Steve Timmis is the co-founder of The Crowded House, an international group of church planting networks, and the co-director of the Porterbrook Network, an initiative that trains church planters. I just finished listening to his Total Church training audio, and in session one, he defines the gospel. Obviously the gospel is so large and so infinite that it cannot be put into one sentence. Nevertheless, the more ways we can say it biblically and faithfully, the more we will be helpful to people. Timmis says that the gospel is that
Jesus, God’s promised rescuer and ruler, lived our life and died our death and rose again in triumphant vindication as the firstfruits of the new creation to bring forgiven sinners together under his gracious rule.
Timmis admits that this is not meant to summarize the gospel in all its glory. After all, he says, God took the whole Bible–all 66 books–to summarize the gospel. This definition, he argues, simply gets to the heart of what the gospel is, and he spends the first session of his training (in the “audio” link above) unpacking this definition. I encourage you to listen to it.
If you had to give the gospel in a nutshell, what would you say?