Written by Greg Gilbert
Published by Crossway, © 2010 121 pages
9Marks is an organization that exists to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources. This book by Greg Gilbert is one of those practical resources.
Greg Gilbert has been teaching theology to students for thirty years. He has witnessed many controversial questions – questions that spark heated debates, but lately, the most controversial question that he has come across lately is, “What is the gospel?” In his introduction, he asked this question of some Christians, ten to be exact, (not sure why he didn’t stop at nine) and listed their responses. I was surprised that many of the answers were drastically different from one another and two were polar opposite.
Gilbert starts with this premise: the gospel is found in the Bible. On page 31, he narrows the gospel down into four crucial questions:
(1) Who made use, and to whom are we accountable?
(2) What is our problem? Are we in trouble and why?
(3) What is God’s solution to that problem? How has he acted to save us from it?
(4) How do I – myself, right here, right now – how do I come to be included in that salvation? What makes the good news for me and not just for someone else?
Gilbert believes that these four questions are essential to the gospel, and if one is missing in our presentation, then we will present an incomplete picture of good news of Jesus Christ.
Theses questions may be difficult to remember, so there are four key words we can remember when we are presenting the gospel to others: GOD, MAN, CHRIST AND RESPONSE. If we could remember that God is holy and man is sinful, then we only have to remember that God’s only solution to bridge the gap between God and man is Jesus Christ. After this has been presented, then the only thing that is left is to command hearers, like the apostle Peter did, to repent and be baptized. If you are reading this and the Holy Spirit is convicting your heart, contact us so we introduce you to the Savior.
Brian L. Spivey