John Piper: "The highest, best and final good in the good news is God himself."
The point of that simple sentence is that the highest, best and final good in the good news is God himself.
In no way do I want to diminish what has traditionally and biblically been called “the gospel” — I just want to make sure we tell the whole story.
So here’s my summary of Jesus’ gospel in six steps.
These are all essential. If any one of them were to be removed, there would be no gospel.
1. The gospel is a plan.
The gospel originated in the mind of God. It was his plan before the foundation of the world.
2. The gospel is an event.
The gospel is an event in history. It really happened. If there was no historical Jesus, and if he did not die and rise from the dead, there would be no gospel.
3. The gospel is an achievement.
In dying, Jesus absorbed the wrath of God.
4. The gospel is a free offer.
The good news would vanish if all that “achievement” on the cross were available only by the performance of sufficient good deeds. Therefore, an essential part of the gospel is that this news is proclaimed to all and offered freely to whoever will have faith in Jesus.