The Promised Good News
God had promised to send a redeemer. This redeemer, the Christ, would save God’s people from their sins and bring God’s blessings to the nations. These promises are certainly “good news.” The gospel is the message, the good news from God about His son Jesus Christ our Lord, which details the redemptive work of the Christ and what has been freely given to us. Oh my, how we are loved by God!
The promise of this good news can be found as far back as Genesis 3:15 where God promised to send the seed of the woman, who is the Christ, and that the devil would be destroyed. More of this same gospel was also declared to Abraham:
- Galatians 3:8: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (nations) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.”
In Abraham all nations would be blessed through faith! God had promised this same good news through His prophets in the holy scriptures of old:
- Romans 1:1-3: “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures), Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,”
The gospel had been planned and prepared for before the foundation of the world (1Peter 1:18-25). It was prophesied since the beginning of mankind. Jesus Christ is WHOM this gospel of God is all about. He is God’s Word incarnate, in the flesh, the gospel that lives and abides forever (see John 1).
It is this “gospel of God” that is to be made known to all nations (Romans 1:5). Why?… because God is love. He wants His people’s lives to be filled with His power and an abundance of the fruit of His gospel. He designed His gospel to be His power unto wholeness ( "Salvation" in the Greek = our complete wholeness in every good way. See Romans 1:16 and 1Corinthians 1:18). The gospel is our way into the complete wholeness our Heavenly Father desires for us, His children. God sent this message of the gospel for our benefit now, and throughout eternity. It is this good news of God that is made known to be believed so as to produce its fruit in our lives:
- Colossians 1:5b-6: “…the word of the truth of the gospel which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:”
This gospel regarding Jesus Christ makes known our salvation and redemption. It describes the truths of what our salvation and redemption are all about. These truths are the seeds which mature us and bring forth the fruit of God in our lives.
What does “ALL THE TRUTH” mean?
Jesus Christ promised his disciples that when the holy spirit would come it would guide them into “all the truth” (as the American Standard Version gives it). The holy spirit would make known to the holy apostles and prophets things to come. This revealing of “all the truth” would glorify (honour, show the value and importance of) Jesus Christ because what would be revealed would also include the results of Jesus Christ’s redemptive work. The results of Christ's work at Calvary (our redemption... including all that we have and all that we are in Christ) and the revelation of these things is exactly what was/is accomplished by way of the gift of holy spirit:
- John 16:12-15: 12 "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when the spirit of truth is come it shall guide you into all the truth: for it shall not speak from itself; but what things soever it shall hear, these shall it speak: and it shall declare unto you the things that are to come. 14 It shall glorify me: for it shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you. 15 All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that it taketh of mine, and shall declare it unto you." [It might help the reader to bear in mind that figurative language is being used in this passage; i.e., spirit does not have a mouth or ears. Spirit is spirit, flesh is flesh. Spirit is as invisible as your soul life and your very thoughts (although these things are usually manifested in the physical/natural realm somehow). Spirit is a bit like air - You can't see air but you breathe it. Spirit is a bit like the wind - You can't see wind but you see the effects.]
- “All the truth” would be made known and the things to come declared (v. 13): 1Corinthians 2:9-13, Ephesians 3:1-11 (especially verses 3, 5, 8), Colossians 1:25-27.
- The spirit would glorify Jesus Christ (v. 14): Romans 1:1-3, 3:21-26, 4:23-5:2, 5:6-8:39, 9-11, 15:5-6, 16:25-27, etc. Actually, our epistles are interwoven with the honoring of Jesus Christ. This is how God gets the glory (Romans 16:27). Jesus Christ is the one through whom God’s plan and purpose of eternity is manifested (2Timothy 1:9, Hebrews 1:1-2, Ephesians 3:11). So, Jesus Christ is what this gospel of God is all about. This is what is meant by the common phrases about the gospel such as “the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” as in Romans 1:1-3, 15:9 and 15:29.
- The spirit would take of Jesus Christ’s and declare it unto us: See the beginning of John 16:15: “All things that the Father hath are mine” There isn’t anything that the Father has that isn’t Jesus Christ’s. Now look at Romans 8:16-17, speaking of us who have believed on Jesus Christ: “… And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” Putting these two verses together gives us a truth too gracious for most of us to accept. We are heirs of God with Christ! We’re joint-heirs with Christ of all that the Father has! “Joint-heirs” means to obtain with others, a joint participant, to share fully. Do you realize the magnitude of this truth?
The promised “all truth” would make known to us the things we jointly share with Jesus Christ. This “all truth” is that which was declared to and by God’s holy apostles and prophets by the spirit (the comforter) as declared in Ephesians 3:5 and 1Corinthians 2:10
Mark, as well as Matthew, Luke, and John, record the "beginning" of this same gospel of God concerning Jesus Christ our Lord. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;” (Mark 1:1). The book of Acts and the remainder of the New Testament expound upon this same gospel message. See also Luke 16:16 and Acts 1:1-3.
God's word revealed through the epistles of Paul the Apostle completes the package (see Colossians 1:25) and makes this “all truth” available to be known to the nations of the world. Paul was appointed as an apostle for this purpose (1Corinthians 1:17a: “For Christ sent me … to preach the gospel…”)
At the end of his life the Apostle Peter (2Peter 1:14) sends out an epistle to “all those who have received like precious faith” (2Peter 1:1). He points the readers to the written wisdom given to the Apostle Paul in 2Peter 3:15-18. The written wisdom given to the Apostle Paul is still recorded for us in Romans through 2Thessalonians, praise God!
Now we don’t have to be “led astray with the error of the wicked” and “fall from our own steadfastness” as it states in 2Peter 3:17. But in contrast we can grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by way of the wisdom given to the church in Paul’s epistles.
The Apostle Paul himself said; “…because of the grace that is given to me of God, that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God…” (Romans 15:15-16). The Apostle Paul was appointed to deliver this message of God concerning Jesus Christ (Romans 1:5). We also see in John 16:12-15 that Jesus Christ himself directed his disciples to the revelation that would later be revealed by the promised comforter, the holy spirit. And again, Peter, at the end of his life, directed us to this same revelation given to the Apostle Paul in his epistles. The apostles of Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ himself all point in the same direction - to Paul's epistles. God wants us to know something here, wouldn't you say?
Through the Apostle Paul we are told that this gospel is the power of God unto wholeness (Romans 1:16)! It effectually works in us who believe (1Thessalonians 2:13). This is the Father’s will for us. He desires that we grow in this gospel of Christ and realize the abundance of the blessings which He has poured out to us through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. This is what our New Life in Christ is all about. “Whoever believes in him shall not be disappointed.” (Romans 10:11)
RECOMMENDED READING: Read and re-read Romans 1:1-6. God is our teacher. He gave us of His spirit so that we could be enlightened regarding spiritual matters (1Corinthians 2:12). I implore the reader to trust God in this capacity for gaining even more understanding while reading this next section.
THE GOSPEL COMMITTED TO PAUL FOR THE NATIONS
God had promised through Jesus Christ that “all the truth” would be revealed with the coming of the gift of holy spirit. This was revealed to the holy apostles and prophets through the spirit and is declared in the gospel. The gospel to be declared to the uncircumcision (the Gentiles, the nations of the earth) was committed to Paul. He was chosen to deliver this message of the gospel of God concerning God’s son, Jesus Christ our Lord, to the nations (See Romans 11:13, 15:15-16, Galatians 2:7, Ephesians 3:8, Colossians 1:24-27 and 1Timothy 2:7).
- 1Timothy 1:11: “According to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust."
This gospel of the glory of the blessed God was committed to Paul’s trust for who’s sake?...
- Ephesians 3:1: “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles,"
Romans 1:1-5: “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the Holy Scriptures,) concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:”
Even at Paul’s conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ, his ministry to the Gentiles was clear: Acts 9:1-20 (15), Acts 22:6-21 (21), Acts 26:13-18 (17-18).
The gospel committed to Paul’s trust is this same gospel which produces godly fruit in all who believe it (1Thessalonians. 2:13). This gospel is the power of God unto wholeness! As the Apostle to the nations of the world, Paul sent nine epistles (collected into the Bible) to the churches of the Gentiles: Romans through 2Thessalonians. These epistles expound the very gospel that was promised through the ages by God. What God had promised in the Old Testament is explained in the Apostle Paul’s epistles to us, the church. To think that God’s purpose for man through the ages was purposed in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:11), and it is outlined for us in epistles sent to the church by our Apostle Paul nearly two thousand years ago.
Did God send the gospel message to you? If so, was it by the ministry of the Apostle Paul? Well, are you, by background, a Gentile who has believed on Jesus Christ? Are you Judean by background? If you're a human being you're one or the other. So if If you are, then the Biblical answer to these questions is “YES.” This same message, which produced its fruit in those who believed it, is sent to you also. Is this gospel any less powerful today? It is still the power of God unto wholeness to all who believe (Romans 1:16, Colossians 1:5-6, 1Thessalonians. 2:13). We can read the gospel, adapt ourselves to it, and walk more and more in the wholeness of God by its power.
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As believers we believe God. We received our new life in Christ by faith and we walk in it by faith. We allow what God says is true about us to be that which determines how we see ourselves and each other.
We will be seeing in this series that God is the same powerful and delivering God that we read about in the Old Testament. All the promises of God find their “yes” and “amen” in Jesus Christ....
LIFE... to its fullest potential!