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
4.The gospel is about a Man/King …cont…(to be read in conjunction with yesterday’s blog)
Any other experience I may have of Jesus is not to be put forward to men and women as the gospel. My ‘experience’ of Jesus can and must be understood in terms of God’s revelation of him in the Scriptures. The gospel is anchored in history. It is almost impossible to ask people to commit their lives to Jesus as Lord if they know nothing of this Jesus from the gospels.
The gospel is about Jesus the Man. It is historical and in that sense it may be thought of as old-fashioned. It certainly isn’t new. But novelty has nothing to do with relevance. It isn’t irrelevant because it is historical. In fact the very opposite is the case. Because Jesus is truly human he understands me thoroughly. The Jesus of the Gospels is the Man who walked where I walk. He who was tempted as I am, says “come to me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
In an age which studies little history and puts such a high premium on experience, this aspect of the gospel is often forgotten, yet it is the ground of our assurance.
Often I feel as if living the Christian life is too difficult and I am tempted to give it all away. However I remind myself that this is just not on! Jesus Christ really did live. He did die on the cross and rise again. He did ascend into heaven. I am not mistaken. There is no other life to live than the Christian life unless I ignore the facts. So I press on with it. The Jesus of my ‘experience’ cannot sustain me in such a moment of temptation because I am not sure that my experience is real and true. The Jesus of history can and does sustain me in such a moment because there is no doubt about his reality. He really did happen. The gospel is historical. It is about the Man who is Messiah.