“The heart of the gospel is the good news that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead. What makes this good news is that Christ’s death accomplished a perfect righteousness before God and suffered a perfect condemnation from God, both of which are counted as ours through faith alone, so that we have eternal life with God in the new heavens and the new earth.” – Christianity Today, June 2009

“The gospel of Christ is the good news that at the cost of his Son’s life, God has done everything necessary to enthrall us with what will make us eternally and ever-increasingly happy, namely, himself.”

– John Piper, The Passion of Jesus Christ

“The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy.”

John Piper, The Gospel in 6 Minutes

The Gospel is the good news of our final and full enjoyment of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  That this enjoyment had to be purchased for sinners at the cost of Christ’s life makes his glory shine all the more brightly.  And that this enjoyment is a free and unmerited gift makes it shine more brightly still.  But the price Jesus paid for the gift and the unmerited freedom of the gift are not the gift.  The gift is Christ himself as the glorious image of God – seen and savored with everlasting joy.

– John Piper, God is the Gospel

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5 thoughts on “Gospel Definitions: John Piper”

  1. Nick says:

    What’s interesting is that John Piper’s definition of the gospel is so much different than what I have heard from anyone else.

  2. trevinwax says:

    Piper’s definition is marked by its emphasis on joy – one of the most important aspects of the Christian life in his theology (and Jonathan Edwards).

  3. Wes Ellis says:

    Piper’s definition works well… especially because it is left open-ended enough that most of us can agree on it even if we would usually disagree on many other issues.
    I have one issue. What about suffering? A definition like this could leave us very surprised when suffering and “taking up a cross” come into the mix. I think a definition of the Gospel should make clear that there is a mission involved in the good news, there is a call to sacrifice.

  4. David says:

    wes,
    i am wondering lately about a division between gospel and devotion. perhaps the gospel that is “good new to the poor” has little to say in regards to sacrifice. I think discipleship is possibly wedded too closely to salvation. I don’t know.. An idea i’m toying with.

  5. Nick says:

    I was thinking more about Piper’s definition today. Although what he says is true, this is not how the apostle’s would have preached the gospel.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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