Definition of the Gospel


#1

What is the Gospel?

Well, if you as two people in different denominations you are likely to get two different answers. (Or as a rabbi once said, ask two Jews about anything and you get three different opinions).

I’m asking this in part because of the current discussion going on here. I want to explore what it is we ought to be witnessing to people as ambassadors of Christ.

Most evangelicals would refer to Romans Road as a tool in order to present the Gospel in a quick and understandable manner to the lost (mostly revolving around Romans 3:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23, and the key verse of Romans 10:13). I’ve used this most recently myself. However, a good analysis of the context with which these verses lie reveal much more that what a cursory reading of the verses appear to mean, particularly in regards to Romans 10. We have to keep in mind that Paul, in Romans chapters 9-11, is address his concern for Israel to be saved, as Romans 10:1 states.

Of particular interest in this chapter is Paul’s usage of Old Testament scriptures to make his points. No less than 12 quotes are made, primarily from the book of Isaiah. So it would serve our inquiry to examine these quotes in their original OT context. For example, let’s take our key verse of Romans 10:13:

*“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” *

On the surface, it seems like this is a good verse to get the witnessed person to ‘call upon name of the Lord’ in prayer in order to ‘receive Christ’ as Savior, with theb general understanding that the Lord is Jesus. But the original quote is actually taken from Joel 2:32 and reveals quite a different kind of salvation:

“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”

Obviously, and you’ll get a better understanding if you read the whole chapter in Joel, this is all about the nation of Israel’s physical deliverance at the Day of the Lord through the coming Messiah, and in no means refers to personal individual salvation.

Then Paul asks,

“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? 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!”

Again, in context, this quote is from Isaiah 52:7 is about the restoration of the nation of Israel. Then Paul goes on,

*“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” *

Here we have Isaiah 53:1, which gets into that famous Messianic chapter of the Suffering Servant. A description of the crucifixion in detail as God lays the iniquity of Israel on Him, making His Soul an offering for sin.

I absolutely agree that ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’

But then Paul asks is Israel has heard? An the surprising answer is a resounding ‘Yes’! the answer found in quote of Psalm 19:4:

“Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.”

The actual psalm renders it this way:

*"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun," - Psalm 94:1-4*

So what is declaring the Gospel here? The creation of God! And this falls perfectly in line with what Paul said way back in Romans 1:19-21:

*"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."*

The reason Israel need a preacher is not that they need to know who the God of Israel is, but because they were not glorifying God. They were BACKSLIDDEN. They were trying to suppress God in their foolish thoughts. This isn’t about those who have never heard. The wonders of Creation already reveal the Truth of God.

Going back to Romans 10:

*"But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people."*

Because of Israel’s stubborness, God turned to the Gentiles and manifested Himself to them, as He provokes Israel jealousy. The good news is that God is found by those WHO SOUGHT ME NOT! That is the Gentiles. The gospel is now extended to all peoples, UNTIL the fulness Gentiles is come in (Romans 11:25) THEN ALL OF ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED (Romans 11:26)! Saved from what? Saved from ungodliness when the Deliverer shall come out of Zion. God will save His people, Israel from their sins (and Gentiles, too, of course, but to the Jews first…)

My point is that we need to be aware of the misconceptions in the common verses we use as part of our presentation of the gospel. Not everything is as it seems.


The gospel
#2

Good observations above!

I believe everything is as it seems, though not everything was taught as it seems.:slight_smile: Bad doctrines corrupt good intentions. :smiley:

Bad doctrines corrupt good intentions, Israel created laws which God did not command, and rules which God despised in order to protect them from the Laws God commanded and rules God had guided. These hedges, as they were called, were meant to stop a person from breaking the divine Law, but consequently were the very trigger in which Israel had broke divine Law.

There is a bunch of people who believe they know something, regardless of the fact they know anything about it. So they are busy discussing what they think about it, and what was thought becomes what they thought was truth and therefore people begin to talk about things which are not truth at all and argue over nothing! LOL.

Craig


#3

Good point! The road to hell is paved with them. :wink:


#4

Dondi.

The true Gospel Of Jesus Christ was prophesied by Him in Mark 16:15-20.

15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. :wink:

The Gospel was never to be preached in words only but in POWER! (1Corinthians 4:19-20) :wink:


#5

So how many of those proofs of one’s salvation (snake charming, casting out devils and tongues (mind you I’m against tongues on a first date :smiley: ) etc…) do you do BA? Mind you even people who could do them are told to depart - a lot of Christians are going to get a shock - I do hope you’re not one of them.


#6

Believe on what exactly, BA?


#7

Jeff.
Read verse 17. :wink:


#8

Dondi.

The kingdom of God is at hand. :wink:


#9

Hi Dondi:

You’ve become quite the prolific contributor here; and that’s a good thing!

Here are a few thoughts on what the Gospel is…

That there should be such a thing as “good news” implies strongly that the prevailing prior state of affairs was essentially BAD news. So maybe if we can get a grasp on the nature of that bad news, which is now super-ceded by this “good” news, we can get a flavor of the nature OF this good news??

What’s the bad news? Well, perhaps the bad news is more of a description of our condition (“our” as in human race) and has been painted in hues like “lost” and “in darkness” and “as living under delusion” and many more. In other words, there existed a deeply serious problem – the solution to which is the “good news” that the problem has been remedied.

Now there’s a nearly endless number of ways to characterize our prior “problem” – perhaps the most common of which is that we had a “debt” we could not pay. Thus, problem is un-payable debt; solution is payment of that debt on our behalf.

Or, we liken our “problem” to darkness; which is of course “solved” by the in-flooding “Light” – the arrival of the Christ.
Following closely on this theme is the idea that our problem was that we were alone; dark, cold, alone, and friendless – then God Himself comes to be with us… Immanuel!!

But darkness and lostness also imply strongly a severe lack of awareness or knowledge of God; this has been dispelled, again, by the Light of the world. Problem is lack of knowledge of the true God; solution (good news which destroys the bad news) is the REVELATION of God to the universe via the very person of GOD in Jesus, the Christ.

I have very close friends who like to say that the gospel is the good news that God is NOT like His enemies have made Him out to be; rather, He is as revealed in the person of His Son, Jesus. — lot of truth in that phrasing it seems to me…

Too often (it seems to me) the gospel is reduced to some personal goody or benefit or gain (it is that too of course) when in essence the good news is vastly more huge; so huge it engulfs everything! Engulfs, redeems, restores. The good news then is not so much about me, but about GOD!

Lest we forget, the word “save” comes from “salve” and has far more to do with healing than it does with legalities and such. To say then that God saves is to say that God heals. It’s what He does. Good news then is that God heals!!!

And, as a doctor myself, I must say I’ve never met anyone who refused healing. But if such exists, I shudder at the broken mindset which must cause such self-loathing; a problem which itself must be healed.

Just a few random thoughts while enjoying 70 degrees here in FL (after days and days of cold weather…)

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#10

So all I have to believe is that the kingdom of God is at hand? Kool!


#11

Thanks, TotalVictory, for your enlightening viewpoint, particluarly with the ‘salve’ explanation. It gives a much keener sense of the word in terms of healing. And might I add that applying alcohol to a wound is very painful, but will kill all the germs that threaten to make the condition worse, no?


#12

Oh yes Dondi:
Being healed is not a particularly pleasant experience — why else would we refer to it as ‘hell’?? :question: :bulb: :smiley:
That hell exists (for me, as place of discipline/training/learning/rehabilitation – not ECT) speaks to the “Good News” That God is so committed to our saving/healing that He’ll do whatever it takes. In spite of the fact many of His actions WILL be misunderstood temporarily. (For example; this is about the only way I can have peace with a God of such apparent violence as we see in the OT…)

But I’d like to note how deeply inter-related many of these posts/threads really are if we care to make the connections. For example, the title of F&B’s thread could serve as yet another articulation of the Good News ~~~~>
WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT God is tracking you down through Jesus, just as through Adam sin and death tracked us down. And God has not yet lost a single patient!

(Noting JeffA’s observation in the F&B thread that there is some responsibility to receive the gift blends nicely with the idea that the patient must COME to the doctor/hospital and comply with treatment etc etc ~~~> noting further however that the one who is UNwilling to receive the gift of healing suffers yet another type of illness – a psychiatric one – wherein he needs to first be healed of THAT! Enter Jesus the psychiatrist to reorder our sense of reality…)

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#13

Total Victory.

Absolutely Amazing that you think hell is a rehabilitation center. No proof from the bible of this. :blush:


#14

There’s plenty of scripture that shows that God’s intention in punishment is that the sinner repent.
Sonia