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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What is the gospel?

It's hard to be together for the gospel, if we don't all mean the same thing about gospel.

I typically turn people to I Corinthians 15:1-11 as our defining text for the gospel.

Mark Dever gave this answer in a blog today:

I think Augustine said somewhere that the cross was a pulpit in which Christ preached his love to the world. I can't remember (or just don't know) where he said this. If someone could supply me with a reference (Lig?) I'd appreciate it. Anyway, that expression is a succinct way of drawing our attention to the holiness of God (a sacrifice was needed), His love (he provided the sacrifice), our sinfulness (we've been separated from God by our sin), His provision in Christ (his life and death) and our response (we need to hear this word preached and respond to it in repentance and faith). So there it is--the gospel is about our holy and loving God, creator and judge, His creation of us in His image, our sin against Him, His amazing provision of us in Christ, whose life, death and resurrection was for us. He then calls all who hear this message to turn away from their sins and trust in Christ alone for forgiveness of sins, restoration of a relationship with God, and even adoption as His children, now and forever!

It's important that we don't confuse the gospel message with gospel benefits (primary and secondary) as well as with gospel impacted living. Just acknowledging these facts Dever shared (notae) are certainly not enough to save. However, one cannot acknowledge the truth of the gospel (assensus) and place their entire faith upon it (fiducia), unless they know what those facts are.

Less than a month, and I get to celebrate these facts together with others at:


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