The Gospel

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

John 3:16,17

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth”

Rom. 1:16



What is the Gospel?

In John 3:16 we see God’s great love for a world ready to perish justly under the condemnation of its own sins: a world that has left off God, is separated from God, and does the things which God hates, having no care or love for God.  Yet God finds within Himself a greater love than His enemies have wickedness, a love originating not in anything found in the creature, but only in His good pleasure.  Who is there such as God, who loves the unlovely and even the loveless?  Whose love has no depth, and no height?  And extends even to the ungodly?

In order to demonstrate the magnitude of His love for this unbelieving world, God spared not His only Son in whom He delighted and was well pleased, but sent Him to die as an eternal sacrifice to offer salvation freely to sinners. The perfect life and death of Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, is the price of man’s redemption. God gave Christ freely over to His enemies, who executed the Lord of Glory, not knowing that God was using this for the salvation of the world. Christ came not only to suffer for the sins of His believing people, but also to buy up a righteousness for penny-less debtors which alone can perfectly satisfy God’s law.

You are in a desperate condition, lacking the righteousness that God requires, and having works in your hands that God must punish.  How is it that you, a sinner, will stand before a holy God?  You need a substitute; one to stand in your place. Christ is the only Savior.  He is the only mediator between God and man; you need Him.

God makes a free offer to you, that if you believe in Christ, you will be saved from what you deserve, from perishing in Hell. God offers to you, friend, what you cannot merit, earn or work for.  Salvation is of the Lord.  The only thing we can contribute is the sin that we need to be delivered from.  Salvation is without works to us, because it is merited wholly upon the work of Christ alone.  It costs us nothing because it cost Him everything.  God extends grace even to beggars. See the love of God in Christ for you in offering to you the greatest gift that can ever be received.

It is by believing upon Christ and resting in Him alone for salvation that we are saved.  He is willing to receive you, friend.  Christ calls you to Himself, “Come unto me all you that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  “Ho, every one that thirsts, come to the waters.  He that has no money, come, buy and eat without price.”  Where is greater love manifested, but in this market of free grace, where the poor are made rich?  None are turned away.  Are you a sinner?  Christ is the Savior of sinners.

Christ alone can forgive sin.  He is willing to pardon all of your transgressions, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  He compels you to it by His loving-kindnesses.  “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”  “Whosoever drinks of the water I shall give him shall never thirst again.”

To know Christ is to know eternal life, for He is the resurrection and the life.  He is the One who has conquered death itself by rising from the grave.  In believing upon Christ, He will raise you to newness of life, making you a new creature in Him.  “He that believes on me has everlasting life.”

Friend, Christ is the Lord of Life, and the Glory of Heaven.  For what life is more desirable than one spent upon Him?  And why is eternal life now and heaven to come so pleasant, except that He is with us?




The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

Historic Reformed Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel Interpretation of John 3:16





Alexander, Archibald

‘The Gospel no Failure’, no date or source info, 4 paragraphs

‘The Peace of God’, no date or source info, 5 paragraphs





Polyander, Johannes – 22. ‘On the Gospel’  in Synopsis of a Purer Theology: Latin Text & English Translation  Buy  (1625; Brill, 2016), vol. 1, pp. 556-74

Alsted, Johann Heinrich – ‘On Law & Gospel’  trans. Michael Lynch  in Tome 5 of the Encyclopedia …  (Herborn, 1630), p. 1,614

Maccovius, John – ch. 3, ‘On the Gospel’  in Scholastic Discourse: Johannes Maccovius (1588-1644) on Theological & Philosophical Distinctions & Rules  (1644; Apeldoorn: Instituut voor Reformatieonderzoek, 2009), pp. 97-107

Maccovius (1588–1644) was a reformed, supralapsarian Polish theologian.



Fentiman, Travis

‘John 3:16 – God’s Love for all Mankind in the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel’  (2014)  16 paragraphs

‘Jesus the Friend of Sinners’  (2014)  10 paragraphs

Is Jesus friendly to the unconverted?  The Bible says ‘Yes’, as well as historic reformed theology.





Wendelin, Marcus Friedrich

ch. 19, ‘Of the Instrumental Causes & Parts of the [Gospel] Offer, where is of the Gospel, Calling & Covenant’  in Christian Theology  (Hanau, 1634; 2nd ed., Amsterdam, 1657), bk. 1, ‘Knowledge of God’, pp. 314-25

ch. 21, ‘Of the [Gospel] Offer & of the Covenant in the Old [Testament]’  in Christian Theology  (Hanau, 1634; 2nd ed., Amsterdam, 1657), bk. 1, ‘Knowledge of God’, pp. 341-53

ch. 22, ‘Of the Gospel in Specific, so called, [& the Offer in the NT] & of Baptism’  in Christian Theology  (Hanau, 1634; 2nd ed., Amsterdam, 1657), bk. 1, ‘Knowledge of God’, pp. 353-79




“The children of men have despised and rejected Him, but we never read that He despised and rejected men.”

“Jesus is a suitable Savior to a lost sinner.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan




Related Pages

On the Law & Gospel


The Covenant of Grace