What is the Gospel?


#41

I’m thinking that that IS the difference 'twixt He and us (one of the many differences) - He was tempted like us, but without sinning.

I am now going to overcome all possible objections by laying down a profound - and profoundly profound in its profundity - saying from my mother-in-law Pauline, rest her soul.
This came after a …well, a profoundly great roast beef after church, taters and gravy and fixin’s, ("Now you eat every potato and pea on your plate <children’s laughter - ‘she said pee on your plate’> when the men-folk, seated comfortably on the back porch and sipping iced tea and waiting for pie were arguing from the great heights of their intellectual prowess, and Mom came out and said: You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair.

!! :open_mouth: :open_mouth: QED. Case closed. Party is over. Take that to the bank. So cool, it’s hot. :laughing: :laughing:

Of course this IS the same mother in law who later in life, living with me and my wife, said to me one morning as I was leaving for a dentist’s appointment : “Watch out for the red monkeys” - which disturbed me and caused the dentist to drop a dental burr.


#42

Dave, that’s funny! :laughing:
To me, Jesus was simply the one true God in the flesh. I say this because I know of no other perfectly, perfect being.


#43

Prior to his incarnation, the Son of God did not have a human nature.
During his incarnation, the Son of God did not have a divine nature. He was 100% human. By becoming human, He divested Himself of his divine attributes—could do no miracles. It was God the Father who accomplished the miracles THROUGH his Son.
After his incarnation—I am not sure. perhaps NOW He has both a divine and human nature. But I think it may be totally divine again.

… though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming like people, and found in every way as a man. (Philippians 2:6,7)

This passage states that prior to his incarnation, He was in the form of God—not that He WAS God.

He was “found in every way as a man.” While He walked this earth, He WAS a man.


#44

This sounds like evidence that Jesus is “the only God.” But if that were true, then whom was Jesus addressing when He prayed? When I was a teenager, I asked this question to a Baptist minister’s wife, who seems to have been a Modalist, though she thought she was a Trinitarian. She replied to me, “Don, haven’t you ever talked to yourself?” So was Jesus talking to Himself when He prayed?

Yes, in the Isaiah passage, Yahweh says, “I am Yahweh, and besides Me there is not Savior.” Justin Martyr indicated that the Son and the Father share the name “Yahweh” with his reference to Genesis 19:24 where TWO divine individuals are denoted as “Yahweh”—one in heaven and one on earth. Abraham was talking to the one on earth, and addressed Him as “Yahweh.” And then we come to Genesis 19:24.

Then Yahweh rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from Yahweh out of heaven.

The Yahweh on earth to whom Abraham was speaking, was the Son. The Yahweh in heaven was the Father. The latter rained fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, using the former as his agent.

Thus there is no problem in affirming both that Yahweh is the only Savior, and that the Messiah, God’s Son, is the Savior of the world."


#45

Paidion,

Why think He didn’t have a human nature before the incarnation? The Bible says we are created in the image and likeness of God. Yes God did the miracles through Jesus but it says:

This passage says Jesus and the Father are one. Also,

.

Moreover, Christ just took on flesh at the second incarnation and became a man. It doesn’t say He didn’t have a human nature though. Human nature being an Intelligent Rational Being with Mind, Will, and Emotions - free from sin.


#46

I think the gospel, “good news”, euagellion- needs to have both a short term and long term application to really be effective(As it did with Jesus and the disciples).

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

When I think of Paul saying, “I am determined to nothing among you but Christ crucified”, I think the proclamation of Jesus on that cross, for love, is the message that changes hearts, and will change the whole creation, through the reality of it, and the beauty of it.

God loves you and has forgiven you through the blood of His cross". “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them”. “For so it pleased the Father for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself by the blood of Hos cross.”

God was in that blood that spilled onto the ground, sufficient to redeem the whole earth and all in it throughout all ages. God was in that water that spilled from His side and now the whole earth will be covered with the glory of God as the water covers the sea. God was in that last breath as Jesus gave up the ghost, and now everyone who breathes it in is made new in the Spirit of resurrection.

So God loves you, and Jesus loves you, -They love everyone, and someday, you will know that love. (The sooner the better LOL)


#47

To me, Philippians 2:6,7 means this: Though Jesus was in the form of God,(God’s mode or state of existence which is Spirit) He came to earth as a man( physical form). Thus Jesus was still God in Spirit, yet He appeared as a man. What He emptied Himself of was His legal authority as God, and He became a servant. This He did to show us that in order to become a ruler, one must be a servant to others.


#48

Paidion - does this passage really teach that He had a pre-incarnation existence?


#49

Dave,

I hold that the first Incarnation was “In The Beginning At The Big Bang” - The Cosmic Christ


#50

An interesting theory for sure - I don’t know what to make of it, though!


#51

Paidion,

The logical binary thinking you use of either/or - black or white - true or false leads to heaven or hell. This is one reason why I’m a Catholic Universalist. It’s not binary either/or but both/and. In the human realm it’s not us or them but both. When duality is held together we can forgive and love our enemy. That’s why everyone will eventually make it to heaven. For the Catholic Universalist the only time it’s all or nothing is when it comes to love.


#52

Paidion, in reading back through previous posts, and pondering on the subject, I’d say that I would have to agree with you here. I suppose the heart of the Gospel would be the Kingdom of God on earth. For there is only one God, one King, ruler of all, who created the heavens and the earth. This being the case, no man has the right to rule over another since we are all equally subject to Him and Him alone. Thus there are no real “kings of the earth”, but we are all simply judges of God’s word, each of us having equal right to judge for ourselves(except, of course, in the event that one should violate the right of another). Any man who tries to establish a kingdom other than one which follows God and His laws, will fall to destruction. Until we all come to this realization, there will be no peace or harmony.


#53

The gospel of the kingdom of God is the gospel of Jesus Christ and includes His death, burial and resurrection, the reasons for it and the consequences of it.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

The gospel does not end at the beginning, but includes all the mysteries;

The mystery of Christ in you the hope of glory

The mysteries of the kingdom of God

The mystery of the Gentiles becoming inheritors with the Jews through the gospel

The mystery of the resurrection of the dead

The mystery of the Bride and the Bridegroom

The mystery of His will and kind intention to restore all things…

All of these things begin at Christ crucified(Alpha) and end with God becoming All in All(Omega)

It is an unfolding revelation, a blooming flower, a morning star rising to full noon…


#54

Eaglesway, If I’m understanding you correctly, you see the gospel as starting with Christ. If so, I suppose my viewpoint would be different. I see the gospel as starting from the beginning of creation. For as it is said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” I believe that things once known get lost in history, especially things from way back in time. So I don’t really see it as something new, but something lost and then found again or in other words, resurrected from the dead.`


#55

I believe Christ is the Logos, and all things start with Him. He is making all things new, and that(to me) is the Good News(gospel- euagelion)


#56

Eaglesway, As you mentioned, I would also have to agree that the gospel consists of more than one thing and includes the fact that God loves us all. I believe the gospel is what brought a lot of people to the New World and is what our founding fathers established this country upon. In looking around the world at the many countries ruled by socialist/communists, I would say that they are in dire need of the gospel. I would also add that if we don’t get busy preaching as well as following the gospel in our own country, we might end up falling to the same fate.


#57

I agree with this LLC. But it is a very broad stroke. The gospel is built(imo) upon the pillars of the two great commands. These teach that we live at the pleasure of God and ought to seek to please Him in our manner of living(1) and that the most effective way to do that is to love our neighbor as ourselves(2).

Jesus said all the law and the prophets are summed up in these two sayings. IMO Jesus was the living embodiment of those two sayings. The kingdom of God is fulfilled in those two sayings as well- and the practical effect of faith in Jesus Christ ought to express itself through those two sayings. The purpose of His sacrifice is to save us from failing in those two pursuits and the power of His resurrection enables us, through the Spirit of grace, to succeed in living within those beautiful parameters.

Western style Christianity is so corrupted, focused on theology and membership in self perpetuating systems, such as the self-help perspective, a kind of “t-shirt Jesus” narcissism, or the 'right-wing we’re so righteous" church culture- that I think what is needed now is equally alien to both western society, eastern(mid asian) and communistic society- not to mention Islamic societies which in a sadly perverse kind of way are almost like the western fundamentalist Christian ethos(or maybe pathos :slight_smile:) of the last 50 years.

A good example of this is our current presidential campaign. Bernie Sanders probably exhibits the values closest to the kingdom of God message Jesus proclaimed, even tho he is an unbeliever and “off” on issues like abortion and gay marriage. Hillary Clinton is a professing Christian as is Donald Trump but wow, how far off of the likeness of Christ can a person get while maintaining that claim? pretty far I guess. Then you have Cruz, Kasaich, Rubio, Carson- all playing the “Christian” card but not one of them speaking with any boldness against corporate oppression and the corruption of government we have abounding in this country.

Its a real conundrum and of late has brought me back somewhat from my activism to a state of prayer from which I understand in a new way the words,

“Come Quickly Lord Jesus!”


#58

Eaglesway, I agree that the two greatest commandments are the very foundation of what we must build all things upon, otherwise it all falls apart.
However, I’d have to say that Bernie Sanders does not represent the gospel in any way shape or form. But, I suppose that would be a whole different topic of discussion. :wink:


#59

Dave, I can see that the passage could be interpreted as his being born in the form of God. I think it refers to his pre-incarnate existence, however, for there are plenty of other passages that indicate this, including his words, “Before Abraham was I am.”


#60

Thanks Paidion, I get what you are saying.
Here is the way I am thinking about it - this is a short excerpt from biblicalunitarian.com, which resonates with things I’ve studied elsewhere as well:

"3. The argument is made that because Jesus was “before” Abraham, Jesus must have been God. There is no question that Jesus figuratively “existed” in Abraham’s time. However, he did not actually physically exist as a person; rather he “existed” in the mind of God as God’s plan for the redemption of man. A careful reading of the context of the verse shows that Jesus was speaking of “existing” in God’s foreknowledge. Verse 56 is accurately translated in the King James Version, which says: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” This verse says that Abraham “saw” the Day of Christ, which is normally considered by theologians to be the day when Christ conquers the earth and sets up his kingdom. That would fit with what the book of Hebrews says about Abraham: “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10). Abraham looked for a city that is still future, yet the Bible says Abraham “saw” it. In what sense could Abraham have seen something that was future? Abraham “saw” the Day of Christ because God told him it was coming, and Abraham “saw” it by faith. Although Abraham saw the Day of Christ by faith, that day existed in the mind of God long before Abraham. Thus, in the context of God’s plan existing from the beginning, Christ certainly was “before” Abraham. Christ was the plan of God for man’s redemption long before Abraham lived. We are not the only ones who believe that Jesus’ statement does not make him God:
To say that Jesus is “before” him is not to lift him out of the ranks of humanity but to assert his unconditional precedence…

  1. In order for the argument that Jesus’ “I am” statement in John 8:58 makes him God, his statement must be equivalent with God’s “I am” statement in Exodus 3:14. However, the two statements are very different. While the Greek phrase in John does mean “I am,” the Hebrew phrase in Exodus actually means “to be” or “to become.” In other words God is saying, “I will be what I will be.” Thus the “I am” in Exodus is actually a mistranslation of the Hebrew text, so the fact that Jesus said “I am” did not make him God.

  2. …claim that the Jews picked up stones to stone Jesus because he was claiming to be God (John 8:59), but that is an assumption. There is a different explanation that is supported by better evidence: the Jews picked up stones to kill Jesus because they understood he was claiming to be the Messiah. At Jesus’ trial, the High Priest asked, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God” (Matt. 26:63). First of all, we should notice that no one at the trial asked Jesus if he were God. However, if they thought he had been claiming to be God, that would have certainly been a question they would have asked. The High Priest asked Jesus in very clear terms if he was the Christ because that is what the Jews knew Jesus was claiming to be. Second, when the Jews heard Jesus’ clear answer (“Yes, it is as you say”), they accused him of blasphemy and said, “He is worthy of death” (Matt. 26:66). They felt he was worthy of death in the record in John 8, but in that record they picked up stones to kill him, while after hearing his “blasphemy” at the trial, they took him to Pilate and got the Romans to execute Jesus."

I think the argument has merit.