Book Report: The Gospel and Personal Evangelism. Mark Dever. Crossway, 2007
from the chapter, "What Is the Gospel"
“That which passes for the gospel too often becomes a very thin veneer spread lightly over our culture’s values, becoming shaped and formed to its contours rather thant to the truth about God.” (p.32)
The Good News is not simply that we are OK. (Romans 6:23; James 2:10-11) The Bible presents God not simply as our creator but as our jealous love. He wants us – every part of us. For us to think that we can disregard him sometimes, to set aside his ways when it suits us, is to show that we haven’t understood the nature of the relationship at all.
The Good News is not simply that God is love. (1 John 4:8; Hebrews 12:14) God reveals himself as the God who requires holiness of all who would be in loving relationship with him.
The Good News is not simply that Jesus wants to be our friend. (Mark 10:45; Revelation 5:5-9) Christ isn’t just our friend… He is our friend, but he is so much more! By his death on the cross Christ has become the lamb that was slain for us, our redeemer, the one who has made peace between us and God, who has taken our guilt on himself, who has conquered our most deadly enemies and has assuaged the personal, just wrath of God.
The Good News is not that we should live rightly. (Acts 20:21; Mark 1:15) The gospel, you see, is not simply an additive that comes to make our already good lives better. No! The gospel is a message of wonderful good news that comes to those who realize their just desperation before God.