Friday, April 8, 2011
G is for the Gospel
The family of Greek Words that render the word gospel comes to us from the noun angelos which means messenger and the verb angello which means announce, proclaim, publish news. Hence we get the meaning "good news." Again, it is the content of what is announced, proclaimed, or published. Originally euangelion meant the reward offered to a messenger who brought news of victory in battle or an escape from some danger. By usage and transference it came to mean the content of the message, and not simply news, but good news. The immediate response to this good news (of victory, or escape from danger) was the offering of a sacrifice to the gods as a token of gratitude.
The gospel, is the good news and the joyful proclamation of God's redemptive activity in Jesus Christ on behalf of human beings who are locked in the bondage of sin. The gospel is God's divine plan to redeem lost, condemned, and hopeless men and bestow upon them eternal grace and bliss. Where, we do not offer a sacrifice to a god out of gratitude, our response to the gospel is gratitude and our offering from gratitude is ourselves, Romans 12:1.
Euangelion is rarely used apart from the sense of good news or glad tidings outside of Christian writings. Homer made this observation, "the gospel, or the good news, refers not the the message itself, but to the reward given to the messenger." In other words the good news is not in the message of the gospel but in the work that it does in the life of an individual. Euangelion or the gospel occurs some 75 times in the New Testament with the specific usage of good news.
The gospel is the willing death of Jesus Christ on behalf of sinners, the burial of Jesus Christ which proved the death of Jesus Christ, and the resurrection with power of Jesus Christ as the Son of God ensuring the satisfaction or appeasement of God the Father. Jesus death satisfied the wrath, anger, justice, righteousness, and holiness of God the Father. Hebrews chapter 10 tells us that with his own flesh Jesus opened a way into the holy place, or the dwelling place of God.
It is important to note that as simple as the definition is the New Testament is replete with information concerning this good news. Information such as its author, its, recipients, its manner of appropriation. For example, the entire trinity is involved in the gospel: The Father ordained the gospel, the Son provided the sacrifice needed to appease the Father and the Holy Spirit applies the gospel, or the work of Christ to the heart of a sinner. The gospel is given by the grace of God and can not be merited, earned, or otherwise appropriated by a sinner. It is received by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Today, the euangelion, or the good news is offered to you. God ordained a plan by which to redeem your soul from the bondage of sin and the condemnation of eternal judgment and punishment in a place called hell, which included the news that a mediator, His Son took upon Himself your sins and died your death in your place on a cross some 2,000 years ago at a place called Calvary. In doing so, at least four things took place, God attributed your sin to Jesus, God attributed Jesus perfect righteousness to you, Jesus willingly died to accomplish this, and God was satisfied. Jesus was then taken down off of the cross after his voluntary death by Nicodemus and Joseph and placed in a brand new tomb. Then three days later Jesus was raised from the dead, declaring Him to be the Son of God with power, and after 40 days of ministry proving his resurrection he ascended back to the Father where he was seated at the right hand of the Father. What is he doing there? He lives to make intercession for you when you need it and to act as your advocate when sin or Satan accuses you before the Father as being sinful. He shows the Father his nail scarred hands, his nail scarred feet and the imprint in his side and the scars on his brow and says Father, this one is mine, You gave this one to me when I agree to die to satisfy you. This beloved is the good news!
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 3:00 AM