Whether you are a Christian or a non-Christian, Greg Gilbert’s What is the Gosepl? is one of the clearest overviews of what Christians believe. In about 122 pages, Gilbert discusses God, Man, Sin, the Cross, and Redemption. For the Christian, knowing the Gospel is pivotal in one’s sanctification.
Here is an overview of the Gospel and the book using Gilbert’s quotations:
“An emaciated gospel leads to emaciated worship. It lowers our eyes from God to self and cheapens what God has accomplished for us in Christ. The biblical gospel, by contrast, is like fuel in the furnace of worship. The more you understand about it, believe it, and rely on it, the more you adore God both for who he is and for what he has done for us in Christ” (20).
“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” (32).
“A common view of God is that he’s much like an unscrupulous janitor. Instead of really dealing with the world’s dirt—its sin, evil, and wickedness—he simply sweeps it under the rug, ignores it, and hopes no one will notice. In fact, many people cannot conceive of a God who would do anything else. “God judge sin?” they say. “Punish me for wickedness? Of course he wouldn’t do that. It wouldn’t be loving” (43).
“Ultimately, it means that I’m the one who should have died, not Jesus. I should have been punished, not he. And yet he took my place. He died for me. They were my transgressions, but his wounds. My iniquities, but his chastisement. My sin, his sorrow. And his punishment bought my peace. His stripes won my healing. His grief, my joy. His death, my life” (68).
“Faith is not believing in something you can’t prove, as so many people define it. It is, biblically speaking, reliance. A rock-solid, truth-grounded, promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from sin” (73).
“Even as we slog through the trials, persecutions, irritations, temptations, distractions, apathy, and just plain weariness of this world, the gospel points us to heaven where our King Jesus—the Lamb of God who was crucified in our place and raised gloriously from the dead—now sits interceding for us. Not only so, but it calls us forward to that final day when heaven will be filled with the roaring noise of millions upon millions of forgiven voices hailing him as crucified Savior and risen King” (122).