Just exactly what is the true Gospel? Every so-called Christian church has its own form, but reason demands that there can only be one true Gospel. Many have claimed that there are many roads to God and that we are all going to the same place. But Jesus of Nazareth said there was a heaven and a hell and that more people would take the broad road to destruction than would take the narrow road to heaven. So, what is the true Gospel?
It begins with grace alone. Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace are ye saved..." (KJV). Romans 4:4 says, "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." (KJV) This means that grace is the opposite of merit. If we work for heaven, heaven is our just due. But if we work we shall not end up there because grace is opposed to merit. Romans 11:6 says, "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." (KJV). Thus, the true Gospel is a message of salvation for those who do NOT attempt to merit it.
Then, the Gospel continues with faith alone. Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith...". (KJV) Faith is a necessity because salvation is the reconciliation of persons who have been estranged. There is no reconciliation of alienated people without the reestablishment of trust. Man, who distrusts God, cannot be reconciled to God unless he repents of his unbelief and begins to believe what God says. Where there is no faith, there is no salvation.
But, faith must have a legitimate object. God is not impressed by "faith". Everyone believes something. The question is: Is the something believed actually true? In other words, since salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, the main issue is: what do we believe? This means that the Gospel points us to a specific object of trust. So, the Gospel is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. There is no object of trust that is acceptable to God except His Son, Jesus Christ. What Jesus said about sin and did on the Cross is what is to be the proper object of our faith. We cannot trust in ourselves, our church, other persons (pastor, priest, rabbi, saint, or other venerated person--thus we must not pray to anyone but the Father in the name of Jesus), or anything. We must trust in Jesus alone.
And, finally, the true Gospel says that God must be the One to whom we give the credit for saving us. So, the Gospel is "to the glory of God alone". If someone, or something, other than God is responsible in our minds for our salvation, we are not saved. The true Gospel is full of "alones". It is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. This is the truth of the Gospel and we who would be saved need to understand that God requires of us that we be unreservedly committed to this Gospel. Out of that commitment all other commitments arise.