From his introduction:
Sometimes it uses “gospel” in a very broad way, that is, to describe all the promises that God intends to fulfill in Christ, including not only forgiveness of sin, but also everything else that flows from it—the establishment of the kingdom, the new heavens and new earth, etc. There are other times, though, where it uses “gospel” in a very narrow way, that is, to describe specifically the forgiveness of sins through the substitutionary death and resurrection of Christ. In those places, the broader promises don’t seem to be so much in view.
He then sites some of the clearest places where the Bible uses the word “gospel” in the narrow sense:
1. ESV Acts 10:36-43 As for the word that he sent to
In the second section, he sites
In the second section, he sitessome of the clearest places where it’s used in the broad sense:
1. ESV Matthew 4:23 And he went throughout all
(Repentance is linked with Mt4:17)
2. ESV Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the
To summarize the two usages:
- Broadly, as in Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4, and Acts 13, it refers to all the promises made to us through the work of Jesus—not only forgiveness of sins, but also resurrection, reconciliation with both God and others, sanctification, glorification, coming Kingdom, new heavens and new earth, and so forth. You might say that in those cases, “gospel” refers to the whole complex of God’s promises secured through the life and work of Christ.
- In the narrow sense, such as we see in Acts 10, the whole book of Romans, 1 Corinthians 1 and 1 Corinthians 15, “gospel” refers specifically to the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus and the call to all people to repent and believe in him.
There are two important distinctions:
- The broad use of the word “gospel” necessarily includes the narrow. Therefore repent and believe!”
- Second, it’s worth noting explicitly, again, the fact that the New Testament calls the specific, narrow message of forgiveness of sins through Christ “The Gospel.”