Graeme Goldsworthy makes a very helpful and essential distinction between what the gospel is and what the gospel produces. He reprimands todays church for switching those two things and puts them back in their places:
-The core of the gospel, the historical facts of what God did in Christ, is often down-graded today in favour of a more mystical emphasis on the private spiritual experience of the individual. Whereas faith in the gospel is essentially acceptance of and commitment to, the declaration that God acted in Christ some two thousand years ago on our behalf, saving faith is often portrayed nowadays more as trust in what God is doing in us now. Biblical ideas such as ‘the forgiveness of sins’ or ‘salvation’ are interpreted as primarily describing a Christian’s personal experience. But when we allow the whole Bible – Old and New Testaments – to speak to us, we find that those subjective aspects of the Christian life which are undoubtedly important – the new birth, faith, and sanctification – are the fruits of the gospel. This gospel, while still relating to the individual people at their point of need, is rooted and grounded in the history of redemption. It is the good news about Jesus, before it can become good news for sinful men and women. Indeed, it is only as the objective (redemptive-historical) facts are grasped that the subjective experience of the individual Christian can be understood.-
Graeme Goldsworthy, The Goldsworthy Trilogy, 20-21.