The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

by Mike Ratliff

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.” Mark 1:14-15 (NASB) 

In my Cruden’s Concordance introduction for the word “gospel” it reads, “The English word gospel comes from the Anglo-Saxon gõdspel which meant good tidings through, gõdspel or god-story. The word in the original (Greek) in the New Testament is εὐαγγέλιον, from which, through the Latin evangelium, comes our word evangel, with its derivatives. In the New Testament, it is the Christ-message, not the books which were written to spread that message. Later it was applied to the four books which tell of the earthly life of Jesus—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” The word translated as Gospel in Mark 1:15, which I placed at the top of this post is εὐαγγελίῳ, which litterlly means “good message” or “good news.” Why is it “good news?”

10 as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,
17 And the path of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:10-20 (NASB) 

That is not good news, but bad news indeed. Even trying to keep the law of God only makes it worse. That means that trying to please God by being religious does no good. Doing good works like feeding the poor and hungry does no good. No one is justified in God’s sight by attempting to keep the law since through the law comes knowledge of sin. So what is the solution?

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. Romans 3:21-31 (NASB) 

Here is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ my brethren. The righteousness of God comes only to His people through faith in Jesus Christ, that is, those who believe. There is no one who is exempt from this requirement. Why? For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. How are we justified? It is by God’s grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God put forward as our propititiation by His blood, to be received by faith. We looked at this not long ago in the post Our Propititiation. Oh my brethren, the gospel is not about what about how it makes us feel or anything that is in us, but is all about what God has done FOR US. Our salvation is God’s good work. It had to be this way because dead people are incapable of anything having to do with life.

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.Never forget this my brethren and thank the Lord daily and as often as you can throughout each day for having mercy on you because of His great love for you with which He loves you. Even when we were dead in our trespasses and sins, He made us alive together with Christ by grace. He raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly placed in Christ Jesus. For by His grace we have been saved through faith, not by our own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that we may not boast. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10 (NASB) 

What is the good news? The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the good news of God is that even though we were dead in trespasses and sins, incapable of even choosing to believe God, repent, and be saved, He had mercy on us and provided a way for us through Christ our propitiation. To God be the glory!

Soli Deo Gloria!

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