Monday, November 27, 2017

The Gospel of the King

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God" (Romans 1:1).

The word 'gospel' is the English translation of the Greek term euangellion, which means “good news.” When Jesus first appeared, He announced the Gospel of the kingdom: “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near’ ” (Matthew 4:17). After Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, the apostles proclaimed the Gospel not only of the kingdom, but of the King. Thus, Paul said, “I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19).

In Romans 1:1, however, Paul speaks of the Gospel of God. When Paul speaks of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he means the Gospel about Jesus; but when he speaks of the Gospel of God, he means the Gospel that comes to us from God. God proclaims the Gospel about Jesus to us.

Thus, the whole task of evangelism is simply that of repeating to the world what God Himself has first declared. God was the original Messenger. In fact, the Messenger sent the message incarnate, because Jesus is called the Logos, the Word of God, who lived among us and made a living proclamation of Himself (John 1:1ff.).

As we begin a study of the Gospel, we need to take up one problem. During the 19th century, skeptics began to deny the supernatural element in the Gospel. They formulated the “social gospel”—the idea that the true Christianity dealt with people learning to get along with people. From the New Testament perspective, however, there is no such thing. The Gospel is the message about a Person, and what He accomplished redemptively and cosmically.

Since the Gospel is true, the social implications are staggering. Because the church embraces the Gospel, she must have a conscience about the needs of men. Our social consciousness flows out of the Gospel, but never replaces the Gospel. Is your faith too privatized, with no impact or outreach to the community or individual needs? Consider today what the appropriate balance should be.