A Brief Theology of the Gospel

September 21, 2018

 

 

A Brief Theology of the Gospel

Its Metanarrative, Major Elements, and How to Share It

 

 

What is the gospel?  For those from Christian backgrounds, this question seems fundamental and thus unnecessary. However, there is much confusion over the gospel, even in evangelical circles. Some might say, “The gospel is that Jesus loves us!” Others might say, “The gospel is Jesus died for our sins!” Some might even say, “The gospel is that Jesus died so that we could become wealthy and healthy.” There are many different versions of the gospel out there. Some are more divergent than others. Paul even warned of the possibility that an angel might come with a different gospel, and if so, it should be rejected (Gal 1:8). The gospel is the foundation of the Christian faith, and therefore, it must be guarded and faithfully passed on. Consequently, this is an important question to consider, “What is the gospel?”

 

In brief, Paul encapsulates the gospel in 2 Timothy 2:8 when he says, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David; such is my gospel.” He also summarizes it in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:

 

Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures,

 

The word “gospel” comes from the Greek word “euangélion,” which is translated “good news.”[1] Though there is good news on every page of the Bible, the gospel refers to a very specific message about Jesus. Scott McKnight, in The King Jesus Gospel, defined the gospel this way: “The gospel is a narration of the events in the life of Jesus.”[2] He expands that definition soon after saying:

 

…the gospel was first and foremost for the apostles the Story of Jesus as the fulfillment of the Story of Israel. This Jesus is Messiah/King, he is Lord, and he saves as the one who is the perfect image of God, the true and faithful Israelite. In Jesus, God has taken up rule of creation, and those who enter into Jesus’ death and resurrection by repentance, faith, and baptism join him in that rule.[3]

 

Matthew Bates, in Salvation by Allegiance Alone, gives a similar definition of the gospel: “It is the transformative story of how Jesus, who preexisted as Son of God, came to be enthroned as the universal king.”[4] The gospel is the story of Jesus. Mark implies this reality in the beginning of his Gospel: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1).[5]

 

Certainly, there are major aspects of the gospel, such as Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection as Paul referenced in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; however, there is much more to this story. The Gospels, which tell the story of Jesus, do so on the backdrop of the Old Testament, and therefore, they constantly quote prophecies and narratives to help people recognize Jesus as the messiah.

 

In this essay, a brief theology of the gospel will be developed. This will include a consideration of the meta-narrative (the over-arching story) of the gospel, the major elements of the gospel, how to concisely share it, and its implications for ministry.

 

The Meta-narrative of the Gospel

 

The story of Jesus, and thus the gospel, begins with creation. God created the heavens and the earth and declared it was good (Genesis 1). The crown of creation was humanity. He made humanity in his image (Gen 1:26). The word “image” can also be translated “idol.” When considered from an ancient near eastern background, the translation of “image” as “idol” is full of implications. It represents not only human essence but also purpose.[6] For ancient people, their “gods” were both transcendent—outside of their idols—and also immanent—in their idols. In the same way, humanity was meant not only to represent the transcendent God to the rest of creation but also to radiate his immanent presence and blessing. Bates said it this way: “…humans as the idols of God serve as localized manifestations of the divine presence—junctures where God is present in a real and tangible way to all who encounter ‘the image’ that has been imbued with the divine spirit or breath.”[7] Functionally, humans were to rule over the earth as God’s vice-regents, even as God ruled the heavens.

 

However, even though God called for Adam and Eve to rule over and care for creation, their rule was not without limits. God placed a tree in the garden called, The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. From this tree, they were not allowed to eat. This was meant to remind Adam and Eve that they were under God’s authority. Greg Gilbert in his book What is the Gospel? wrote: “When Adam and Eve looked at that tree and saw its fruit, they would remember that their authority was limited, that they were creatures, and that they were dependent on God for their very lives. They were only the stewards. He was the King.”[8] Therefore, when they ate of this tree, they rejected God’s lordship and sought to be independent from God. Like Satan who empowered the serpent, they sought to be like God.

 

When they disobeyed God, creation came under a curse. The ground would bear thorns and thistles; people would earn their livings through pain and sweat; relationships would be fractured. However, in the midst of this, God gave a prophecy in Genesis 3:15: A male child would be born from Eve. The serpent would bruise his heal but the male would crush the head of the serpent. This has often been called the protevangelium or “the first gospel,” as it predicts Christ’s death on the cross and the ultimate defeat of Satan and sin.[9] From this point, prophecies of this male seed abound. In Genesis 12, God makes a covenant with Abraham that through him all the nations would be blessed. God specifies the manner in Genesis 22:18 when he says, “through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed” (NIV, emphasis mine).[10] Paul argues that Moses’ use of “offspring” in Genesis 22 is singular—referring to Christ (Gal 3:16). Later, God creates a covenant with David—promising him a seed who would sit on his throne and have an everlasting rule (2 Sam 7:13). Also, in Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:24-28 and 37:24-27, God gives Israel the New Covenant. He promises that the Davidic King would restore Israel by forgiving their sin, bringing them back to the promised land, giving them the Holy Spirit, and writing God’s laws on their heart so they would always obey God. This messianic king would initiate and rule God’s kingdom on the earth. Bock said this about the three major OT covenants:

 

Together the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New covenants form the gospel’s backbone. God would form a people through whom the world would be blessed. He would do it through a promised king, a Messiah. That king would bring two key things the world desperately needed: forgiveness and a restored relationship with the living God. The two were always connected to be good news from God.[11]

 

The kingdom that Adam lost when he sinned against God was going to be restored. From the beginning, God was preparing a king that would not disobey God, who would pay the penalty for the sins of his people, restore them to God, and deliver creation from its bondage. This king would be God’s Son, who would become human in order to die for humanity.

 

In the Gospels, Christ comes to Israel—saying the kingdom of God was in their midst (Lk 17:21). He teaches them that he is the prophesied messiah by his miracles, words, and the fulfillment of prophecy. However, they reject him, murder him, and bury him. But on the third day, he rose again. After his resurrection, Christ appeared to his disciples and others who would carry on his work of spreading the news of the kingdom and Christ’s eventual return. When Christ returns, he will take those who have accepted him into his kingdom and cast those who reject him outside of his kingdom into a place of eternal judgment with Satan and his angels (Matt 25:31-46). Christ will deliver creation from its bondage to the curse and restore it. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, and God’s people will dwell eternally there (Rev 21-22). This is all the good news of the gospel!

 

Human Response: Repentance and Faith

 

How should people respond to the good news of the gospel? Throughout the New Testament, the preachers of the gospel always asked for repentance and faith. In Mark 1:15, Jesus said this: “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!” In Acts 20:21, Paul declared how he testified “to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.” 

 

Repentance

 

What is repentance? Wayne Grudem, author of Systematic Theology, defined it this way: “Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.”[12] In the New Testament, the Greek word used for repentance is metanoia, and it literally means “to change one’s mind.”[13] In the Old Testament, the primary Hebrew word used for repentance is shub, and it means “to return or turn back.”[14] Ezekiel 14:6 says, “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!” (emphasis mine). Therefore, it must be understood that though repentance is primarily an intellectual response, it includes the will and emotions. It is a decisive choice to turn away from sin. Darrell Bock, author of Recovering the Real Gospel, said it this way, “Repentance is not merely an internal act of the mind; it involves an attitude that results in concrete change of practice.”[15]Millard Erickson, in his book Christian Theology, said, “Repentance is godly sorrow for one’s sin together with a resolution to turn from it.”[16] Grudem’s further comments on repentance are also helpful:

 

Repentance, like faith, is an intellectual understanding (that sin is wrong), an emotional approval of the teachings of Scripture regarding sin (a sorrow for sin and a hatred of it), and a personal decision to turn from it (a renouncing of sin and a decision of the will to forsake it and lead a life of obedience to Christ instead) …. Repentance is something that occurs in the heart and involves the whole person in a decision to turn from sin.[17]

 

Therefore, repentance is not a “work” that leads to salvation. It is a heart response to God’s Word, which will ultimately lead to works. Often when Christ spoke to people about salvation, he pointed to a dominant sin that was hindering their response to the gospel. For the rich man, it was his love for money (Matt 19:16-30). For the Samaritan woman, it was her relationships with men (John 4:4-8). These people needed to repent—to make a choice to turn from sin to God. With Zacchaeus the tax collector, it was after he repented by promising to restore all he had stolen that Christ said salvation had come to his house (Lk 19:1-10). As with faith, repentance is a work of God’s grace. It is impossible for a person to repent apart from God giving the person unmerited favor. When Cornelius and the other Gentiles turned to God, it was said of them that God “granted” them “repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18). Repentance is a gift from God, just like faith is (Eph 2:8-9).

 

Faith

 

In the New Testament, gospel preachers required not only repentance but faith. Sometimes faith is translated “believe.” In John 3:16, John says, “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 5:24 says, “I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life.” John 6:28 says, “So then they said to him, ‘What must we do to accomplish the deeds God requires?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the deed God requires—to believe in the one whom he sent.’”

 

What is saving faith? Erickson eloquently said this about faith: “As repentance is the negative aspect of conversion, turning from one’s sin, so faith is the positive aspect, laying hold of the promises and the work of Christ. Faith is at the very heart of the gospel, for it is the vehicle by which we are enabled to receive the grace of God.”[18] In the context of believing the gospel, having faith means that people believe that God will save them eternally, as they repent of their sins and put their trust in Christ. However, it must be noted that faith is more than intellectual belief. Michael Gorman, author of Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission, said it this way: “And the mode by which that salvation is received is best described not as faith in the sense of intellectual assent but as faith in the sense of full participation, a comprehensive transformation of conviction, character, and communal affiliation.”[19] Likewise, James said that even the demons believe and shudder but are not saved (James 2:19). Saving faith is more than simple intellectual assent. Also, saving faith is more than approval. The Greek word pistis, which is commonly translated “faith,” has a broad range of meanings including: “reliability, confidence, assurance, fidelity, faithfulness, commitment, and pledged loyalty.”[20] Bates argues that when it comes to the human response to the gospel, it is better to translate pistis as “allegiance.”[21] Whether “allegiance” is the best definition or not, it is clear that a faith includes commitment and loyalty to Christ. Romans 10:13 says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Calling Christ, Lord is not just recognizing that Christ is God and master; it is a recognition of him being our personal Lord. Paul argues that it is impossible for one to come to this conclusion and make this commitment apart from the Holy Spirit. First Corinthians 12:3 says, “…no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” Anyone can simply state that Jesus is Lord; however, people can only take him as their personal Lord through a work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. True faith includes trusting Christ to save a person and also one’s personal commitment to follow him as Lord. This is clear by the fact that believers are called not only to faith but also to repentance—turning from sin. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. One must turn from in order to cling to.

 

The Enduring Quality of True Repentance and Faith

 

It must be noted that though one is saved through an act of repentance and faith, this faith and repentance continue throughout one’s life. In describing the characteristics of kingdom citizens, Christ said, “Blessed are those who mourn” (Matt 5:4), which refers to the continual mourning over sin which will identify believers throughout their lives. Kent Hughes, in his commentary on The Sermon on the Mount, said this: “It is significant that the first of Martin Luther’s famous 95 Theses states that the entire life is to be one of continuous repentance and contrition. It was this attitude which caused the apostle Paul to affirm, well along into his Christian life, that he was the chief of sinners (l Timothy 1:15).”[22] In addition, Paul taught that believers are reconciled to God  “if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel” (Col 1:23). Enduring faith is a proof of being reconciled to God. Bock said this about faith: “For one thing, it is not static. That is, we do not have faith in a moment; it is an ongoing state. This is part of what tells us that the gospel is about more than a transaction. An act of faith initiates our new relationship with God, but faith is not a one-time act; it keeps going.”[23] Similarly, in The Gospel According to Jesus, John MacArthur said this about faith:

 

As a divine gift, faith is neither transient nor impotent. It has an abiding quality that guarantees it will endure to the end. The familiar words of Habakkuk 2:4, “The righ teous will live by his faith” (cf. Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38), speak not of a momentary act of believing, but of a living, enduring trust in God. Hebrews 3:14 emphasizes the permanence of genuine faith. Its very durability is proof of its reality: “We have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.” The faith God gives can never evaporate.[24]

 

From the point of conversion, faith and repentance will mark the life of true believers. Both are gifts from God which will endure—ultimately keeping true believers from falling away from God.

 

God’s Response: Justification

 

What happens when people appropriately respond to the gospel? What is God’s response? In short, God justifies them. This means that God pardons their sins and accepts them. He pronounces, accepts, and treats them as righteous.[25] Paul Enns said this about justification:

 

Whereas forgiveness is the negative side of salvation, justification is the positive side. To justify is to declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus Christ. It is a forensic (legal) act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of the blood of Christ. The major emphasis of justification is positive and involves two main aspects. It involves the pardon and removal of all sins and the end of separation from God (Acts 13:39; Rom. 4:6–7; 5:9–11; 2 Cor. 5:19). It also involves the bestowal of righteousness upon the believing person and “a title to all the blessings promised to the just.”[26]

 

John MacArthur defines justification this way:

 

Simply defined, the biblical doctrine of justification teaches that God graciously declares believing sinners perfectly righteous for Christ’s sake. He not only forgives their sins, but He also imputes to them the full merit of Christ’s unblemished righteousness. They therefore gain a right standing with God, not because of any good thing they have done (or will do), but solely because of Christ’s work on their behalf.[27]

 

Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.” Christ took people’s sins upon himself on the cross and bore God’s wrath. He bore the separation from God that all people deserved. In agony, Christ cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46). Therefore, when believers faithfully respond to the gospel, God gives them Christ’s righteousness. God pronounces them as just, and also gives them the Holy Spirit. From the time of conversion until glorification, the Holy Spirit will be transforming believers into Christ’s image. Finally, at death or the coming of Christ, whichever happens first, believers will become fully like Christ. First John 3:2 says, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (NIV).

 

Justified Apart from Works

 

It must be made clear that justification is apart from people’s righteous works. Romans 4:5-6 says, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is credited as righteousness. So even David himself speaks regarding the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works.” Paul himself declared how he was seeking a righteous standing apart from any righteous works of his own. In Philippians 3:7-9 (NIV), Paul says:

 

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

 

With this said, even though justification is through faith and apart from works, works is a necessary result of true faith. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.” Believers were created for good works, and these works will identify them. Christ said it this way, “Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Genuine love will identify believers because of the Holy Spirit’s dwelling inside them (Rom 5:5). Jonathan Edwards called these religious affections.[28] Truly born-again believers will grow in their love for others, God, God’s Word, serving, etc. This growth will be a proof of true salvation. For example, in Matthew 25:31-46, Christ told the people that did not feed, dress, or clothe others that they were not part of his kingdom and those who did, were. Those whom God declares righteous in justification will gradually grow in righteousness. A lack of growth in righteousness may prove that one’s profession was ingenuous.

 

Evangelism

 

How should one present the gospel? Though, the gospel is wide—encompassing the entire story of the Bible—it also is concise. Like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the primary aspects of the gospel are Christ’s life, death on the cross, burial, resurrection, and our need to receive and hold fast to these truths. Christ is truly the good news.

 

Greg Gilbert, in his book What Is the Gospel?, said that gospel presentations in the Bible either explicitly or implicitly have four elements: God, man, Christ, and response. He summarized them this way: “We are accountable to the God who created us. We have sinned against that God and will be judged. But God has acted in Jesus Christ to save us, and we take hold of that salvation by repentance from sin and faith in Jesus. God. Man. Christ. Response.”[29] Consider how these elements are explicit and implicit in Paul’s gospel presentation in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:

 

Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

 

Gilbert points out the four crucial elements to the gospel in Paul’s concise gospel message:

 

Human beings are in trouble, sunk in “our sins” and in need of “being saved” (obviously, though implicitly, from God’s judgment). But salvation comes in this: “Christ died for our sins . . . was buried . . . was raised.” And all this is taken hold of by “hold[ing] fast to the word I preached to you,” by believing truly and not in vain. So there it is: God, man, Christ, response.[30]

 

We must similarly aim to have these four elements in our gospel presentations, whether we use common models like the 4 Spiritual Laws or the Romans Road. We must present the bad news so people can understand the good news: God created people in his image—to be like him (Gen 1:26). When Adam fell into sin, all people received his nature and therefore everyone now sins (Rom 3:23). God, the Creator, is not only loving but also just, and the just wage for sin is death (Rom 6:23)—separation from God and eternal judgment. Because God loved people, he sent his only Son to die on the cross for their sins (John 3:16). Christ died, rose again, and one day will return. He calls all people to repent—turn from their sins—and believe in him—following him as Lord and Savior—in order to be saved from God’s judgment. Then we must ask people to respond to the gospel.

 

Sinner’s Prayer

 

Often evangelists use the “Sinner’s Prayer” as a way to help people to respond. A sample Sinner’s Prayer might go something like this:

 

Dear heavenly Father, I confess I am a sinner and have fallen short of your glory, what you made me for. I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins and rose from the dead so I can have eternal life. I am turning away from my sin and accepting you as my Lord and Savior. Come into my life and change me. Thank you for your gift of salvation.[31]

 

However, this evangelism technique has fallen into refute. Paul Washer in The Gospel Call and True Conversion gives five reasons why this evangelism technique should not be used. He says:

 

Although there is some truth in these various elements, there are several serious objections that we should raise to this method of inviting sinners to Christ. First, it has no biblical precedent. It was not employed by Christ, the apostles, or the early Christians. Second, it was unknown to most of the church throughout history. It is a recent invention. Third, it has the danger of turning the gospel into a creedal statement. Numerous individuals who show no biblical evidence of conversion believe themselves saved simply because at one time in their lives they made a decision for Christ and repeated the sinner’s prayer. Although Christians who use the sinner’s prayer in evangelism do not intend this, it has been the overwhelming result of this methodology. Fourth, it has almost entirely replaced the biblical invitation of repentance and faith. It is astounding that the biblical examples of inviting people to Christ are virtually ignored in favor of a modern-day construct. Fifth, it has become the primary and, often, only basis of assurance. That is, many individuals who bear little or no evidence of God’s work in their lives are convinced or assured of their salvation only because once they prayed the sinner’s prayer sincerely.[32]

 

Wayne Grudem takes a different view on using the Sinner’s Prayer in evangelism. He says:

 

Finally, what shall we say about the common practice of asking people to pray to receive Christ as their personal Savior and Lord? Since personal faith in Christ must involve an actual decision of the will, it is often very helpful to express that decision in spoken words, and this could very naturally take the form of a prayer to Christ in which we tell him of our sorrow for sin, our commitment to forsake it, and our decision actually to put our trust in him. Such a spoken prayer does not in itself save us, but the attitude of heart that it represents does constitute true conversion, and the decision to speak that prayer can often be the point at which a person truly comes to faith in Christ.[33]

 

It seems that there are some dangers with using the Sinner’s Prayer in evangelism. However, if the prayer is biblical—in that it presents the tenants of the gospel soundly, including repentance and trust in God—and doesn’t aim to give assurance of salvation simply based on praying the prayer, then there is nothing wrong with employing it to help a person give expression to his heart’s desire for salvation. Paul himself taught that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). This “calling” upon the Lord for salvation happens in one’s heart but is often expressed through prayer, as words are ultimately an expression of the heart (Lk 6:45).

 

Conclusion

 

The gospel is expansive. It is the good news about Christ, which begins with creation, the fall, and God’s presentation of the first gospel in Genesis 3:15. God promised that though humanity caused the fall and the corresponding negative effects on creation, someone from humanity was going to destroy the works of the devil and restore creation. From that point, the coming of Christ is presented throughout the Old Testament in prophecies and types. The New Testament is the story of Christ’s coming, death, resurrection, ascension, and eventual return. This is all part of the good news. Through the gospel, God calls for people to repent from their sins and believe in Christ to be saved. This is a message that must be shared with unbelievers, as God desires all to be saved. However, it must also be preached to believers, so they can truly understand and live out its depths and implications. Michael Gorman put it this way: “… the gospel itself is a powerful word of transformation, its content being given voice not merely in words but also, and inseparably, in actions. This does not eliminate the need for, or the importance of, words, but it does imply that the words have meaning and power only in action.”[34] We see this throughout Scripture, as believers are called not only to share the gospel but live it out. In Ephesians 5:25, husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Marriages must, in one sense, act out the gospel. Also, in John 13:34, believers are called to love each other as Christ loved them—being willing to die for others. They must live out the gospel in daily relationships. The gospel of Christ is our door to salvation; it is our example to follow; it is our joy to boast in; it is our treasure to protect, and it is our hope as we confront trials and ultimately death. We must plumb its depths and share it with all.

 

 

 

 

[1] Paul Washer. The Gospel Call and True Conversion (Recovering the Gospel Book 2) (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2013) Kindle Locations 69-71.

 

[2] Scott McKnight. The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016) 79.

 

[3] Ibid., 80.

 

[4] Matthew W. Bates. Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2017) 47.

 

[5] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible verses are in the NET version (Biblical Studies Press 2005).

 

[6] Bates, Salvation by Allegiance Alone, 147.

 

[7] Ibid., 151.

 

[8] Greg Gilbert and D.A. Carson. What Is the Gospel? (9Marks) (Wheaton; Crossway, 2010) 48-49.

 

[9] Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham. The Moody Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014). 48.

 

[10] The New International Version. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011).

 

[11] Darrell Bock. Recovering the Real Lost Gospel. (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010) Kindle Locations 292-296.

 

[12] Wayne Grudem. Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine (Grand Rapids: Inter-Varsity Press, 2004) 713.

 

[13]Daryl Aaron. Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day: How can I know God? (Bloomington: Bethany House Publishers, 2012) Kindle Location 1917.

 

[14] Washer, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, Kindle Locations 315-318.

 

[15] Bock, Recovering the Real Lost Gospel, Kindle Locations 1913-1915.

 

[16] Millard J. Erickson. Christian theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1998) 950.

 

[17] Grudem, Systematic Theology, 713.

 

[18] Erickson, Christian Theology, 951.

 

[19] Michael J. Gorman, Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission (The Gospel and Our Culture Series (GOCS)) (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2015) Kindle Edition, 23-24.

 

[20] Bates, Salvation by Allegiance Alone, 3.

 

[21] Ibid.

 

[22] Kent Hughes. The Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2001) 30.

 

[23] Bock. Recovering the Real Lost Gospel, Kindle Locations 1988-1994..

 

[24] John F. MacArthur. The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008) Kindle Locations 3719-3723.

 

[25] Walter A. Elwell. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001) 643.

 

[26] Paul Enns. The Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014) 339.

 

[27] John F. MacArthur. The Gospel According to Paul: Embracing the Good News at the Heart of Paul's Teachings (Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2017) Kindle Locations 1657-1659.

 

 

[28] Jonathan Edwards. The Religious Affections. 18.

 

[29] Gilbert, What Is the Gospel?, 32.

 

[30] Ibid. 33.

 

[31] Gregory Brown. Ephesians: Understanding God's Purpose for the Church (The Bible Teacher's Guide) (BTG Publishing, 2016) Kindle Locations 8873-8876.

 

[32] Washer, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, Kindle Locations 826-834.

 

[33] Grudem, Systematic Theology, 717.

 

[34] Gorman, Becoming the Gospel, 298.

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