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What is the Gospel?

What [ REALLY ] is: “ The Gospel “ ?

"Glad tidings" or "good news, " { from Anglo-Saxon godspell. }

And if you are thinking of saying it is the “ Good News “ that is not the definitive answer ! That is simply trading one cliche` for another.

1 Corinthians 15:3

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”

That is the definition in a nutshell. CHRIST died for our sins according to the scriptures. The gospel is about JESUS ! If we give our testimony to our neighbors, saying, “I became a Christian last year. I gave my heart to Jesus,” we are bearing witness about Jesus, but we are not telling them the gospel, because the gospel is not about us. The gospel is about Jesus—what he did, his life of perfect obedience, his atoning death on the cross, his resurrection from the dead, his ascension into heaven, and his outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church. We call those crucial elements the objective aspects of the New Testament gospel of Christ.

In addition to the person and work of Jesus, there is also in the New Testament use of the term gospel the question of how the benefits accomplished by the objective work of Jesus are subjectively appropriated to the believer. First, there is the question of who Jesus was and what he did. Second is the question of how that benefits you and me. That is why Paul conjoins the objective account of the person and work of Jesus (particularly to the Galatians) with the doctrine of justification by faith alone, which is essential to the gospel. In preaching the gospel we preach about Jesus, and we preach about how we are brought into a saving relationship with him.

The Old Testament. Good news is proclaimed widely ( 1 Sam 31:9 ; Psalm 96:2-3 ; Isa 40:9 ; 52:7 ), spread rapidly ( 2 Sam 18:19-31 ; 2 Kings 7:9 ; Psalm 68:11 ), and declared and received joyfully ( 2 Sam 1:20 ; Psalm 96:11-12 ; Isa 52:7-9 ; Jer 20:15 ).

Where the message is gospel for Israelites and based on fact, the news is in every case but one ( Jer 20:15 ) related to God the Savior. Psalm 40:9-10 celebrates his saving help. Kings and armies are scattered by the Almighty ( Psalms 68:11 Psalms 68:14 ). It is he who delivers David from his enemies ( 2 Sam 18:19-31 ). A direct act of God puts the Syrians to flight ( 2 Kings 7:1-9 ); he breaks the Assyrian yoke ( Nahum 1:13 Nahum 1:15 ). Having conquered Babylon by the hand of Cyrus ( Isaiah 41:25 Isaiah 41:27 ), the mighty God returns to Zion ( 40:9-10 ). The peace and salvation announced in Isaiah 52:7 are won by his sovereign power ("Your God reigns!"). "The year of the Lord's favor" brings glad tidings to the afflicted ( 61:1-2 ).

The explanation for God's saving action lies nowhere but in God himself. In whatever measure Israel has paid for her past sins ( Isa 40:2 ), she remains a sinful people ( 42:25 ; 46:12-13 ). She is saved by divine grace alone ( 55:1-7). There being no righteousness to reward, Yahweh Acts to create righteousness in Israel ( 45:8 ; Isaiah 61:3 Isaiah 61:10-11 ). The penalty for sin is exacted not from Israel but from the Servant appointed to stand in her place ( 53:4-12 ). Through the Servant's work, many will be justified ( 53:11 ); those who possess no righteousness ( 43:25-28 ) will be acquitted.

The joy that attends the gospel finds ultimate expression in the praise of God. "Praise be to the Lord your God!" exclaims Ahimaaz in reporting victory to David ( 2 Sam 18:28 ). The glad tidings of Psalm 68:11-14 are recollected during a festal procession celebrating God's enthronement (cf. Psalm 40:9-10 ). The watchmen of Isaiah 52:7-8 shout for joy over Yahweh's return to Zion. Psalm 96:1-3 summons the whole earth to tell of Yahweh's salvation, to "bless his name" and "declare his glory."

(Isa. 52:7). The watchman in the watchtower would look as far as the eye could see into the distance. Finally, he would see the dust moving as the runner sped back to the city to give the report of the battle. The watchmen were trained to tell by the way the runner’s legs were churning whether the news was good or bad. If the runner was doing the survival shuffle, it indicated a grim report, but if his legs were flying and the dust was kicking up, that meant good news. That is the concept of gospel in its most rudimentary sense. Bringing the world the good news of the gospel of CHRIST JESUS, making known that we ALL have Hope, a SAVIOR. Releasing us from the bondage of the old red dragon, ( satan).

The gospel is under attack in the church today. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get the gospel right and to understand both the objective aspect of the person and work of Jesus and the subjective dimension of how we benefit from that by faith alone.

Many modern seminary professors, (supposedly evangelical), are teaching

that the doctrine of imputation—by which our sins are transferred to Christ on the cross and his righteousness is transferred to us by faith—is of human invention and has nothing to do with the gospel. “ W H A T ? ? ? “

That statement SHOULD make you weep and mourn. That teaching,

that statement underscores how delicate the preservation

of the gospel is in our day and how careful the church has to be in every age

to guard that precious good news that comes to us from GOD ALMIGHTY.

The gospel is the possession of Jesus, but, even more, Jesus is the heart of the content of the gospel.

Philippians 1:27

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” CHRIST JESUS’S saving grace is all throughout the Bible. Cover to cover.

The New Testament: Stage One ! Except for Galatians 3:8 and Hebrews 4:2, 6, the New Testament restricts gospel terminology to proclamations made during the time of fulfillment, when the salvation promised in the Old Testament is actually accomplished. According to Mark 1:1-4 the gospel "begins" not in the Old Testament but with John the Baptist, in whom Old Testament prophecy is fulfilled. The promised birth of John, Messiah's forerunner, is good news ( Luke 1:19 ). John's own preaching is gospel, too ( Luke 3:18 ): it warns sinners of impending doom and urges them to repent before the axe falls ( 3:7-9 ); it assures the repentant of forgiveness ( 3:3 ) and membership in Messiah's community ( 3:17 ). Messiah's own birth is announced as "good news of great joy" ( 2:10-11 ). According to Romans 1:1-5 the gospel promised in the Old Testament is actually given when Jesus comes (see also Acts 13:32-33 ).

Jesus' gospel declares: "The time has come. The kingdom of God is near" ( Mark 1:14-15 ). God reigns eternally over all that he has made. Yet his will is not done on earth as it is in heaven; wrong, not right, prevails. But these conditions are not final. With the coming of the kingdom, God's rule will be complete; wrong will be judged and right established. That kingdom is now being inaugurated: "The time has come" ( Mark 1:15a ) for Old Testament promises to be fulfilled. The consummation of the kingdom is no longer a distant prospect; the full realization of God's rule is "near" ( Mark 1:15b ).

Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

The clock is ticking. Time is a physical property, and not made to stand forever. “ Time “ is a restricting constraint. It will be announced

at one point that: “ TIME NO LONGER..” Revelation 10:6

Until that declaration is made -- WE as the church, are to be proclaiming

The gospel to everyone, everywhere, until the fullness of the gentiles

Come in. Until then -- We have a JOB TO DO ! Declare the GOOD NEWS of CHRIST JESUS ( and ) THE PROMISE

Of HIS COMING. That is to say, ( now a days ) HIS SECOND COMING ! ! ! So put on your armor of GOD

And go and give to everyone the GOOD NEWS !

1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

1 Corinthians 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

Romans 10:15

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

1 Corinthians 15:45

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

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