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The Origin of the Gospel

line The Origin of the Gospel

Pause and Consider

0634

02.21.18

‘The Origin of the Gospel’

 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  (17)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’ (Romans 1:16, 17)

If a preacher were in the middle of delivering a sermon, and an usher came up to the platform with a message, it would likely be urgent.  The pastor would stop and listen.  How much more should we listen to the message that comes from God Himself. The origin of the gospel is God in Christ. It is ‘the gospel of Christ.’  It is the ‘gospel of God’ and it centers on Christ.

What is the gospel?  The word means ‘good news.’ It is the evangel. It is the good news of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. (1 Cor 15:1-4).  Most of the news we hear from our news outlets is bad news.  The gospel is the greatest news this world has ever heard.

The gospel is received by believing, by trusting.  It comes by no works that we can do. Neither baptism, catechism, communion, confirmation, festivals, feasts, saints, angels or purgatory can bring forgiveness of sin.  It is by recognition and repentance of sin coupled with faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection—what He accomplished for the world on the cross.

The operation of the gospel is ‘the power of God unto salvation.’  Rome was a place of power.  The Empire had conquered the known world.  Rome’s legions were stationed everywhere. Rome thought it knew power!

Paul knew the power of the gospel.  The word translated power is ‘dunamis,’ the word from which we get our word ‘dynamite.’  However, dynamite is not an exact translation.  While dynamite refers to explosive power, dunamis is a natural, inherent power that resides in something.  Once dynamite is used, it is blown and it is over.  The fireworks we see on Independence Day are beautiful, but they are not reusable. Dunamis is constantly available power.  Our heart is an example of such as it constantly pumps the blood we so desperately need, in many cases for eighty plus years!

And this power is literally a power, and not the power, for God has other power at His disposal—both creative and destructive power.

Paul knew the power of the Gospel for it had changed his life!  He had been a proud religious man who hated Christ and killed His followers.  God changed him completely, and Paul never got over this.  He wrote: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver, and whom we trust that He will yet deliver us. (2 Cor 1:9, 10)

God can still change lives!  Despite mockery or indifference, believers must keep on giving out the Gospel.  They are to be like a herald who gives out the good news and then passes on.  He does not stop to argue, but sows as he gives the news to anyone who will listen.

Finally today, the gospel is …unto salvation…  Let us be reminded that salvation is in three parts.  A person who places his trust in Christ will be saved from sin’s penalty, its power, and its presence.  The first is immediate, the second is ongoing throughout life, and the last awaits a future day.   Next time we will consider the outreach and outcome of the gospel.


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