I am currently reading through Paul Washer’s new book, The Gospel’s Power & Message, the first book in a three-book series entitled Recovering the Gospel. In the preface of this book Washer supplies what I believe to be one of the best succinct definitions or overviews of the gospel. It is certainly worth memorizing. Note how Washer does not merely focus on the crucifixion and resurrection, but likewise mentions the obedient life of Christ and the ascension of Christ to glory at the right hand of the Father, where He now reigns. These are aspects of the gospel that I believe are often neglected, yet are just as necessary. Further, all three Persons of the Trinity are mentioned (another important quality to this gospel summary). So, here is Washer’s excellent summary of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ (all Scripture references are found in the footnote section of the book):
In accordance with the Father’s good pleasure, the eternal Son, who is equal with the Father and is the exact representation of His nature, willingly left the glory of heaven, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin, and was born the God-man: Jesus of Nazareth [Acts 2:23; Heb. 1:3; Phil. 2:6-7; Lk. 1:35]. As a man, He walked on this earth in perfect obedience to the law of God [Heb. 4:15]. In the fullness of time, men rejected and crucified Him. On the cross, He bore man’s sin, suffered God’s wrath, and died in man’s place [1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; Isa. 53:10]. On the third day, God raised Him from the dead. This resurrection is the divine declaration that the Father has accepted His Son’s death as a sacrifice for sin. Jesus paid the penalty for man’s disobedience, satisfied the demands of justice, and appeased the wrath of God [Lk. 24:6; Rom. 1:4; Rom. 4:25]. Forty days after the resurrection, the Son of God ascended into the heavens, sat down at the right hand of the Father, and was given glory, honor, and dominion over all [Heb. 1:3; Matt. 28:18; Dan. 7:13-14]. There, in the presence of God, He represents His people and makes requests to God on their behalf [Lk. 24:51; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:3; Heb. 7:25]. All who acknowledge their sinful, helpless state and throw themselves upon Christ, God will fully pardon, declare righteous, and reconcile unto Himself [Mk. 1:15; Rom. 10:9; Phil. 3:3]. This is the gospel of God and of Jesus Christ, His Son.