If an unbelieving friend came up to you and asked, “What’s so great about the Gospel, anyways?” what would you tell him or her?
It seems like a slam dunk kind of question, doesn’t it? And my guess is that most Christians would readily give a number of answers related to how they have been forgiven of all of their sins, saved from hell, given the gift of eternal life, and had their life completely transformed. What’s wrong with these answers? Absolutely nothing. We ought to bring up all of these amazing benefits and more. But there is more greatness to the Gospel than its benefits to me or you. The greatness of the Gospel, ultimately, is its unequaled display of God’s character and attributes. That is, the death of Jesus Christ for sinners and His bodily resurrection from the dead (1 Cor.15:3-4) reveal more about who God is than any other event or action in the history of the world. In the Gospel, God is shown to be:
- Holy—The cross demonstrated God’s hatred of sin, for His eyes are too pure to approve evil. (Hab.1:13)
- Just—The cross demonstrated God’s perfect punishment of sin. (Rom.6:23; 2 Cor.5:21)
- Righteous—The cross revealed God to be right in both punishing sin and justifying the sinner at the cross. (Rom.3:23ff)
- Merciful—The cross was the ultimate demonstration of God withholding punishment from those who deserve it by placing their punishment on another. (Is.53)
- Gracious—The cross was the ultimate demonstration of God freely giving life and joy and peace to those who do not deserve it. (Eph.2:8-10)
- Loving—The cross demonstrated His indescribable love in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. (Rom.5:8; John 3:16)
- Wise—The Gospel is the greatest demonstration of God’s unsearchable mind and inscrutable plans. (Rom.11:33)
These attributes of God, along with many others, were revealed in the progressive revelation of the Old Testament, but in the Gospel they are all put on full display in one moment, one event, one act of obedience that forever changed the world. In the end, the Gospel is great because it shows us our great God.