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Defining The Gospel Part 1

Defining The Gospel Part 1

Biblical Worldview Course – 6a

 

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This session will attempt to place the prior sessions into a framework for a Gospel message which is consistently recognizable throughout the Scripture.

 

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The content of this classes notes are below with partial formatting. If you would like to see the notes with complete formatting,

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DEFINING THE GOSPEL

THE GREAT COMMISSION

THE GREAT COMMISSION

A.    In light of the coming Kingdom, the Restoration of all things, and the Day of the Lord, the apostles were instructed to preach this ‘Gospel’ to the whole world beginning in Jerusalem.

44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” … 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed (i.e. before ‘all things’ are completed) in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luk 24:44, 46-47 NASB)

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Luk 24:25-26 NIV)

B.    The “Great Commission” was simply the command to call the nations to repent (i.e. and obey) and believe that the crucified Lord, Jesus, is the One whom God appointed and anointed (i.e. gave authority) to judge the living and the dead and to restore the earth from it’s fallen state.

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (i.e. to bring the Day of the Lord) 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them (unto inclusion) in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mat 28:18-20 NASB)

  • 42 “And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” (Act 10:42-43 NASB)

A FAMILIAR MESSAGE

A FAMILIAR MESSAGE

A.    Within the context of the first apostles, the message was very simple. Both at the beginning in Jerusalem as well as throughout Israel and the various synagogues within the diaspora, the message was essentially, “Jesus is the Christ.”

22 But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ. (Act 9:22 NASB)

B.    Thus, the early ministry of Paul and the other apostles was primarily to enter into a synagogue, and declare that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ. This was not only an affirmation of the Messianic expectation, but it was actually giving the Messiah arms, feet, and even a mother, brothers, and a hometown.

2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” (Act 17:2-3 NASB)

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know– 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. … 32This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. … 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christthis Jesus whom you crucified.” (Act 2:22-23, 32, 36 NASB)

C.   An often overlooked but key point within the narrative of the Book of Acts is that the message of Paul and the other Apostles—along with all of it’s implications—was understood clearly enough to land them in prison and even martyrdom.

D.   Saul was met on the road to Damascus on a mission from Jerusalem to stir up the Jews against the believers in Jesus, and to imprison them. The Pharisees and Sanhedrin were not doing this simply because they were zealous for truth, but rather because the identity of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah was sentence of condemnation to them since the Messiah will crush the wicked at His coming.

E.    A primary evidence that the Gospel preached in the book of Acts was not a redefinition of the Messianic hope is that when it was preached in Jerusalem it was an offer of mercy for the ones guilty of killing the Messiah. The offer of mercy was placed in context to the One who is going to crush His enemies at His coming in the clouds (cf. Luke 11:20).

23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. … 34 “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, 35 UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.“‘ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ” Brethren, what shall we do?” (Act 2:23, 34-37 NASB)

14 “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. … 17 “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 “But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, … 23 ‘And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ … 26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” (Act 3:14-15, 17-20, 23, 26 NASB)

F.    The term ‘the Gospel’ was not a new term nor idea, as is commonly supposed. This is the primary reason that there is little clarity regarding the Gospel message itself. The assumptions which have been made regarding the nature of the Gospel within most of Western Christianity assume a totally new starting point in the New Testament. The Apostles clearly understood the Gospel within the context of a message preached in the Old Testament.

8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” (Gal 3:8 NASB)

32 “We tell you the good news (Gr. euongelizo): What God promised our fathers 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father. (cf. Ps. 2) ‘ 34 The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’ … 38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. (Act 13:32-34, 38 NIV)

  • 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. … 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, (1Cr 15:20, 23 NASB)
  • 7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.'” 10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. (Psa 2:7-10 NASB)

2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us (‘euongelizo’), just as they did (cf. vs. 7-11); but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. (Hbr 4:2 NIV)

BRIEF SURVEY OF 'THE GOSPEL' IN THE SEPTUAGINT

BRIEF SURVEY OF “THE GOSPEL” IN THE SEPTUAGINT

A.    The creation of the Septuagint was a significant development during the intertestamental period. It was the first time that the Hebrew Old Testament—read by very few—was translated into Koine Greek, which was the primary read and spoken language in the 3rd century B.C.

B.    The Septuagint[1] was so successful that by the time of Jesus and the apostles it was the most well read text of the Old Testament Scriptures even in Israel. Most of the New Testament references to the Old Testament are taken from the Septuagint.

C.   The Greek word for ‘gospel’, which is used in the New Testament is ‘euongelion’ (or ‘euongelizo’ for the verb). The book of Mark begins with Jesus preaching the ‘Gospel’ of God.

14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mar 1:14-15 NASB)

D.   Upon hearing Jesus’ words, no one understands this as a new thing that Jesus is saying. This is simply the ‘Gospel’ that the prophets had proclaimed. Jesus’ lack of concern to correct their assumptions seems to validate what they must have assumed.

E.    ‘Euongelizo’ is primarily a word developed by Isaiah the prophet. The first time the word ‘euongelizo’ appears in the book of Isaiah is chapter 40.

9 You who bring good tidings (LXX ‘euongelizo’) to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings (LXX ‘euongelizo’) to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” 10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. (Isa 40:9-10 NIV)

  • 1 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’ (cf. Is. 40)” (Mat 3:1-3 NASB)
  • 30 The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail. 31 The voice of the LORD will shatter Assyria; with his scepter he will strike them down. 32 Every stroke the LORD lays on them with his punishing rod will be to the music of tambourines and harps, as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm. (Isa 30:30-32 NIV)
  • 9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon? (Isa 51:9 NASB)
  • 1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD (cf. Is. 30:30, 40:10, 51:9, 52:10) been revealed? (Isa 53:1 NASB)
  • 5 “I looked, and there was no one to help, And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; So My own arm brought salvation to Me, And My wrath upheld Me. (Isa 63:5 NASB)
  • 12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. (Rev 22:12 NASB)

7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news (LXX ‘euongelizo’), Who announces peace And brings good news (LXX ‘euongelizo’) of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, They shout joyfully together; For they will see with their own eyes When the LORD restores Zion. 9 Break forth, shout joyfully together (cf. Is. 30:32), You waste places of Jerusalem; For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God. (Isa 52:7-10 NASB)

28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 And on my servants and on my handmaids in those days will I pour out of my Spirit. 30 And I will show wonders in heaven, and upon the earth, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord come. 32 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved: for in Mount Sion and in Jerusalem shall the saved one be as the Lord has said, and they that have glad tidings (LXX ‘euongelizo’) preached to them to whom the Lord has called. (Joel 2:28-32 LXX [Brenton])


[1] The Septuagint—literally ‘seventy’ in Greek—was named since it is believed that it was developed and translated by 70 Jewish scholars living in Alexandria in the 3rd century B.C. It is often referenced as ‘LXX’.

Bill Scofield Bill Scofield (52 Posts)

Bill is husband to Charis, and father to their 6 children. He is a Bible teacher, elder, and missions trainer.


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