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Hardcover What Is the Gospel? Book

ISBN: 1433515008

ISBN13: 9781433515002

What Is the Gospel?

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What is the gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.

Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul's systematic...

Customer Reviews

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I want this in the hands of every church member!

What is the Gospel? That's a tough question especially for someone to attempt to answer in their first attempt at a book. Greg Gilbert has had some training for sure, however, in his work with Mark Dever, so I was pretty confident that he could do it. Actually, this is not my first experience with Gilbert answering this question. I have recently read his addendum to Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Gospel where he takes this question on and I've had the privilege to hear Gilbert speak recently on this very topic. In his addendum to the written version of the T4G2006 conference, he addressed the debate as to whether the Gospel was the announcement of the Kingdom or the message of how to enter the Kingdom. In a nutshell, he answered that it is both and that either side by itself is tragically in error. When I heard Gilbert speak, he used to book of Romans to outlines his "four crucial questions." The questions are brought out early in this book: 1) Who made us and to whom are we accountable 2) What is our problem? 3) What is God's solution to that problem? 4) How do I come to be included in that salvation? In this book, he does a good job showing how many passages throughout Scripture outline the gospel in the form of answering those questions. He devotes a chapter to each. First he discusses God as the Righteous Creator. With some clever satire, he shows how many Christians have reduced God to a "kind, affable, slightly dazed and needy but very loving grandfather who has wishes but no demands." Gilbert argues that in order to understand salvation, we must understand "that this loving and compassionate God is also holy and righteous, and that his is determined never to overlook, ignore, or tolerate sin." Next, the book moves to sin. Gilbert explains the severity of sin, far beyond even the consequences of various sins one might commit. Sin is a condition; a rotting of creation, and a righteous God must judge sin. Having covered the "bad news" Gilbert moves on to the good news: Jesus Christ the Savior. He explains the person and nature of Jesus and the significance of the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. Next is the response of faith and repentance. Gilbert does a very good job explaining these concepts as two sides of the same coin; that to have faith is to repent. He carefully explains that true salvation will result in fruit, but that the fruit is never the cause of salvation. Having presented the Gospel, Gilbert then goes on to discuss the Kingdom of God. He explains it in three ways: "that it is the redemptive rule of God over his people," that it has come, and that it will not be complete until Jesus returns. Ultimately he points to the church as the intended display of life of the Kingdom. This book also contains a plea to keep the cross at the center of the message of the church. He discusses three "substitute" gospels. This is the one area of weakness that I found in this book. Its not really weak, but I would have preferred more

What is the Gospel?

Book Review By Jason Scott What is the Gospel? By Greg Gilbert This short book (121 pages) is a must read for both Christians and non- Christians. Greg Gilbert masterfully explains the gospel in a balanced and crystal clear manner. Gilbert uses this book to answer four important questions: 1) Who made us, and to whom are we accountable to? 2) What is our problem? 3) What is God's solution to this problem? 4) and how do I became a part of this solution? Pg. 31 Gilbert explains that before we can talk about the good news (the gospel) first we must have an understanding of what the bad news is. Gilbert takes us on a journey through the creation of man, the fall of man, the redemption of man through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and ultimately our restoration with our Creator in His Kingdom. Gilbert rightly emphasizes that the only way we can have restoration is through faith in Jesus Christ, and repentance for our sin that separates us from God. He also rightly emphasizes that the Cross of Christ must be the center of the Gospel. This is refreshing as there are many out there who are offended by stark cruelty of the cross and attempt to reach God in their own way. The cross is offensive, why should someone have to suffer in such a horrible way for us? Only when we understand how offensive our sin is to God, and realize that man had to suffer for their sin, will we humbly bow before Jesus and thank Him for what He did on the cross. Gilbert concludes this book by encouraging Christians to share the Gospel with others: "If you are a Christian, realize that you hold in your hands the only true message of salvation the world will ever hear. There will never be another gospel, and there is no other way for people to be saved from their sins. If your friends, family, and coworkers are ever to be saved from their sins, it will be because someone speaks the gospel of Jesus Christ to them." Pg. 120 And finally Gilbert admonishes believers to long for Christ's return "not so much for the kingdom as for the King." Pg 121

Back to Basics

How is it possible that the very heart of the Christian faith is so misunderstood? Even by professing Christians? Greg Gilbert's book "What is the Gospel?" does an excellent job in explaining the Good News of Jesus Christ. Gilbert helpfully lays out four facets to clarify this foundational truth. First, we are created beings who owe God honor and obedience. Second, we have rebelled against God. Others have phrased this "Cosmic Treason." The consequence of our rebellion or sin is eternal death (damnation). That's the bad news. Very bad news. But Gilbert's third point is the Good News: God sent his only son, Jesus Christ - who is fully God and fully man, to do what no one else could do: live a perfect life and so deserve life. But then Christ chose to die. To take the wrath of God on behalf of sinners. Finally, Gilbert says that this Good News is good news to us - not someone else. We take part in Christ's work by God reckoning Christ's perfect life as ours. How? Through our faith (also a gift of God), believing in the finished work of Christ's death on the cross and trusting only in Christ's work - not our so called good works. The Gospel is God's work to save us from our sins and also the power for us to live a life honoring to the God of all creation. Good News, indeed.
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