What Is the Gospel?

Overview

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 presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, ...

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What Is the Gospel? (Foreword by D. A. Carson)

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Overview

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 presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the gospel in this valuable resource.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"Greg Gilbert is one of the brightest and most faithful young men called to serve the church today. Here he offers us a penetrating, faithful, and fully biblical understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no greater need than to know the true gospel, to recognize the counterfeits, and to set loose a generation of gospel-centered Christians. This very important book arrives at just the right moment."
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Two realities make this a critically important book: the centrality of the gospel in all generations and the confusion about the gospel in our own generation. What Is the Gospel? provides a biblically faithful explanation of the gospel and equips Christians to discern deviations from that glorious message. How I wish I could place this book in the hands of every pastor and church member."
C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

"Greg Gilbert contends that the current evangelical understanding of the gospel is lost in a fog of confusion. He burns away that fog by shining fresh light on an old subject. Gilbert writes in a clear, concise, and colloquial style that will especially appeal to young adults. What Is the Gospel? will sharpen your thinking about the gospel, etching it more deeply on your heart so you can share the good news of Jesus Christ with boldness. It will leave you pondering the extent to which the gospel has impacted your own life. It will cause you to cry out with thankfulness to God for what Christ has accomplished."
James MacDonald, Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois; author, Vertical Church

"A wonderful telling of the old, old story in fresh words—and with sound warnings against subtle misrepresentations. As the old gospel song attests, and as is true of Greg Gilbert’s fine book, those who know the old, old story best will find themselves hungering and thirsting to hear this story like the rest."
Bryan Chapell, President Emeritus, Covenant Theological Seminary; Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois

"Greg Gilbert is someone I have had the honor and privilege of teaching and who is now teaching me. This little book on the gospel is one of the clearest and most important books I’ve read in recent years."
Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

"For good reason, Christians love the word gospel. Tragically, however, multitudes of Christians fail to grasp what the gospel fully is. In doctrinally sound and down-to-earth ways, my good friend Greg Gilbert shows just how important it is to understand both the theological nature and the functional necessity of the gospel. We can only hope and pray that this is the first of many books from Greg."
Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; author, One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World

"What is the gospel? This short but powerful book answers that question with a clear and concise presentation. It is a superb treatment of the good news. Read it and then pass it on."
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Greg Gilbert, with a sharp mind and a pastor’s heart, has written a book that will be helpful for seekers, new Christians, and anyone who wants to understand the gospel with greater clarity. I’ve been waiting for a book like this! As a sure-footed guide to a surprisingly controversial subject, it clears up misconceptions about the gospel, the kingdom, and the meaning of the cross."
Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

"What Is the Gospel? demonstrates in a sensitive and intriguing way that the gospel is indescribably profound as well as eminently describable—clear enough for anyone to comprehend."
Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"There is no greater challenge in an age of doubt and pragmatism than making the glorious gospel clear. This is the greatest need for the seasoned Christian and skeptic alike. In this thoughtful but accessible work, Greg Gilbert clearly answers the most important question ever asked."
Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri; Vice President, Acts 29; Chaplain to the St. Louis Cardinals; author, The Dude's Guide to Manhood

"Greg Gilbert cuts through the confusion by searching Scripture to answer the most important question anyone can ask. Even if you think you know the good news of what God has done in Christ, Gilbert will sharpen your focus on this glorious gospel."
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; coauthor, A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir

"This book will help you better understand, treasure, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if you think you know enough about the gospel already, you might need it more than you think."
Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland; author, Dug Down Deep

"Amidst a contemporary Christian culture characterized by rampant confusion regarding the central tenets of our faith, Greg Gilbert has given us a portrait of the gospel that is clear for those who have believed and compelling for those who have yet to believe. Word-saturated, cross-centered, and God-exalting, What Is the Gospel? will capture your mind’s attention and ignite your heart’s affection for the God who saves us by his grace through his gospel for his glory."
David Platt, Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama; author, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

"Greg Gilbert has called the church back to the source of her revelation. In a simple and straightforward manner, he has laid bare what the Bible has shown the gospel to mean."
Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion

"Clarity on the gospel brings both confidence in the gospel and conviction concerning core gospel truths. This excellent book is wonderfully clear and biblically faithful, and will repay reading with renewed gospel focus."
William Taylor, Rector, St. Helen Bishopsgate, London; author, Understanding the Times and Partnership

"When I think of the centerpiece of my Bible, my heart immediately embraces the gospel. I know many people who love the gospel, but I’m always open to loving it more and understanding it better. Greg Gilbert has written this book to help us to know and love the gospel more."
Johnny Hunt, President, The Southern Baptist Convention

"What makes this book profound is its simplicity. Perhaps the greatest danger in Christianity is making assumptions about what the gospel is without hearing the Bible’s clear and definitive voice. It is not an overstatement to say this may be the most important book you’ll read about the Christian faith."
Rick Holland, Senior Pastor, Mission Road Bible Church, Prairie Village, Kansas

"'Gospel-centeredness' has become the new, vogue term for pastors and churches. Greg Gilbert does a masterful job in this book explaining what that gospel actually is. He shows us that many well-meaning churches have distorted the gospel through false teaching, and others have abandoned the gospel because of embarrassment or simply neglect. This is a profound analysis of the gospel, expressed in a poignant, relevant way. I am very grateful for Greg’s prophetic call to return to the straightforward message of the cross."
J. D. Greear, Lead Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina; author, Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433515002
  • Publisher: Crossway Books
  • Publication date: 3/9/2010
  • Series: IXMarks Series
  • Pages: 127
  • Sales rank: 380,227
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Gilbert (MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior pastor at Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of What Is the Gospel?, James: A 12-Week Study, and Who Is Jesus? (forthcoming), and is the co-author (with Kevin DeYoung) of What Is the Mission of the Church?.

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is president of The Gospel Coalition, and has written or edited nearly 60 books including Scandalous, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, and The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What the Gospel is (and what it is not.)

    I am pleased with this book. Simple to understand, great illustrations and a very clear, biblical presentation of the four essential points of the Gospel. I'll give you one hint: "God loves and has a wonderful plan for your life." is NOT one of the four and it NEVER was. I was deceived for almost 10 years with that one.
    Gilbert breaks the Gospel down into the four key points of a proper, biblical Gospel presentation. These four points are: accountability, rebellion, solution and application. The points are clearly supported with scripture, which I really appreciate.
    I was reminded once again as I read this book that God has two very distinct ways that He has dealt with man's rebellion against Him. Both involve death. Someone must die and be punished for each individual sinner is held accountable before God. Either Jesus Christ will die as a substitution for a sinner on the cross and then this applied when the person repents and trusts Christ or the sinner will die and face condemnation alone at the final judgment.
    For a short book the Gospel was clear, the outline is helpful to remember and the scriptures are given as proper support. Faith and repentance are mentioned which is certainly not the norm in books about the Gospel. However, there is one area that I feel was left out. Actually a friend of mine who gave me the book to read helped me see this. I went back and scanned the book again to verify his complaint. How salvation is applied and the origin of faith and repentance are not clearly explained. God is the giver of salvation. But, what is most often overlooked in modern Gospel and witnessing presentations is that faith and repentance are also gifts from God and not within the sinner until God rebirths them upon regeneration. This order of salvation is critical and is the difference between a God exalting salvation where man is the total recipient of grace verses a semi man centered Gospel where God does a little bit by providing Jesus and man kicks in his personal faith to complete the transaction. The scriptures do not support the later.
    I like the book but do have that one reservation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    Biblical Fidelity

    I recently finished reading What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert, it is a great little book (only 121 pages) because it sets forth the biblical gospel so accurately and well. I highly recommend this book, and plan to buy multiple copies to lend or give to others. This book is a good read for both believers in Christ(for many it will be very helpful in clarifing exactly what the gospel is and also will encourage them in its message) and non-believers (it will present a clear and compelling presentation of what precisely the gospel of Jesus Christ is). In the following eight chapters the author accurately sets forth and explains the biblical gospel 1. Finding the Gospel in the Bible 2. God the Righteous Creator 3. Man the Sinner 4. Jesus Christ the Savior 5. Response-Faith and Repentance 6. The Kingdom 7. Keeping the Cross at the Center and 8. The Power of the Gospel.

    The author presents the gospel in its proper context, the good news is necessarily first preceded by the bad news of all humanity being under the holy Creator God's just condemnation because of their sin, otherwise the good news would make no sense. Here is a small taste of the book, in chapter one the author goes to Romans chapters 1-4 to show forth 1. The Creator God to whom all are accountable 2. The problem that all have rebelled against this God and failed to properly honor Him and are justly under His wrath because of their sin 3. That God's solution is Christ's substitutionary death (for sinners) and bodily resurrection as the only way for sinners to be forgiven and escape His wrath and 4. How a person may be included in this salvation provided by Christ---by repenting and believing the gospel. The author helpfully summarizes these four major points in four words - God, man, Christ, and response. This is one glimpse from the first chapter of this biblically faithful book that gets the gospel right.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted July 5, 2011

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