The First Order of Business Is to Know the Gospel

Thabiti Anywabile, in his excellent little book What Is a Healthy Church Member? has a chapter on being gospel-saturated that is work the price of the entire book.  Allow me to post an excerpt where Anyabwile express the importance and definition of the gospel.

“The first order of business is to know the gospel . . .

The gospel or good news of Jesus Christ is that God the Father, who is holy and righteous in all his ways, is angry with sinners and will punish sin.  Man, who disobeys the rule of God, is alienated from the love of God and is in danger of an eternal and agonizing condemnation at the hands of God.  But God, who is also rich in mercy, because of his great love, sent his eternal Son born by the Virgin Mary, to die as a ransom and a substitute for the sins of rebellious people.  And now, through the perfect obedience of the Son of God and his willing death on the cross as a payment for our sins, all who repent and believe in Jesus Christ, following him as Savior and Lord, will be saved from the wrath of God to come, be declared just in his sight, have eternal life, and receive the Spirit of God as a foretaste of the glories of heaven with God himself.”

– Thabiti Anyabwile, What Is a Healthy Church Member? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008), 40-41.

So . . . if you gave your church members 60 seconds to explain the gospel, could they give a similar response?

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5 Comments on “The First Order of Business Is to Know the Gospel”

  1. Tim Says:

    We talked about this in church a few weeks ago, as we’re reading through this book. There’s something very important missing from this definition of the gospel — the resurrection!

    A friend of mine contacted Thabiti, and he acknowledged the omission. Evidently future editions of the book will have that important component of the gospel added.

  2. Phil B Says:

    I’ve recently been ordained and I’ve been visiting church members.

    One of the joys – which is tinged with real sadness and a hint of anger – is sharing the Gospel with people in their 70s and 80s. I ask them what the Gospel is and I usually get some kind of moralism, if that.

  3. Tim,

    That is a great observation. I’m glad to see that Thabiti has recognized that omission(!). I am reminded of the critique often made of the emphasis on Christ’s death and little on His resurrection and exaltation.


    Sad but so often true. If our people don’t know and are grounded in the gospel, I don’t see how we can proceed anywhere else. Indeed, you don’t ever graduate from the gospel!

  4. Brian Says:

    Great Gospel summary, but I really feel as though it is lacking a clear articulation of Jesus’ resurrection. He mentions eternal life for the believer, but the resurrection of Jesus Christ is an essential element of the Gospel.

    Blessings to You All,

  5. Brian Says:

    Sorry, I didn’t see that somone already pointed that out. By no means am I speaking bad of Thabiti. I have grown to respect him and know his heart and passion for the Gospel. Please, don’t feel as though I was speaking poorly of him. To God be the Glory for His ministry work.

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