Did Jesus Preach the Gospel?

Same Gospel

In an age where absolute truth doesn’t seem to exist, Christians need to hold fast to the truths of the gospel. But some see Jesus’ sermons and Paul’s letters proclaiming separate messages—not as a part of one cohesive gospel. Christian leaders John Piper, Timothy Keller, and D.A. Carson talk about Paul and Jesus and their messages. They argue both preach the same gospel and provide a biblical perspective on the gospel and the kingdom. 

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and Chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. Dr. D.A. (Don) Carson is currently Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and co-founder and president of The Gospel Coalition. 

John, Tim, and Don agree that Jesus and Paul delivered the same gospel message. The central message of the gospel is the Cross of Christ, which casts a shadow over the four Gospels and each of Paul’s letters. 

Each speaker talked about why some believe Paul and Jesus didn’t preach the same gospel. What do you think about John, Tim, and Don’s conclusions? Do you see continuity in Paul and Jesus’ teachings? Why or why not?
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Tim pointed out the three essentials of the gospel message:

  1. Jesus is the Messiah.
  2. He died an atoning death that justifies through grace.
  3. He overcame evil and death and will return to complete that victory.

What is your response to these three essentials? Does your church tradition add anything to this list? If so, what and why?
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Just as Jesus and Paul preached the gospel, we are to share the gospel with people of all nations. Who could you tell the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to this week? What steps could you take to develop a fuller understanding of the gospel over the next week?
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Reflect on the message of the gospel—on Jesus’ life, His gruesome death, His glorious resurrection, and the promise of His return. Spend time in prayer thanking God for sending Jesus. Pray for those in your life who do not yet know Him. Ask God to equip you to share the gospel with them with clarity and love. 

To learn more about the Gospel Coalition, click here.