[Biblemat] S) GOD DELIVERS THE ETERNAL GOSPEL
J5827Sasser at wmconnect.com
J5827Sasser at wmconnect.com
Tue Apr 15 05:25:08 CDT 2008
Brethren and Friends, Jim Sasser here. Here is a study from my
recent files. Use to the glory of God.
GOD DELIVERS THE ETERNAL GOSPEL
The word "gospel" is from the Greek "evangelion," which
literally means "good news." The Lord Jesus Christ chose
twelve men to be apostles, the men who were to carry on His
work after He had gone back to the Father in heaven. Just
before He left them, He told them, "Go ye into all the world
and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth
and is baptized shall be saved, but he that disbelieveth shall
be condemned" (Mk. 16:15,16). Later the apostle Paul declar-
ed, "I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew
first, and also to the Greek. For therein is revealed a righteou-
sness of God from faith unto faith; as it is written, but the
righteous shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16,17).
But how did the gospel come about? How was it delivered
to us, and for what purpose? Let us, in this article, trace the
development of the gospel -- from the mind of God to the
heart and mind of mankind.
The Gospel Was Purposed By God: -- "Unto me, who am less
than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach
unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to
make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery
which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things;
to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers
in the heavenly places might be made known through the
church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal
purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph.
3:8-11). The inspired apostle Paul, in this passage, clearly
shows that it was God's "eternal purpose" to save man from
sin through the gospel.
When, near the close of "creation week," God made man,
He said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...
And God created man in His own image, in the image of God
created He him; male and female created He them" (Gen. 1:26,27). Of all of
God's creation, only man was made in His
image, and God purposed to reveal His plan for man's salvat-
ion from sin -- through the gospel. Having been made in God's image, it is
clear that God purposed that man should be able to live with Him eternally.
The eternal purpose of God to save man by the gospel was first revealed
in the Garden of Eden. When God placed
Adam and Eve in Eden, Satan came to successfully tempt
them to sin. For the first time we see God's wrath against
man's sin. God placed a curse upon them both, and they
were driven out of the garden. They were now alienated from
God, which condition always occurs when man sins: "Behold
Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither
His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have
separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid
His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isa. 59:1,2). But
God was not content to leave man alienated, but purposed on
a plan to reconcile man to Himself, so He told Satan, "I will put enmity
between thee and the woman, and between thy
seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15). As was shown later, this is clear-
ly a prophecy of the victory of Jesus Christ over Satan on the
cross. Hence, for the first time, God makes known His etern-
al purpose to save man by the gospel.
The Gospel Was Promised By God: -- Several centuries after
Adam and Eve, God called Abraham to leave his relatives, his
home and his earthly possessions and to go to a land that God would show him.
Abraham had only the promise of God,
but it was enough: "By faith Abraham, when he was called,
obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive for an
inheritance; and he went out, not knowing whither he went"
(Heb. 11:8). God then made Abraham a promise, "I will make
of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy
name great. And be thou a blessing. And I will bless them
that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse. And in
thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 12:2,
That last phase was later explained when God, after Abra-
ham had obeyed God in offering his son, Isaac, said to him:
"In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 22:18).
This promise of "the seed" -- seen first in Eden
(Gen. 3:15) -- is now made to Abraham, and soon will be rene-
wed to Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David and many others down the
lineage stream until Jesus was born. So the gospel comes one step closer to
Finally, in the days of the prophets, God breaks His silen-
ce again: "It shall come to pass in the latter days, that the
mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top
of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all
nations shall flow unto it ... for out of Zion shall go forth the
law, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem" (Isa. 2:2,3).
And the prophet Daniel joins the chorus, "And in the days of
those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which
shall never be destroyed...but it shall break in pieces and con-
sume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Dan. 2:
44). The prophets foretold the coming of the kingdom, with
which also was to come the gospel, the "good news" of salva-
tion for all mankind. Step by step, those inspired prophets
foretold God's plan to save man, but, "These all, having had
witness borne to them through their faith, received not the
promise, God having provided some better thing concerning
us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect" (Heb.
The Work Of John, The Baptizer: -- The years rolled on into
centuries, until finally, in God's own time, there appeared a
man in Judea, clothed in camel's hair, wearing a leather girdle
and eating locusts and wild honey, whose name was John
(Matt. 3:4). It is written, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ,
the Son of God. Even as it is written in Isaiah
the prophet, Behold, I send My messenger before thy face,
Who shall prepare Thy way. The voice of one crying in the
wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make His
paths straight" (Mk. 1:1-3). John came preaching, "Repent ye, for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 3:2). And
multitudes went out to John to be baptized, "confessing their
sins" (Matt. 3:5,6). John told of One who was to come after
him, "Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize
you in the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 3:11). One day, as John was
baptizing in the Jordan, this very man of whom he had spoken came requesting
to be baptized of him. Although John protested, Jesus said, "Suffer it now:
for thus it becom-
eth us to fulfil all righteousness...And lo, a voice out of the
heavens, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased" (Matt. 3:15-17). John came into the world as the
forerunner of God's own Son, to prepare the people for the
coming of Christ and His gospel. So did God use John to pre-
pare a people to receive the gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ.
God Gave His Perfect Gospel: -- Adam and Eve, Abraham, the
prophets and John died without every seeing the gospel given to mankind. In
fact, Jesus said of John, "Verily I say
unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not
arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is but little
in the kingdom of heaven is greater then he" (Matt. 11:11). In
the beginning of His ministry on earth, Jesus also began to
preach the gospel saying: "The time is fulfilled, and the king-
dom of God is at hand. Repent ye, and believe in the gospel"
Jesus at one time had thousands following Him, and from
these He chose twelve to be His personal representatives --
apostles. For about three and a half years, Jesus taught, per-
formed miracles and trained the apostles to do His work after
He was gone. Finally, the opposition of the Jews intensified,
and Jesus explained to those apostles, "Thus it is written,
that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day;
and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name unto
all the nations, beginn-
ing from Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:46,47).
Finally, Jesus was crucified, buried, and raised the third
day, just as He had foretold. Just before He ascended back
to the Father in heaven, Jesus gathered those apostles toget-
her and told them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the
gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptiz-
ed shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemn-
ed" (Mk. 16:15,16). He promised them the Holy Spirit to "guide you into all
the truth" (Jno. 16:13), as He said, "But the
Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in
My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring to your rem-
embrance all that I said unto you" (Jno. 14:26).
Jesus instructed the apostles to wait in the city of Jerusa-
lem until they were "clothed with power from on high" (Lk. 24:
49), and He said, "Ye shall receive power when the Holy Spirit
comes upon you" (Acts 1:8). As we turn to the book of Acts,
we read: "And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together
in one place. And suddenly there came
from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind...And
they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and begain to speak
with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts
2:1-4). That which had been foretold for ages was now fulfill-
ed -- the gospel of Jesus Christ was now given to mankind.
The pefected (or, completed) gospel consists of three
Facts: -- The death of jesus, His burial, His resurrection the
third day and His ascension back to the Father
(1 Cor. 15:1-4).
Commands: -- Believe, Repent, Be baptized -- (Jno. 3:16; Acts
2:38; Mk. 16:16).
Promises: -- Remission of Sins, Gift of the Holy Spirit, Eternal
life -- (Acts 2:38; Jno. 3:16; Mk. 16:16).
The perfected gospel of Christ came at great cost. It cost
God His Only Begotten Son, it cost Jesus His life on the cross and it will
cost us the price of believing the gospel and
Jesus Gave Us The Eternal Gospel: -- Daniel had prophesied
that the kingdom to come would stand forever (Dan. 2:44).
Jesus said, "The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it "
Matt. 16:19). And Jesus said of His gospel, "He that rejecteth
Me, and receiveth not My sayings, hath one that judgeth him:
the Word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last
day" (Jno. 12:48). When this world is no more, we shall all
stand before God in judgment (Heb. 9:27). And the gospel of
Christ will be the standard by which we shall all be judged. It
is truly an eternal gospel which Jesus gave us (Rev. 14:6).
In speaking of our conversion, Peter wrote, "Seeing ye have purified
your souls in your obedience to the truth unto
unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the
heart fervently: having been begotten again, not of corruptib-
le seed, but of incorruptible, through the Word of God, which
liveth and abideth. For, All flesh is as grass. And all the glory
thereof as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the
flower falleth: But The Word of the Lord abideth for ever. And this is the
Word of good tidings which was preached unto you" (1 Pet. 22-25). This is just
as Jesus said, "Heaven
and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35).
That which was anticipated by Abraham,
the prophets, John and the others, is not a reality for us today: The
"eternal gospel of Jesus Christ." May we all be-
lieve it, obey it and trust in it to save us eternally. ----------
Clem Thurman in Gospel Minutes, Vol. 57, No. 14, April 4,
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Biblemat