What is the gospel?

From D.A. Carson’s talk “What is the Gospel and How Does it Work, Part 1?”

The gospel is first and foremost news. It is good news, but it’s news. What do you do with news? You announce it.

That is to say the gospel is news about what God has done and is doing. And in the Bible it’s first and foremost what God has done in Christ supremely focused on his cross and resurrection and all that springs from it. But it is what God has done and is doing. And what you do with news is announce it.

Now granted that that’s what the news is, there are important ways to respond to it, so that’s part of the preaching of the gospel alright, but you still want to distinguish between what God has done — that you’re announcing and talking about — and the entailments about how it should be lived out. There is a distinction between the two.

Otherwise if you move immediately into the entailments — how it should be lived out — then every gospel message turns into mere moralizing. And then it’s indistinguishable from any other kind of moralizing religion except you throw in a few Jesus words and things like that.

So I am persuaded that one of the most fundamental things that we have to do today is to recapture accurately, holistically, comprehensively, what the gospel is.


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