Gospel = God’s good news plan of salvation (forgiveness of sins, right standing w/God, temporal and eternal blessings of God).
According to Paul’s words in (Gal 1:6-9), there is only one gospel that truly saves (or will get you to heaven). And that gospel is not according to men or angels, but God. As such, the identification of a true Christian – or Christian church is determined by the gospel they preach.
Below represents the gospel based on the conviction that not only do all 66 books of the Bible represent God’s Word (i.e. both Old and New Testament), but are authoritative and necessary to determining its message (2Ti 3:15-16).
According (then) to God (or the entirety of His Word):
- The gospel centers on Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Joh 3:16, 14:6; Act 4:12; 1Co 15:1-4; Luk 2:10):
1.1. For this reason it is called the gospel of Christ (1Co 9:12; 2Co 2:12, 9:13, 10:14; Gal 1:7; Phi 1:27; 1Th 3:2; 2Th 1:8; 2Ti 2:8)
1.2. As it re: to forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7)
1.3. As it re: to a right-standing w/God (Rom 3:22-24 [btw – notice, we are justified or made right w/God as the necessary consequence of redemption – or the forgiveness of our sins – not some additional act on the part of Jesus –e.g. the claim of those holding to Active Obedience, see also Heb 10:10)
1.4. As it re: to temporal/eternal blessings (2Co 1:19-20).
- The gospel has been the same from the beginning (Gal 3:8; Heb 4:2a; hence the reason the writer of Hebrews can say – Heb 13:9 w/Jud 1:5 and 1Co 10:1-4).
- The gospel requires that we 1) enter into a marriage covenant w/Jesus 2) by entering into His covenant community (or church) 3) through the blood sacraments given to that community 4) and our sacred vow of faithful obedience to all that He commands:
3.1. …that we enter into a marriage covenant w/Jesus… (Eze 16:8; Jer 31:31-34 w/Heb 8:6-10; Eph 5:25; 2Co 11:1-2; [Die Bundesformel] “I will be their God and they shall be my people”  – Gen 17:7-8; Exo 6:7, 29:45; Lev 26:11-12; Deu 26:17-18, 29:13; Jer 7:23, 11:4, 24:7, 30:22, 31:1,33, 32:38; Eze 11:20, 14:11, 34:22-30, 36:27-38, 37:23-27; Hos 2:23; Zec 8:8, 13:9; 2Co 6:16; Heb 8:10; Rev 21:3,7).
3.2. …by entering into His covenant community/church… (Psa 3:8, 98:1-3; “Zion” [God’s covenant community or kingdom on earth] = Isa 45:13, 62:11-12; Psa 9:1-14, 14:7, 20:1-9, 69:35-36 w/74:2, 87:1-7, 149:1-4 w/Heb 12:22-24; also 1Jo 2:19; Act 20:28; hence the reason Jesus can say – Joh 4:22; Mat 16:18-19 w/Gen 28:17; hence also the reason Jesus can say it is the “gospel of the kingdom” – Mat 4:23, 9:35, 24:14; hence the reason the early church could say, “there is no salvation outside the church [covenant community]).
3.3. …through the blood sacraments given to that community… (OC = circumcision and sacrifice – Gen 17:9-13//Gen 15:10-18; Exo 12:1-51 //re: necessity – Gen 17:14; Exo 12:19; Num 9:13///NC = baptism and the LT – Col 2:11-12; 1Pe 3:21 = this is the place God accepts our faith; //Mat 26:28 w/Joh 13:1-10; 1Co 5:7///re: necessity – Mar 16:16; Joh 13:8).
3.4. …and our sacred vow of faithful obedience to all that He commands (Exo 24:7-8, Lev 11:44 and Num 15:40 w/1Pe 1:1-2, 14-17; a vow of faithful obedience is equally a commitment to complete repentance since this is its antithesis – 1Jo 3:4; Luk 3:8-18).
CLOSING CONTEMPLATION = Three Questions: 1) Is this the true gospel according to God (His Word in its entirety)?, 2) How many claiming to be Christians or Christian churches are preaching this gospel? 3) What is our burden (if this is the gospel according to God and few are preaching it) (Mat 28:18-20)?
 Active Obedience = Jesus’s perfect obedience has also been applied to us as necessary to our justification/right standing w/God.
 This formula follows very closely in form to the vow taken by the potential groom in ancient Israel, “I will be your husband, and you shall be my wife.” (Marriage and Family in the Biblical World, p. 45). The Bundesformel therefore lends further support to the marriage argument.
 Sacrament = A prescribed covenant sign giving to the proper recipient what that sign signifies (versus ordinance = a memorial or demonstration of faith).