Friday, March 21, 2008
What is The Gospel?
2 Tim 2:8 (NIV) Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel.
• The gospel is a message. It is also referred to in Scripture as a "word", a "doctrine", a "seed", the "good news", "the truth". Because God uses the message of the gospel to reconcile men to himself, it must be taught, heard, understood, believed, confessed and defended.
The Message is That Jesus is The Christ, that He Was Crucified, and Rose Again!
1 Cor 15:1-4 (NIV) Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you have received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
The Message Must Be Taught
Rom 10:14 (NIV) How, then, can they call on one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
The Message Must Be Heard
Rom 10:17 (NIV) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
The Message Must Be Understood
Mat 13:17-23 (Phi) "Believe me, a great many prophets and good men have longed to see what you are seeing, and they never saw it. Yes, and they longed to hear what you are hearing, and they never heard it. Now listen to the parable of the sower. When a man hears the message of the kingdom, and does not grasp it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is like the seed sown by the roadside. The seed sown on the stony patches represents the man who hears the message and eagerly accepts it. But it has not taken root in him and does not last long--the moment trouble or persecution arises through the message, he gives up his faith at once. The seed sown among the thorns represents the man who hears the message, and then worries of this life and the illusions of wealth choke it to death and so it produces no 'crop' in his life. But the seed sown on good soil is the man who both hears and understands the message..."
The Message Must Be Believed
Heb 4:2 (Phi) For we too have had a gospel preached to us, as those men had. Yet the message proclaimed to them did them no good, because they only heard and did not believe as well.
The Message Must Be Confessed
Rom 10:8-9 (NIV) But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
The Message Is Foolishness To Some, Good News To Others
1 Cor 1:18,21-23 (NIV) For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God... For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.
1 Cor 2:2 (Phi) ...It was my determination to concentrate entirely on Jesus Christ. and the fact of his death upon the cross.
The Message Is True, and It Works
Col 1:5-6 (Phi) ...that hope that first became yours when you heard the message of truth. This is the Gospel itself, which has reached you as it spreads out all over the world. Wherever that gospel goes, it produces Christian character, and develops it, as it has done in your own case from the time you first heard and realized the truth of God's grace. (1 Thes 2:13)
The Message Was a Secret, But it is Now Fully Revealed
Col 1:25-26 (Phi) ...that I might fully declare God's Word--that sacred mystery which up till now has been hidden in every age and every generation, but which is now as clear as daylight to those who love God.
2 Cor 4:2-4,18 (Phi) ...We speak the plain truth and so commend ourselves to every mans conscience in the sight of God. If our gospel is "veiled", the veil must be in the minds of those who are spiritually dying. The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, and prevents the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, the image of God, from shining on them... For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are permanent.
The Message Is Valuable, and Vulnerable; It Must Be Guarded
• Because the gospel is an invisible message, it is thus vulnerable to attack. Jesus labeled Satan the "father of lies" (John 8:44-45,47). Satan's agents are "wolves in sheep's clothing" (Mat 7:15,22-23). Satan's efforts are to "infect" the gospel with lies (Act 13:9-10). Much of the New Testament is written to instruct and encourage us to protect the message (Eph 4:14-15).
Heb 2:1-3 (Phi) We ought, therefore, to pay the greatest attention to the truth that we have heard and not allow ourselves to drift away from it. For if the message given through angels proved authentic, so that defiance of it and disobedience to it received appropriate retribution, how shall we escape if we refuse to pay proper attention to that greater salvation which is offered us? For this salvation came first through the words of the Lord himself.