The Gospel in two Minutes

     The Bible is a big book with lots of information.  There is information about God, the origin of the universe, mankind, sin, salvation, Israel, the church, the future, etc.  It’s my opinion that a good teacher knows the Bible well enough that he/she can delve into its depths and provide solid biblical answers to life’s biggest questions.  However, I also believe a good teacher should be able to condense a lot of information and—without compromising accuracy—give a short answer in plain language (Charles Ryrie has impressed me with his ability to do this very thing).  Over the years I’ve worked to take the essentials of the Gospel message and present it quickly and concisely.  In one sense, the Gospel can be as simple as 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, John 3:16, or Acts 16:31.  However, these verses, as wonderful as they are, do not answer some of the issues that stand behind them.  For example:

  • Why did God send His Son into the world?
  • Why did Jesus go to the cross and die?
  • What’s wrong with me that God had to act on my behalf?
  • Is there any way, other than the cross, that I can be reconciled to God?

To answer these—and other issues—I’ve condensed my Gospel presentation down to about two minutes.  I’m hoping to make it even more concise in the future.  Here’s basically what I communicate:

The gospel is the solution to a problem. There are two parts to the problem.  First, God is holy (Ps. 99:9; Isa. 6:3), which means He is positively righteous and can have nothing to do with sin except to condemn it (Hab. 1:13; 1 John 1:5).  Second, all mankind is sinful and separated from God (Rom. 3:10-23).  We are sinners in Adam (Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:21-22), sinners by nature (Rom. 7:14-25; 13:12-14), and sinners by choice (Isa. 59:2; Jam. 1:14-15).  To further complicate the problem, we are helpless to solve the sin problem and save ourselves (Rom. 5:6-10; Eph. 2:1-3).  Good works have no saving merit before God (Isa. 64:6; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5).  We cannot save ourselves any more than we can jump across the Grand Canyon or throw rocks and hit the moon.  But God, because of His mercy and love toward us (John 3:16; Eph. 2:3-7), did for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He provided a solution to the problem of sin, and that solution is the cross of Christ (1 Cor. 1:18).  God the Son—the second Person of the Trinity—came into the world by human birth (Luke 1:26-35), lived a perfectly righteous life (Matt. 5:17-21; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 John 3:5), and willingly died in our place and bore the punishment for our sins.  The gospel message is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).   Jesus died in our place, “the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18; cf. Rom. 5:6-10).  In order for us to be reconciled to God, we must simply trust in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31).  When we trust in Christ as our Savior, we are forgiven all our sins (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14), and given eternal life (John 3:16; 10:27-28).

Steven R. Cook, M.Div.

Related Articles:

  1. The Gospel Message  
  2. Heaven Belongs to Little Children  
  3. Soteriology – The Study of Salvation  
  4. Three Phases of Salvation  
  5. Illumination and the Doctrine of Election  

About Steven R. Cook, M.Div.

Steven is a Christian educator. His webpages communicate evangelical Christian doctrines and topics. Steven earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2006 and pursued doctoral work in Expository Preaching and Systematic Theology. His articles are theological, devotional, and promote a biblical worldview. Studies in the original languages of Scripture, ancient history, and systematic theology have been the foundation for Steven’s teaching and writing ministry. He has written several Christian books, dozens of articles on Christian theology, and recorded more than three hundred hours of audio and video sermons. Steven worked in jail ministry for over twelve years, taught in Bible churches, and currently leads a Bible study each week at his home in Arlington, Texas.
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