What is the gospel? Pt 1

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[ by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith

Romans 1.1-5

Over the next 6 days I am going to reprint 6 answers to the question ‘What is the gospel?’ taken from John Chapman’s book ‘Know and tell the gospel’ – Matthias Media which is a must read for all who want to do just what the title implies. These answers nerved and encouraged me when I first read them and I pray that they will do the same for you.

1.The gospel is God’s

Paul tells us that he is “set apart for the gospel of God” (verse 1). 

The gospel has its origin in God. He is the first evangelist (Galatians 3:8). The gospel which Jesus preached is described in exactly the same way (Mark 1:14). No-one, not even the Lord Jesus, is at liberty to make up their own gospel. The gospel has its origin in God the Father. He is its author and he alone is able to state its content. This fact is both challenging and comforting to any person who preaches the gospel.

Since God has stated the gospel, then care must be taken to make sure I have rightly understood it. That is the challenge. The gospel is a powerful message (Romans 1:16). It is powerful because it comes from God. However something which is like the gospel but isn’t the gospel at all, will lack any power to affect the lives of men and women in any permanent way.

The gospel is God’s gospel – he is the author and he states the content – and what a relief that is. We don’t have to take the responsibility for the reactions of people to it. We didn’t make it up! All we have to do is pass on the message. We will have to take full responsibility for the way we tell the gospel but not the content. I heard of an undergraduate student who was so outraged by the gospel that he verbally attacked a Christian over the nature of the gospel. The Christian explained to the student that he must take that matter up with a much higher authority since it was not his gospel, but God’s gospel.

It is a challenge and a relief.


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