Saturday, August 30, 2014

Insight: What is the Gospel?

What is the Gospel?

Our Memory Text this week says: " 'And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come' " (Matthew 24:14, NKJV).   What does the verse mean?   The following outline borrowed from Come And Reason Ministries gives us an idea:

 What gospel?

o the good news about God – His character and methods

 What kingdom?

o The kingdom of love, which means the law of love, the way love operates, functions, the design for life

 What witness?

o To witness truth, love, freedom, helping others, not retaliating, loving enemies, giving to those who mistreat

 What end?

o The end of selfishness, lies, pain, suffering, death

So, what about the good news about God, His character and methods?  Why is that good news?  Why is that the gospel?  Ellen white says that, "The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with scripture. The student should learn to view the word as a whole, and to see the relation of its parts" (Ed. 190).  In that light let us go to scripture to see how the Bible defines the Gospel.

First we should note that the Mark introduces his book as the Gospel of Christ.  Approximately, a dozen times Paul identifies the Gospel with God or Christ.  So we know that the Gospel refers to Christ.  Paul declares in Romans 1: 16,

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Paul is not saying here that the salvation if only for believers, but that it is only effective on believers. So, it is the power of God that saves.  In 1 Corinthians 1: 17 – 18 Paul says,

1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.


This text associates the preaching of the Gospel with the preaching of the cross.  Furthermore, it equates them by calling them: the power of God.  Why is the cross so important?  We read in Philippians 2: 8,


Phi 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.


The death of the cross was considered by the Jews as hanging from a tree, which Paul says,


 Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:


But, it is through this death that we were reconciled to God.  We read in Romans,


Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.


It was because He loves us that He sent Jesus to die for us.  We read in Romans 5: 8,


Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


It was not that Christ takes our place cutting us loose.  We read in Romans 6,


Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Rom 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:


It is clear then that we die in or with Christ, therefore we are resurrected in Him.  Christ did this for the whole world.  We read in 1 John,


1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1Jo 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.


We do not have to be afraid of God.  We do not have to run away and hide and He calls our name as He comes to see us.  We can trust Him.  We can depend on Him.  Paul says in Romans 8,


Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?


Do we believe it?  Should we not let others know?

Raul Diaz