At the very core of our faith is a proper definition and understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. No other time is this necessary than in our current culture when the gospel seems to be in the process of being redefined by many groups and/or individuals. People mean many different things when speaking of “the gospel.” For this reason, we must understand what we as Evangelical Christians mean when we speak of the gospel. A few days ago, I read a devotional by John Piper that accurately outlined in five points an easy run-down of the gospel. I have re-printed it here in full. It is entitled, “A Five-Point Summary of the Gospel.” I hope this helps you get a firm grasp on the simple truth of the gospel to help you in your daily fight of faith as well as prepare you to give an answer for the hope you have in Christ.
Here’s a summary of the gospel to help you understand it and enjoy it!
1) God created us for his glory.
“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory” (Isaiah 43:6–7). God made all of us in his own image so that we would image-forth, or reflect, his character and moral beauty.
2) Every human should live for God’s glory.
“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). The way to live for the glory of God is to love him (Matthew 22:37), trust him (Romans 4:20), be thankful to him (Psalm 50:3) and obey him (Matthew 5:16). When we do these things we image-forth God’s glory.
3) We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Although they knew God they did not glorify him as God or give thanks to him…but exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images” (Romans 1:21–23). None of us has loved or trusted or thanked or obeyed God as we ought.
4) We all deserve eternal punishment.
“The wages of sin is (eternal) death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Those who did not obey the Lord Jesus “shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). “They shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (Matthew 25:46).
5) In his great mercy, God sent forth his only Son Jesus Christ to provide for sinners the way of eternal life.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). “Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18).
 The original text can be found at http://solidjoys.desiringgod.org/en/devotionals/a-five-point-summary-of-the-gospel. Accessed on March 20, 2014.