I encourage you to write out a summary of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This summary will contain core truths that people should know to understand the gospel in its Biblical context. There are a number of good gospel “summaries” in the Scriptures. At the same time, the whole “story” of the Bible is the framework for understanding the gospel message.
I have written out a gospel summary below. Maybe this will encourage you to do the same. You may say things differently and add or subtract some aspects. If I wrote this out again, I probably would change (add/subtract) a few statements.
Ultimately, the gospel is not one “formula.” The focus of the gospel is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and what God has accomplished through Him to bring about the salvation of all who repent and believe in His Son.
The gospel is the proclamation of good news. This good news is God’s revealed truth declaring the one and only way to have a right standing and an eternal relationship with the One Living and True God. Ultimately, at the heart of this gospel is God’s grace in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who is Lord of all and who has accomplished forgiveness, reconciliation and salvation for all who believe in Him through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 for one statement of the core of the gospel.)
The one true God created this world. It was created “good” and for good. God created mankind in His own image to have a relationship with Himself and to rule over creation. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God resulting in serious consequences including broken fellowship with God, and death itself. Creation and mankind deteriorated and indeed God had to judge the world after only a number of generations, preserving only those He chose including righteous Noah.
In the face of increasing evil, God’s eternal plan of reconciliation and redemption was put into history and geography through the calling out of one man called Abram and His family. It is through Abraham’s (Abram’s) lineage, Israel, that God’s covenant relationship was further revealed. The nation of Israel was and is a special possession of God, and a source of light and blessing to the world. Israel had a kingship that ultimately pointed to a King who was to come and to bring in glorious days.
Israel failed God and broke their covenant relationship with God. God judged Israel for their sins according to the broken covenant. But, God promised to make a new covenant and to send a King/Messiah to bring about a restored relationship. He promised to restore a people that would bring God’s glory to the nations.
Jesus Christ, both God and man, was miraculously born at God’s appointed time to be Israel’s promised King/Messiah and the Savior of the world. He lived a perfect life in obedience to His heavenly Father, something no one and no people were able to do. He taught truth, He performed miracles both indicating that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He proved to be the servant King who came to die a death to bring in the new covenant for God’s kingdom people.
This death was necessary because the penalty for sin had to be paid, the wrath of God had to be satisfied, and the righteousness of God proven. This death was also a demonstration of the love, mercy, and grace of God since God through His Son was taking the initiative to restore a right relationship with mankind. Death was far from the end of the story.
Jesus Christ rose again from the dead conquering “the grave” and He bore witness to His disciples for forty days before ascending to heaven. He is exalted on high as Lord of all right now, and has sent His Spirit to indwell in His followers and empower them to live for Him and to fulfill His mission.
This mission is to spread the gospel message of salvation for the glory of God to all the nations. And all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, repenting of their sins and believing in Him, will gain the covenant blessings of forgiveness of sins, a right standing with God, the gift of the Holy Spirit, eternal life and more! Jesus Christ will come again to receive His people to Himself, to bring judgment for those who have rejected Him, and to bring in the consummation of the kingdom and fulfill God’s eternal plan.
Remember, men and women outside of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ are separated from God. The consequences are seen in our world filled with evil and strife. Worst of all, eternal punishment is the result of rebellion and sin against a holy God. Men and women remain in their guilty state before a righteous God, and they are in need of a radical forgiveness and salvation. This salvation can be found in Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ alone.
God is calling out a people for Himself and for eternity. It has been and is God’s plan to build a people for Himself in Christ. Salvation is of God, through God and for His glory. Salvation is a gift given not a reward earned. One day the plan will be consummated for Jew and Gentile alike, and ultimately creation itself will be liberated from the bondage of sin. Already, mankind can enter into that liberty of the sons and daughters of God by turning from sin and self, and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is God’s purpose that His people would have His image, serve Him, and joyfully bring Him glory throughout this age and ages to come.
— David O.