Monday, September 17, 2012

The Gospel is a Message

The Gospel of the Christ is a message. It is not merely a list of facts. It is a message that is conveyed by a particular list of facts which can be neither added to nor taken from. These facts, as important and non-negotiable as they are, are not themselves the message they convey. The Gospel is the only message that conveys how the only salvation available was provided for, and this message alone is the power of God unto that salvation.

We say that Christ died for our sins, and by that we mean the Gospel though not all the facts of the Gospel are spoken. If that statement is made in the proper context it does in fact convey the Gospel of the Christ even though it does not include all of the facts.

So why does Paul state the facts of the Gospel so clearly in 1Cor 15:1-11 in correction of the false doctrine that there is no resurrection that the Corinthians were starting to embrace? Because the facts of the Gospel preserve the message of the Gospel. Some detractors claim that the list of facts given in 1st Corinthians 15 is like a "laundry list" and that a person having to understand each of these facts is not practically plausible. They ask questions like: How well must a person understand? How well do we who are saved actually understand? Still other people try to add concepts to the message of the Gospel such as other requirements for salvation or other promises in addition to that salvation. The facts of the Gospel do not convey these concepts however. There is no submission, works, self-sacrifice or anything else conveyed by the facts of the Gospel as a requirement for salvation to occur. Likewise, no good life, no pleasure, no riches, no power or fame is promised to the Believer by any fact of the Gospel.

The Gospel is a particular message conveyed by particular facts. It is a irreducible message. It is an unchanging message. It is a message of salvation provided for by the Christ. One can accurately convey the Gospel even if particular facts are not explicitly stated. For example, some argue that unless one explicitly mentions the burial of the Christ that one has not actually spoken the Gospel. Or, if one does not mention the various resurrection appearances that the Gospel has not been spoken. Much work in the grammar is done to explain why these facts are in deed part of the Gospel.

The Gospel is comprised of every, and only, all the facts listed in 1Cor 15:1-11. It is the message Paul preached, all the other Apostles preached, and that all the Believers believed.  The "good news" of the Gospel is however that salvation is provided for faithfully, justly, and fully and further that this completely real salvation is received by receiving this very message.

The Gospel is not the facts. The facts convey the Gospel.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Gospel is a Report to be Believed

The Prophet Isaiah opens his great proclamation of the Gospel of Christ thousands with these words:

Isa 53:1 
Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
Isaiah proclaimed the substitutionary death Isa 53:5, burial Isa 53:9 and resurrection Isa 53:10 - and so much more as well. He called this message a report to be believed. 

The Apostle John also calls the Gospel a report to be believed:

John 12:37-38 
37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:       “ Lord, who has believed our report?      And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”
Further the Apostle Paul also quotes Isaiah when he explains how one "obeys" the Gospel, which is to believe the report you have heard.

Rom 10:14-17 
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:       “ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,      Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Verse 16 is most often translated with the phrase "not all obeyed the Gospel" and this has led to confusion. Find a view of the Greek of this verse here. The word translated "obey" in the NKJV and many other translations is actually up─ôkousan"I listen, harken to, obey, answer"actually.

Clearly there is no reason from the immediate context to think this word is being used to indicate obedience to a command, call or any other type of order.

The Gospel is a report which is proclaimed, heard and believed. It is not a call to service. It is not a question about if Jesus is your King, Lord of your life, Master or any other question. The Gospel is a report to be believed. 

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Gospel Is The Christ

The gospel you preach, no matter what you call it, is only the true Gospel if it only, and actually does lead someone to The Christ alone.

If what you preach as the Gospel, or something else as a saving message or whatever, and it can or does lead someone to something other than The Christ then it is not the true Gospel.

Christ said that He is the way the truth and the life. That no one gets to the Father except through Him. The Apostles said there was no other name by which people must be saved. If His, and His Apostles' claims are true then He is the only way and our preaching must be just as exclusive.

Is your preaching that exclusive?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Gospel Is The Cross

As pointed out by Brother Fred LyBrand in his recent open letter.

1 Cor 1:17-25

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18 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. 19 For it is written:

“ I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Gospel Is Good News

One of the main focuses of the book, The Demonstration, will be that the Gospel is "Good News." It is not a list of requirements, it is a proclamation of how all requirements have been met. The Good News is that God died for our sins, was buried, and raised to life the third day to be seen in the flesh by more than 500 people all in accordance with the righteous requirements set out by God Himself in the Scriptures. That IS Good News!
1 Cor 15:1-11

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Demonstration

This blog will be solely about the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of Romans 5:6-11
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
My studies here will hopefully be published in the next year or so as my first book.