The Gospel: What It Is!
With the reasoning behind the website established, it must now be determined; what is the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Greg Gilbert, in his book, What is the Gospel*, explains that this is not as easy to define as one might think. He shows how there are so many definitions of what the Gospel is, that it is nearly impossible to find common ground that would fit with all the different views. Based on Gilbert’s book, we will examine in this blog the basic tenants and presuppositions we hold regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Gilbert summarizes the Gospel with four words: God, man, Christ, and response. Each of these then is to be extended to explain the Gospel. He uses the four words to help elaborate on the gospel and yet, give a simple overview that is easily remembered. It’s very reminiscent of Propoganda’s G.O.S.P.E.L. video, as seen below.
The first of these words, “God”, is used to describe who God is. As creator, God is the ultimate authority, the one to whom all are held accountable to. One cannot claim relative truth at the throne of God, for God is the absolute truth. And it is by His truth that mankind will be measured against. And where we are found lacking, He will demand an accounting. He created all things, owns all things, and thus is authoritative over all things. He is righteous, holy, and loving.
“Man” is then used to describe who we are in relationship to God. God, being perfectly self-sufficient within the trinity, did not need to create man. However, He chose to create man and to invite mankind into the eternal, blissful relationship with himself through the person of Jesus Christ. But man rebelled and sought his own identity outside of the trinity. Man rejected God’s authority and because of this rebellion, God separated man from the perfect existence He had created for man. Man’s sin became inherent, a natural part of our nature. Sin’s effects were only the subsequent issue, sin being the primary issue at hand.
In order to deal with that sin nature inherent in all of humanity, God decided to take it upon him self to deal with sin. He came in the person of Christ, to sacrifice his life for the salvation of all who would believe on His name. Only an infinitely perfect being could possibly atone for the nearly infinite sin of mankind. Without this sacrifice, mankind was doomed to eternal death.
As a result of Christ’s sacrifice, mankind has been freed to live according to the plan God has established for mankind. And it is only in this plan that mankind will ever find true happiness. For we were slaves to sin, but now are free to live according to the plan God established, in part, for our own benefit. God expects our submission to his rule and authority in contrast to Adam’s rejection of such authority.
Everything listed above are the basic tenants of the Gospel. However, the Gospel is not limited to the good news for justification (a right standing before God that one might gain entrance into heaven), but is also intended for sanctification (the process of becoming more like Christ). Within the gospel, we find the basic problem we face in all of our other troubles: sin. Sin separates us from God, separates us from others, and separates us from ever truly being who God created us to be. It is when sin is overcome that the issues in life (marriage issues, parenting issues, ect.) are defeated and all issues fade away. However, the final “overcoming” of sin by Christ is not to come until we reach heaven. In the mean time, we are meant to work towards the coming of His kingdom, the overcoming of sin in His creation and to seek out his reign in His creation. This is the basis of Gospel Centered Counseling.
*Greg Gilbert’s book, What is the Gospel? is an excellent resource. It does a fantastic job of defining, in depth, what the Gospel is. If you’re interested in reading it, feel free to pick it up via our Amazon affiliate link below.
 Ibid., 31.
 Exodus 34:6-7; Habakkuk 1:13; Psalm 11:7; 33:5; 89:14; 97:2.
 Galatians 2:16.
 Romans 3:23; 6:23.
 Psalm 145:11, 13; Romans 6:4-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:12.
 Romans 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 1:18.