From chapter 2 of God is the Gospel: Piper spends some time uncovering the truth that basic to the Great News is the fact that there is a living God and that we can turn away from our worthless idols to love Him (Acts 14:15).
“In a world so full of brokenness and sin, there simply can be no good news if God does not break in with kingly authority.” God is the only one who can undo what has been done by Adam. The penalty weighs heavily on us all, and is inescapable. Someone from outside of this mess, yet with authority over it, must enter the situation to set things aright.
“The actual experience of a particular person’s being saved is not part of the gospel. But that experience happens when the person believes the gospel, and part of what they believe is the promise that on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus they will be saved.”
The Great News is objective, not subjective. Meaning it is something outside of us that has happened, and the implications of that event. When this Great News is believed, we do have a subjective experience as a result. This subjective experience must be rooted in the objective reality of the Great News.
“The King must die before he reigns. Otherwise the justice of his reign would only bring judgment and not salvation.”
Hence our incredible need for the Savior of whom the Great News speaks. Apart from the substitutionary atonement Jesus’ arrival is Incredibly Bad News. And it will be for all those who persist in unbelief upon His return.