The Gospel of Jesus the Christ



The word “Gospel”, from the Greek ευαγγελιον, was a widely known word within the Hebrew culture of the time of Jesus accustomed to the Greek koiné; although it was not a word of daily use, that is, not a colloquial word, the people knew very well its meaning and the concept that its use transmitted.

Today, however, few really know what the Gospel of Jesus is and the authority of the Gospel as the doctrine of salvation and eternal life; most associate it with a religion, one of the three greatest born out of the integration of Christianity into post-imperial Rome public life; however, the Gospel is not a religion;

for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17

The word ευαγγελιον appears in the Septuagint (LXX) in the texts of the second book of Samuel, chapter 4 (verse 10), and chapter 18 (verses 20, 22, 25, and 27).

And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king’s son is dead. 2 Samuel 18:20

In Hebrew it corresponds to the word בְּשֹׂרָה (besorah). Appears in 2 Kings as good news,

Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household. 2 Kings 7:9

In this context, the gospel is the important news for the person who received it, the determining news, the expected news; the news could be good or bad, depending on the nature of the event that generated the news. Depending on the speed of the delivery, it could be considered a prize for whoever gave the good news. Gospel as good news is not a simple information taken from one place to another, hence the need to assign specific men associated with the nature of the news; gospel is the news that determines the next step that the person who receives it must take.

In the New Testament the word is associated with the doctrine of Jesus, and is presented as the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, or simply as the Gospel of Jesus the Christ.

The use of the word Gospel by Jesus is not a strategic act of taking advantage of the cultural context; rather it is a matter of making a difference to any other doctrine that historically someone would have presented, mainly,

For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 37After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. Acts 5:36-37

But, above all, to emphasize the spiritual condition in which man is standing before the presence of God,

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light:
they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Isaiah 9:2

Text also quoted by the writer of Matthew’s Gospel,

the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. Matthew 4:16


In Jesus, the Gospel is the good news of salvation for the man who is condemned to death,


For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23


What is the power of the Gospel?

To understand more broadly what the Gospel of Jesus is, and what the power of the Gospel is, let us look at the following text,

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Matthew 7:28-29

In this text there are three words that help us understand what the Gospel is and the power it develops as good news of salvation. The first word is found in verse 28, and it is the word “doctrine“, we read: the people were astonished at his doctrine.

The Gospel is a doctrine, the Gospel is not a religion; unfortunately, in many circles it has been presented as such and many have wanted to have access to the Gospel as if it were a religion, but the Gospel is not a religion. The Gospel is a doctrine, it is a body of teaching established by Jesus to understand through it the way that will lead us to re-establish broken communion with God from the Garden of Eden.

The other two words are found in verse 29; they are the word “taught“, and the word “authority“; these last two words lead us to understand about the authority of the Gospel.

What is the authority of the Gospel and how is it obtained? The power of the Gospel is determined in the expression, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes, by the teaching activity that is developed about the doctrine of Jesus, hence the life of the first disciples was to continually review the teachings of Jesus,

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42

The Gospel of Jesus consists of teaching. The disciples of the first century understood it clearly and continued practicing it as Jesus established it,

And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31And he said, how can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. Acts 8:30-31

The importance of teaching as the basis for the operation of the Gospel is seen even in the way Paul introduces himself in his epistles; in the 1st Epistle to Timothy, chapter two, verse 7, the apostle writes that he was made the teacher of the Gentiles; in the 2nd Epistle to Timothy, chapter one, verse 11, Paul again certifies his ministry as the teacher of the Gentiles. It is not only a ministerial office; it is the foundation of the Gospel.

The Gospel is based on teaching, it is necessary the intervention of someone to open the understanding of the person, we see it fully in the following text,

 and he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; 14who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Acts 11:13-15

The reason why many people cannot know, or approach God, is because their understanding is blinded, the prince of this world established the apostle Paul, has blinded the understanding so that they do not believe the truth,

in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 2nd. Corinthians 4:4

Therefore, the Gospel needs to be established on the basis of teaching; make disciples, it was the instruction of the Lord. Make disciples means to teach them, make disciples means to instruct them, make disciples means even to correct them according to the doctrine of the Gospel.

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 1st. Timothy 1:3

Teaching has to do with understanding, or making understand, the Word of God. In Matthew chapter 13 where the parable of the sower is found, Jesus explained that the seed that is sown by the road and taken by the birds, represents the Word that is removed by the evil one from the heart of the one who received it without having fully understood it; hence the need to teach the Word. Teaching the Word is to make understand the Word.[1]

What is authority? How do we get authority? It is evident that knowledge does not give authority, because the scribes had much knowledge but those who heard Jesus and compared his doctrine with the teachings of the scribes realized that Jesus had authority, and the scribes did not have it.

Authority develops not when we know the Word, but when we do it. Let us observe it in the very Words of Jesus,

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Authority consists in doing the Word; authority is obtained when we execute the Word; the difference of the scribes was that they said but did not do. Knowledge as such does not bring authority, is when knowledge is executed. The apostle James writes in his epistle and says,

But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22

The reason why today we cannot see a Gospel of authority is because we do not do the Word. We have become many theorists, much knowledge, but little or nothing of doing the Word.

Now we have the complete picture; the Gospel is teaching, for what? to do, to execute, to establish the Word. It is not a matter of saying but of doing, the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven is established on earth by doing the Word.

Let’s see some cases in the example of Jesus. If you had been here, Mary said to Jesus, my brother would not have died; this expression reflects the state and condition of humanity. It is a state of impotence, of incapacity for not being able to change things; man cannot change by himself his realities, but the Gospel can do it. I have not told you that If you believe you will see the glory of God, Jesus replied. Yes, I know that my brother will rise in the last day, but that does not change my present or my environment.  At that moment Jesus had the stone removed, and the atmosphere of frustration and depression changed.

The Gospel is to do, the Gospel is not to say, the Gospel is not to declare, the Gospel is to have the stone removed, and at that moment the atmosphere changed because all those who were there were awakened, even Mary was awakened from the atmosphere of sadness and frustration in which she found herself.

The Gospel is not a religion, the Gospel is God’s authority to change the reality of the person. We have not been called to become bearers of knowledge; we have been called to become doers of the Word-there is authority.

The other example I want to bring to your consideration is the case when Peter was coming back from a whole night of fishing; they had caught absolutely nothing that night; and you know, for a fisherman at that time having caught absolutely nothing meant having no product to sell that morning, all those people who were gathered on the shore of the lake had not come to hear Jesus, those people had come to buy the product of the fishermen’s fishing.

Not having caught anything that night meant having no product to sell, and it meant discontent for the clients of those fishermen. History presents the picture of impotence in which many find themselves today. Let us see how the authority of the Gospel is established. Jesus seized the moment and taught the Word of the Gospel. We know the rest of the story, then He says to Peter, launch out into the deep, and there the authority was executed.

The Gospel is not theory, the Gospel is doing the teaching we have received. Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing; and a man of great experience was speaking, but for the moment he remembered the Word of the Gospel which Jesus had taught on the shore of the lake, and he said, nevertheless at thy Word I will let down the net; you know the rest of the story, there was a need to call another boat to help them because of the multitude of fish which they had caught, the boat was sinking.

So now we can understand why Peter fell at the feet of Jesus, and said trembling, depart from me lord because I am a sinful man, because he had been impacted by the authority of the Gospel. The Gospel has not changed, more than 2000 years have passed, but the Gospel has not changed, it is still the Gospel of authority, the Gospel of the kingdom of heaven.

The apostle James wrote in his epistle, and said,

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

The Gospel is not to acquire knowledge, it is to do what we have been taught; there is the authority of the Gospel. The Gospel is not food or drink, the Gospel is authority and grace in the manifestation of the eternal God, it is the good news brought from the kingdom of heaven to change the realities of the earth, to change the difficult moments of the earth. The Gospel is a transformation of realities; it is to be able to live on earth as one lives in heaven.

The authority of the Gospel is for you today, it is for you to do what you have been taught. Take the Word, read it; the Lord is going to give you an instruction, not so that you may know it, but so that you may do it.

 

 


All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.

 

 


Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

https://earthenwarevessels.com

[1] We will find in many of the texts of the Gospels this teaching activity developed by Jesus,

  • Matthew 5:2 and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
  • Matthew 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works
  • Mark 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. Luke 4:31
  • Mark 2:13 And he went forth again by the seaside; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught
  • Mark 4:2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
  • Mark 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
  • Mark 10:1 And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.
  • Mark 11:17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
  • Luke 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
  • Luke 5:3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
  • Luke 6:6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
  • Luke 13:10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
  • Luke 19:47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,
  • Luke 21:37 And in the daytime he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.
  • John 7:14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
  • John 8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught