Trying to come up with a list of essentials to center a gospel message on. I've seen the "Roman road of salvation" used before, but I am wondering if there are any specific summaries in the Bible I can use to create my own approach.
In addition to the 1st Corinthian verses already quoted, here are some from 2nd Corinthians:
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto the. For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." (4:3-5)
"God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them... we pray you in Christ's stead, Be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (5:18-21)
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul warned of the danger they were in of being lured astray by a false gospel, so this helps expose what to look out for:
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed... it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen... Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified... For if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (1:3-9, 15-16 &2:16-21) All. A.V. translations
The danger that Paul warned of, that was luring people away from the gospel of Christ, was how some insisted they had to retain legalism - performing legalistic 'works'. That corruption of the gospel is still at work today - legalism. Watch out for it.
The Gospel of Christ is all about the Christ of the Bible, who was born sinless of the virgin Mary, gave himself a sacrifice to God to reconcile sinners to God, and because he died sinless and death could not hold him, he arose in triumph over the grave, and it is because he lives that his resurrection power flows to believers. He is returning in great glory to usher in the Day of Resurrection and Judgment. That also belongs to the gospel message.
Yes! 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, "Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, vs2, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
Vs3, For I delivered to you as the first imp0rtance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, vs5, that He appeared to Cephas/Peter, then to the twelve."
It should be noted that these text are considered to be a "creed." A Creed is a summary of what the Church teaches, and what Christians together believe, rather than a detailed statement of individual and personal belief.
Also, there are various essential teachings of the Christian faith. 1) The Trinity; There is one God in three persons, with each person possessing all the attributes of deity and personality; 2) The Person of Jesus Christ: Jesus is the unique God-man, possessing full humanity with undiminished deity; 3) The Second Coming; Jesus will one day personally return. 4) Salvation by grace according to Ephesians 2:8-9. 5) Salvation through Jesus Christ alone. 6)The resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Other essentials include "Monotheism" or the Virgin birth. You can look this stuff up yourself but I pretty much covered them.
The core teaching of the Gospel, traditionally known as the Kerygma, is probably what you're looking for. It's more of something someone has to internalize and use in evangelization (i.e. it's what you can say when someone asks you what does it mean to be a Christian). It's the central four ideas, that the world was created good, then we fell from grace, Jesus came to redeem us and what is our response.
The wikipedia article on the Kerygma has a number of Biblical references. Most notably is St. Peter's proclamation in Jerusalem on Pentecost referenced in the beginning of Acts.
There can be many formulas or focus of the Gospel message other than the Western "road to salvation" Rom 3:23,6:23 Isa 64:6 which exaggerates the "all are sinners" snippet, and eliminates any natural immunity and also contradict the overall scripture, especially Rom 2. The need to find an alternative could be driven by from the fact that many do not accept a kind of negative picture of sinfulness, especially when they have not committed any. You can create a versatile approach (like Acts 17) that focus the specific need and context of your target or immediate audience, just like any marketing strategy. And focus on a positive message that liberates people from their sickness, suffering, gives them hope, peace, truth, and relationship with God, a message that touches real practical life rather than a mental gnosis or enlightenment mindset of a religion. Search for relevant verses for your key starting points.
- Luke 4:18-19 ESV “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
- Exo 15:26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.”
- Ps 34:8,16-17 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!... The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
- John 10:9-11 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
- [1John 2:16-17 NRS] for all that is in the world-- the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches-- comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.
- 1Cor 2:9 But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him"