Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Things I Never Noticed in the Bible

Boy, this really is slowing down my reading but with good effect.

John 1:15, Jesus says, "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye and believe the gospel."

I had noticed Jesus saying this but I had always read into 'gospel' a particular meaning that I had been programmed to read into that Word.

That programmed meaning is that Jesus came and died for your sins, therefore, repent and believe that He died for your sins, so that you can be saved. While that statement IS true, it cannot be what Jesus means when He says repent and beleive the gospel. He is calling His disciples to believe the gospel right then, as He was preaching it. If that is true, then it cannot simply mean believing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins.

N.T. Wright does some great work on explaining that the gospel is mainly the message that Jesus Christ is the King. That fits with what Jesus says here, "The kingdom of God is at hand, therefore repent." Jesus is now on the scene and He is ushering in the Kingdom. That is the primary message of the gospel. And that message has far larger ramifications than simply believing in Jesus for salvation. Believing in Jesus for personal salvation is a wonderful subset of the gospel. But you can believe in Him without believing that He is King over all and that the Kingdom of God has infiltrated the world. If you believe the gospel as presented by Jesus here then you get all the glory, including salvation, and all the other LARGE ramifications of Jesus as King. A truncated gospel has caused us no end of headaches in the Amercian Church and it is about time we saw how big the true message of the gospel really is.

1 comment:

DaveM said...

When the apostles and the Lord Jesus himself used the word gospel they were using a word that was in the vocabulary of their hearers. The gospel was the good news that runners carried throughout the Greek city-states proclaiming that the Saviour-King had ascended to his throne.

“The word gospel, after all, was an imperial-political word, meaning that the Saviour-King has ascended to his throne and he reigns.” - R. J. Rushdoony, The Roots of Reconstruction