It is particularly important to have a biblical theology in one special area of a church’s life–our understanding of the good news of Jesus Christ, the gospel. The gospel is the heart of Christianity, and so it should be the heart of our faith. All of us as Christians should pray that we would care more about the wonderful good news of salvation through Christ than we do about anything else in the church’s life. A healthy church is filled with people who have a heart for the gospel, and having a heart for the gospel means having a heart for the truth–for God’s presentation of Himself, of our need, of Christ’s provision, and of our responsibility.
When I present the gospel to someone, I try to remember four points–God, man, Christ, response. Have I shared with this person the truth about our Holy God and Sovereign Creator? Have I made it clear that we as humans are a strange mixture, creatures made in the image of God and yet fallen, sinful and separated from Him? Does the person I’m talking with understand who Christ is–the God-man, the only mediator between God and man, our substitute and resurrected Lord? And finally, even if I’ve shared all this with him, does he understand that he must respond to the gospel, that he must believe this message and so turn from his life of self-centeredness and sin?
To present the gospel as an additive to give non-Christians something they naturally want (joy, peace, happiness, fulfillment, self-esteem, love) is partially true, but on ly partially true. As J.I. Packer says, “a half truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth.”