual life to us (Ezekiel 37:1-14, John 3:3). But God sent his son Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man (Philippians 2:5-11), to die the death that we deserved, and he raised him up for our justification, proving that He was God’s son (Romans 5:1, 1:4). If we would have Christ’s perfect righteousness credited to us, and the penalty for our sins accounted to him, we must repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ for our salvation (2 Corinthians 5:21, Mark 1:14-15).

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