What is the gospel?


Articulate the essence of the gospel and understand how it is different from the fullness of the gospel


Without looking at your Bible or any resource, take a few minutes to answer this question: How would you define the gospel?  

Look at these four texts—Matthew 4:23, Matthew 24:14, Mark 1:14-15, and Luke 4:43—and answer the same question. What do we learn about the gospel from these passages?

Bible Passage & Questions

I Corinthians 15:1-6 and Luke 24:44-49

How do Paul and Luke answer these questions . . .

  • Who is Jesus?
  • What did Jesus do?
  • What blessings did Jesus bring?
  • How should we respond? What is the difference between Paul’s call to faith and Luke’s call to repentance?

Consider & Discuss

Watch “What is the Gospel?” by Keith Davy. (Alternatively, you could read the Cru.org article below which contains the video.)  Davy says:

There is only one gospel and it is essential that we get it right . . . Whatever means we use to communicate [the gospel] we always have to make sure we get it right: who is Jesus, what has he done, and why?

  • What stood out most from Davy’s video
  • Davy distinguishes the essence of the gospel and the fullness of the gospel. Do you agree with this distinction or do you prefer to explain it differently? (For example, some theologians describe the difference as the gospel’s message and the gospel’s implications.)

Next Steps (Individually & Collectively)

Gospel simply means good news. After discussing I Corinthians 15 and Luke 24  and listening to Keith’s video, would you change anything about how you explained the good news about Jesus at the beginning of this lesson? Why or why not?

Additional Resource

Chelsea Knight at cru.org:  What is the Gospel?