If you were to attempt to summarize the gospel in as few words as possible, how would you do it? How would you boil it down to its most basic essence? How many words would you need?
J.I. Packer says that he can name that tune in just three (3) notes. In his book, Knowing God, Packer offers a three-word summary of the central message of the New Testament:
“[W]ere I asked to focus the New Testament message in three words, my proposal would be adoption through propitiation, and I do not expect ever to meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than that.” (p.214)
Adoption through propitiation. In Christ believers are not only justified and accounted righteous in the sight of God, but also adopted into the family of God (!). And how is that made possible? Through Christ’s work of propitiation, whereby He took the wrath of God that we deserve for our sins upon Himself on the Cross.
Sinners are made children of God because of the death of the Son of God on their behalf! What an amazing truth! That is the amazing grace of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ!