So our church in currently in a series called "The Gospel Song", which means our pastors are preaching through the song literally, taking a line or two at a time. The idea of making sure we understand the gospel is good I think, and the messages I've heard have also been good. It just got me thinking about that question, what is the gospel.
I think I would tend to answer with a 'whole story' approach. God had a plan to redeem us from sin before he even created us. God created man, had perfect fellowship with him, man sinned, broke the perfect fellowship, God promised to restore man back to himself and reveals hints about how he will do it all throughout history, Jesus, God himself, comes to us, being born a human like us, lives a perfect sinless life, dies in our place suffering the whole wrath of God for our sins, God is pleased, his justice and holiness completely satisfied, Jesus defeats hell and the grave and is resurrected, walks on earth, ascends to the Father's side, and lives to intercede for us in heaven, will return triumphant to claim his bride.
I think "The Gospel Song" is fine, and highlights an important part of the Gospel, but I think it's incomplete. I've been thinking about the definition of the Gospel, so it was good to come across a definition on C.J.'s blog, quoting Jeff Purswell:
“The gospel is the good news of God’s saving activity in the person and work of Christ. This includes his incarnation in which he took to himself full (yet sinless) human nature; his sinless life which fulfilled the perfect law of God; his substitutionary death which paid the penalty for man’s sin and satisfied the righteous wrath of God; his resurrection demonstrating God’s satisfaction with his sacrifice; and his glorification and ascension to the right hand of the Father where he now reigns and intercedes for the church."
For those of you wondering what the words of "The Gospel Song" are, or you'd like to hear it, you can click here. I think my favorite 'gospel song' is "God Made Man" on a Phatfish album a few years back (Nothing But the Truth I think?). If you can track that one down I highly recommend it.
So what are your thoughts?