Monday, April 27, 2009

the Gospel

What is the gospel? To hear some speak, the gospel is merely the facts. They say that 1 Corinthians 15 makes it clear that the gospel is compromised of the facts of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Well, let's see.

1 Corinthians 15:1-5 ( NASB ) 1Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

First, the word gospel means "good news." Good news is a message, not facts.
This message was made known, preached, and received.
They took their stand on this message.
They were saved by this message.
They were expected to hold fast to the word which was preached in order to remain saved.
If they let go of the message, they would have believed in vain.

Second, the message of the apostles was persuasive.
They taught with an end in mind. They wanted their listeners to hear and heed what they heard.

Knowing the fear of the Lord, they persuaded (2 Cor. 5:11).
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain—(2 Cor. 6:1)
Acts 18:4 ( NASB ) And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
2 Tim. 2:24-26 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Third, they sought obedience to their message.
Obedience to the gospel was their goal (Rom. 10:14; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; 1 Pet. 4:17).
Paul wanted those who believed the gospel to be obedient to the faith (Rom. 1:5; 16:25-27)see also Acts 6:7.

The power of the Gospel worked when people believed the message about the facts and heeded that message. The gospel is God's power to save (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:21).

Let's not commit the fallacy of confusing the points of the message with the purpose of the message. The good news is a message of salvation to the one who hears and obeys.


1 comment:

reborn1995 said...

i think it's also very important, revealing, and enlightening to discuss how politically loaded the word "gospel" was in the first century. i think we're often too engulfed in contemporary debates that employ the word to appreciate the connotations it evoked in first century ears.