the weblog of Alan Knox

Basics of the Gospel

Posted by on Apr 13, 2010 in discipleship | 7 comments

We’ve been reading through, teaching, and discussing the Gospel of Matthew on Sunday mornings. Last Sunday, we covered the last passage in Matthew. For the next few weeks, we’re going discuss a few topics before we start studying a new book of Scripture together (probably Genesis).

Next Sunday, our topic will be “the Basics of Christianity.” Another brother is scheduled to facilitate this discussion, but as I prepare for meeting with the church, I’ve decided to study this as “the Basics of the Gospel.”

So, what would you say if someone asked you, “What are the basics of the good news of Jesus Christ?” Why?


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  1. 4-13-2010

    That God created man, through one man (Adam) all men fell in sin and are condemned, that in His mercy God sent His Son to make propitiation for the sins of a remnant and through faith in Christ sinners are redeemed and forgiven.

    Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (1Co 15:1-5)

  2. 4-13-2010

    Actually, I take that back. I forgot that I am not qualified to answer the question as a lay person, so in response to that question I would invite the questioner to attend a church service where a properly credentialed and ordained pastor could present the Gospel in a sermon.

  3. 4-13-2010

    I agree with Arthur above, but these are the facts laid out for believers. Paul’s answer to how he would respond if asked the basics of the gospel might vary. Paul spoke of the Messiah to Jews and of the Unknown God in Athens. When the conversations and discussions result in conversion, a similarity to the opening verses of I Cor 15 will be how you could sum up the conclusions of the conversation.

    I know my answer would depend on the context of the conversation, especially on who was asking. I’m thinking how my answer would vary for someone who was sick, or who suffered some loss, or who was a co-worker who had become curious, or someone who is from another religion, or someone who is growing in Christ and wanted clarity.

    Not that the gospel changes, but because it is like a magnificent mountain with many ways to climb to the top to see the view from above.

    I’m also not sure one is prepared for the climb if they do not know something of the weight of sin and shame and hopelessness of our estate. Without this, it is just “News.” Do they think they are able to reach the top without Christ? Then they are too heavily burdened for the climb. I don’t mean we need people in a Jonathan Edwards thrall of despair. And I don’t mean pounding another with this. I simply mean that the Gospel includes both that God is Just and that He is our Justifier.

    We see the Lord exposing this confidence with the rich young ruler. He takes him at his word, and simply extends the logical conclusion if what he says (and thinks of himself) is true: “sell all, and follow me.” We see Him take aim at the capacity to attain with Nicodemus who starts to see the impossibility when he asks, “How can a man be born when he is old?” and “How can these things be?” Many more examples exist of our Lord aiming at the foundation of our self-confidence and self-capacity.

    That penalty (for some), that shame (for others), that hopelessness (for still others) turns the News into Good News. And the Good News is that God is merciful to those who call on Him, that the Lamb had taken our penalty to the full in death (this may be what some need most to hear), that as our legal representative He arose, proving all of our sins have been settled in full (or this). They might need to hear that God loved us so much in spite of our being His enemies that He sought us out, that He came to earth, stripping Himself of all glory and suffering our hostility and rejection, and enduring the cross of shame to rescue us (because they have never known that and are desperately hunger to be sought after and fought for and loved). All these things and so many more faces and approaches (depending on who asked) to this mountain of grace are the gospel.

  4. 4-13-2010

    BTW, here’s a Twitter version I just caught:

    “Jesus died for our sins. He rose on the third day. He ascended to heaven. He intercedes for us (now). He’s coming back. Repent + believe.”

  5. 4-13-2010

    Hi Alan, I’ve been working through this lately. I think the ‘gospel’ should lines up with the good news message that Jesus and His disciples preached from town to town, and with the notion that Jesus is Lord that was central to the faith of the early church.
    God’s kingdom is here!
    The reign of God is here!
    Change your life, believe this message!
    (Mark 1:14-15)
    Did you know God’s power is available to you? You don’t have to do everything in your own strength and wisdom. If you allow God to rule in your life, instead of your selfish ambitions He will restore your life to what it was intended to be.

    — OR put it another way —-

    Jesus Is Lord!
    * Jesus reigns in my life through the Holy Spirit who lives in and through me.
    * I am united with Jesus, and my selfish (sinful) ways died on the cross with Him, they no longer direct my life.
    * When I walk in this truth, my selfish ways are replaced with God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    I believe this is the good news message Jesus and His disciples preached and we are to share with the world. I believe all those who follow Jesus share these common beliefs, yet may not recognize it as ‘the gospel’… and we all frequently fail living in this truth.

  6. 4-13-2010

    Love what I am reading. May I submit just one thought? 1Corinthians 15 -are we reading a description of the good news in the basic sense of the word or was Paul sharing the good news that he preached to the Corinthians? Is there a difference? Does the scripture reference in 1Corinthians give us a descriptive outline of this thing we call “The Gospel?”

    Luke 20:1 What was Jesus preaching..I am going to die and I will be raised? Perhaps he was teaching The Kingdom is here and I am the King. That’s good news.

  7. 4-13-2010

    Nice comments, everyone. Thanks!