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What Is the Gospel? (Foreword by D. A. Carson) (9Marks) [Kindle Edition]

Greg Gilbert , D. A. Carson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

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Book Description

What is the gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.

Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul's systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the gospel in this valuable resource.

Editorial Reviews


"Greg Gilbert is one of the brightest and most faithful young men called to serve the church today. Here he offers us a penetrating, faithful, and fully biblical understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no greater need than to know the true gospel, to recognize the counterfeits, and to set loose a generation of gospel-centered Christians. This very important book arrives at just the right moment."
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Two realities make this a critically important book: the centrality of the gospel in all generations and the confusion about the gospel in our own generation. What Is the Gospel? provides a biblically faithful explanation of the gospel and equips Christians to discern deviations from that glorious message. How I wish I could place this book in the hands of every pastor and church member."
C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

"Greg Gilbert contends that the current evangelical understanding of the gospel is lost in a fog of confusion. He burns away that fog by shining fresh light on an old subject. Gilbert writes in a clear, concise, and colloquial style that will especially appeal to young adults. What Is the Gospel? will sharpen your thinking about the gospel, etching it more deeply on your heart so you can share the good news of Jesus Christ with boldness. It will leave you pondering the extent to which the gospel has impacted your own life. It will cause you to cry out with thankfulness to God for what Christ has accomplished."
James MacDonald, Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois; author, Vertical Church

"A wonderful telling of the old, old story in fresh words—and with sound warnings against subtle misrepresentations. As the old gospel song attests, and as is true of Greg Gilbert’s fine book, those who know the old, old story best will find themselves hungering and thirsting to hear this story like the rest."
Bryan Chapell, President Emeritus, Covenant Theological Seminary; Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois

"Greg Gilbert is someone I have had the honor and privilege of teaching and who is now teaching me. This little book on the gospel is one of the clearest and most important books I’ve read in recent years."
Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

"For good reason, Christians love the word gospel. Tragically, however, multitudes of Christians fail to grasp what the gospel fully is. In doctrinally sound and down-to-earth ways, my good friend Greg Gilbert shows just how important it is to understand both the theological nature and the functional necessity of the gospel. We can only hope and pray that this is the first of many books from Greg."
Tullian Tchividjian, Founder, LIBERATE; author, One-Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World 

"What is the gospel? This short but powerful book answers that question with a clear and concise presentation. It is a superb treatment of the good news. Read it and then pass it on."
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Greg Gilbert, with a sharp mind and a pastor’s heart, has written a book that will be helpful for seekers, new Christians, and anyone who wants to understand the gospel with greater clarity. I’ve been waiting for a book like this! As a sure-footed guide to a surprisingly controversial subject, it clears up misconceptions about the gospel, the kingdom, and the meaning of the cross."
Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

"What Is the Gospel? demonstrates in a sensitive and intriguing way that the gospel is indescribably profound as well as eminently describable—clear enough for anyone to comprehend."
Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"There is no greater challenge in an age of doubt and pragmatism than making the glorious gospel clear. This is the greatest need for the seasoned Christian and skeptic alike. In this thoughtful but accessible work, Greg Gilbert clearly answers the most important question ever asked."
Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri; Vice President, Acts 29; Chaplain to the St. Louis Cardinals; author, The Dude's Guide to Manhood

"Greg Gilbert cuts through the confusion by searching Scripture to answer the most important question anyone can ask. Even if you think you know the good news of what God has done in Christ, Gilbert will sharpen your focus on this glorious gospel."
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; coauthor, A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir

"This book will help you better understand, treasure, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if you think you know enough about the gospel already, you might need it more than you think."
Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland; author, Dug Down Deep

"Amidst a contemporary Christian culture characterized by rampant confusion regarding the central tenets of our faith, Greg Gilbert has given us a portrait of the gospel that is clear for those who have believed and compelling for those who have yet to believe. Word-saturated, cross-centered, and God-exalting, What Is the Gospel? will capture your mind’s attention and ignite your heart’s affection for the God who saves us by his grace through his gospel for his glory."
David Platt, President, International Mission Board; author, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

"Greg Gilbert has called the church back to the source of her revelation. In a simple and straightforward manner, he has laid bare what the Bible has shown the gospel to mean."
Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion

"Clarity on the gospel brings both confidence in the gospel and conviction concerning core gospel truths. This excellent book is wonderfully clear and biblically faithful, and will repay reading with renewed gospel focus."
William TaylorRector, St. Helen Bishopsgate, London; author, Understanding the Times and Partnership

"When I think of the centerpiece of my Bible, my heart immediately embraces the gospel. I know many people who love the gospel, but I’m always open to loving it more and understanding it better. Greg Gilbert has written this book to help us to know and love the gospel more."
Johnny Hunt, Former President, The Southern Baptist Convention; Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Woodstock, Woodstock, Georgia

"What makes this book profound is its simplicity. Perhaps the greatest danger in Christianity is making assumptions about what the gospel is without hearing the Bible’s clear and definitive voice. It is not an overstatement to say this may be the most important book you’ll read about the Christian faith."
Rick Holland, Senior Pastor, Mission Road Bible Church, Prairie Village, Kansas

"'Gospel-centeredness' has become the new, vogue term for pastors and churches. Greg Gilbert does a masterful job in this book explaining what that gospel actually is. He shows us that many well-meaning churches have distorted the gospel through false teaching, and others have abandoned the gospel because of embarrassment or simply neglect. This is a profound analysis of the gospel, expressed in a poignant, relevant way. I am very grateful for Greg’s prophetic call to return to the straightforward message of the cross."
J. D. Greear, Lead Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina; author, Jesus, Continued…Why the Spirit Inside You is Better than Jesus Beside You

About the Author

Greg Gilbert (MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior pastor at Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of What Is the Gospel?, James: A 12-Week Study, and Who Is Jesus? (forthcoming), and is the co-author (with Kevin DeYoung) of What Is the Mission of the Church?.

Product Details

  • File Size: 196 KB
  • Print Length: 130 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1433515008
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (March 9, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003DQK77E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,019 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Basics March 27, 2010
How is it possible that the very heart of the Christian faith is so misunderstood? Even by professing Christians?

Greg Gilbert's book "What is the Gospel?" does an excellent job in explaining the Good News of Jesus Christ. Gilbert helpfully lays out four facets to clarify this foundational truth. First, we are created beings who owe God honor and obedience.

Second, we have rebelled against God. Others have phrased this "Cosmic Treason." The consequence of our rebellion or sin is eternal death (damnation). That's the bad news. Very bad news.

But Gilbert's third point is the Good News: God sent his only son, Jesus Christ - who is fully God and fully man, to do what no one else could do: live a perfect life and so deserve life. But then Christ chose to die. To take the wrath of God on behalf of sinners.

Finally, Gilbert says that this Good News is good news to us - not someone else. We take part in Christ's work by God reckoning Christ's perfect life as ours. How? Through our faith (also a gift of God), believing in the finished work of Christ's death on the cross and trusting only in Christ's work - not our so called good works.

The Gospel is God's work to save us from our sins and also the power for us to live a life honoring to the God of all creation. Good News, indeed.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Gospel April 17, 2010
"What is the gospel?" The 9Marks blog asked the question and found that Christians who took the time to leave a response had very different answers. A quick survey of a dozen "What We Believe" pages on church websites will yield a dozen different explanations of the gospel. According to Greg Gilbert, an associate pastor for Capitol Hill Baptist Church, many of those explanations are not biblical. In his book, What Is the Gospel?, Gilbert turns to the Bible, specifically the sermons and writings of the apostles, as the ultimate authority for understanding the gospel. He writes, "We approach the task of defining the main contours of the Christian gospel by looking at what the earliest Christians said about Jesus and the significance of his life, death, and resurrection." Many in this generation are confused about the Gospel, for our traditions, reasoning abilities, and personal experiences have lead us astray. Gilbert encourages us to do our duty to preserve the gospel in our generation.

He first visits Romans 1-4. In Romans, Gilbert explains the purpose of Paul's writing and the main points he makes regarding the gospel in those opening chapters. Gilbert found that Paul asks and answers four key questions:

1)Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?
2) What is our problem? In other words, are we in trouble and why?
3) What is God's solution to that problem? How has he acted to save us from it?
4) How do I - myself, right here, right now - how do I come to be included in that salvation? What makes this good news for me and not just for someone else?

These four questions provide the frame for the rest of this book. Gilbert devotes one chapter to answering each question.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is the Gospel? May 4, 2010
Book Review

By Jason Scott

What is the Gospel?
By Greg Gilbert

This short book (121 pages) is a must read for both Christians and non-
Christians. Greg Gilbert masterfully explains the gospel in a balanced and crystal clear manner. Gilbert uses this book to answer four important questions: 1) Who made us, and to whom are we accountable to? 2) What is our problem? 3) What is God's solution to this problem? 4) and how do I became a part of this solution? Pg. 31

Gilbert explains that before we can talk about the good news (the gospel) first we must have an understanding of what the bad news is. Gilbert takes us on a journey through the creation of man, the fall of man, the redemption of man through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and ultimately our restoration with our Creator in His Kingdom.

Gilbert rightly emphasizes that the only way we can have restoration is through faith in Jesus Christ, and repentance for our sin that separates us from God. He also rightly emphasizes that the Cross of Christ must be the center of the Gospel. This is refreshing as there are many out there who are offended by stark cruelty of the cross and attempt to reach God in their own way. The cross is offensive, why should someone have to suffer in such a horrible way for us? Only when we understand how offensive our sin is to God, and realize that man had to suffer for their sin, will we humbly bow before Jesus and thank Him for what He did on the cross.

Gilbert concludes this book by encouraging Christians to share the Gospel with others:
"If you are a Christian, realize that you
hold in your hands the only true message
of salvation the world will ever hear.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want this in the hands of every church member! May 14, 2010
What is the Gospel? That's a tough question especially for someone to attempt to answer in their first attempt at a book. Greg Gilbert has had some training for sure, however, in his work with Mark Dever, so I was pretty confident that he could do it.

Actually, this is not my first experience with Gilbert answering this question. I have recently read his addendum to Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Gospel where he takes this question on and I've had the privilege to hear Gilbert speak recently on this very topic. In his addendum to the written version of the T4G2006 conference, he addressed the debate as to whether the Gospel was the announcement of the Kingdom or the message of how to enter the Kingdom. In a nutshell, he answered that it is both and that either side by itself is tragically in error. When I heard Gilbert speak, he used to book of Romans to outlines his "four crucial questions."

The questions are brought out early in this book:

1) Who made us and to whom are we accountable
2) What is our problem?
3) What is God's solution to that problem?
4) How do I come to be included in that salvation?

In this book, he does a good job showing how many passages throughout Scripture outline the gospel in the form of answering those questions. He devotes a chapter to each. First he discusses God as the Righteous Creator. With some clever satire, he shows how many Christians have reduced God to a "kind, affable, slightly dazed and needy but very loving grandfather who has wishes but no demands." Gilbert argues that in order to understand salvation, we must understand "that this loving and compassionate God is also holy and righteous, and that his is determined never to overlook, ignore, or tolerate sin."

Next, the book moves to sin.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid look at the true Gospel
I enjoyed reading through this book, and I think it is a great book to be given to those who maybe grew up knowing about Christianity but fell away. Read more
Published 1 day ago by T
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Explanation I've Come Across
This is an easy read. Please do yourself a favor and read it, understand it, then share it with someone else.
Published 5 days ago by Josh Woodward
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Simple gospel presentation. Based on the book "What is the Gospel?". By Gilbert
Published 7 days ago by Susan Bellig
5.0 out of 5 stars True Gospel
Perhaps the best book about the Gospel I've ever read!
Published 12 days ago by William Sackett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Easy to understand.
Published 23 days ago by Julia
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear concise, compelling.
Great book. As a pastor, I even used it to teach through the basics of the gospel to an adult class. Purchased the tracts that go along with it too. Read more
Published 25 days ago by DMJ4Truth
5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed Gilbert's clarification of what the Gospel of the...
I thoroughly enjoyed Gilbert's clarification of what the Gospel of the Bible really is. This is such a practical and helpful little book for anyone wanting to better understand and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rebecca Bitner
5.0 out of 5 stars very informative about the core of Christianity
Simply description of the Gospel. It is good for new Christians or for those who are interested in knowing what Christianity is all about.
Published 1 month ago by Christopher W. Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Carson is always tops.
Published 1 month ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great reminder of the centrality of the Gospel.
Published 2 months ago by bart hughes
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