Dr. Mike Horton Answers, “What is the Gospel?”

What I like most about Mike Horton’s summary of the Gospel in this video is the part where he says, “We are witnesses to [Christ’s] redeeming work. Not extensions of it.” This is profoundly true because, as he says, the Greek word for “gospel”, euangellion, is a victory-report from the battle field, telling of the battle Christ has won—of His victory accomplished. It belongs to the category of “news”, not “orders” or “instructions”. There is nothing you can do to be saved by the Gospel other than to simply believe in it. Therefore we cannot contribute to the Gospel. We cannot live the Gospel. We cannot add anything to it or incarnate it. “It is finished.” We can, and will if truly saved, live in light of what Christ has done, but this is fundamentally different from claiming to live the Gospel by our good works. It would be an incredible blessing to every local church if there was greater clarity on exactly what the Gospel is: not something to do or join, but something done by Christ alone. So we are witnesses. Nothing more, and certainly never less if we bear the name “Christian.” So Pastors, get it right. Don’t tell your people what they must do. Tell them what Christ has done. And don’t assume they already know and are depending on what Christ has done! Tell them again, in some way, in some measure, every week. And irresistible transformation, the fruit of the presence of the Spirit, will begin to grow in your church. This is far more enduring fruit than the kind temporarily produced by brow-beating a congregation into trying to live out religious, moralistic applications.