The word "gospel" simply means "good news" or "glad
tidings". When we find it in the New Testament, it is the good news
about the salvation of man offered through the blood of Jesus Christ. We
have nothing "new" to offer you, dear reader, other than the
"good news" of salvation in Jesus Christ. In this article we
intend to point out several truths concerning the New Testament Gospel.
First, the Gospel was a message to be preached. John the baptist and
Jesus himself both preached the gospel of the coming kingdom (Matthew 3:1,2;
4:17). But, after his resurrection from the grave, and just prior to his
ascension to heaven Jesus told his apostles, "Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
"Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all
things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto
the end of the world" (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19,20).
This Gospel was preached to the Jews on Pentecost day A.D. 33--"But
Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye
men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and
hearken to my words... (Acts 2:23 KJV) Him... ye have taken, and by
wicked hands have crucified and slain... This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof
we all are witnesses... Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and
Christ" (Acts 2:14,23,32,36). The death, burial and resurrection of Christ
is the heart of this great gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Jesus had promised his chosen apostles that they would be baptized in the
Holy Ghost and that they would receive the very words necessary to preach the
Gospel. He said, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom
the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all
things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John
14:26). Again, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he
will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but
whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to
come" (John 16:13). Furthermore, Jesus said, "Take no thought
how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye
shall speak" (Matthew 10:19). Their activities and preaching were
directed by the Holy Spirit.
Just before Jesus returned to his Father he told these apostles to remain in
Jerusalem until these promises came. And these are the events that led to
the preaching that we have just referred to in Acts 2. The message that
was preached there was not the apostles' but the words of the Spirit.
We learn a number of principles about the Gospel from the letter to the
Galatian churches. Paul writes, "I marvel that ye are so soon
removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the
gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any
other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any
other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet
pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you,
brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For
I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of
Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:6-12).
We learn that the Gospel can be perverted and by that people are lost. Paul
states, in the above passage, that one who would preach a perverted gospel
should be "accursed" or cut-off. In 2 John 7-11 we find that
apostle warning, "For many deceivers are entered into the world...
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not
God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father
and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth
him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." From this passage,
(Galatians 1), we understand that it is possible for those who had received the
Gospel of Christ, and been saved by the Lord's grace, to be removed from him to
This glorious Gospel was preached to the Samaritans--"Then Philip went
down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.... When they
believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the
name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.... And
they, [Peter and John] when they had testified and preached the word of the
Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the
Samaritans" (Acts 8:5,12,25). Wherever the apostles went they
carried this same great message. When Paul and his company came into the
region of Lycaonia and the cities Derbe and Lystra, the New Testament says,
"There they preached the gospel" (Acts 14:7). Paul said that
they were specifically called to preach to the people of Macedonia. In a
dream he saw a man pleading for help and he states, "And after he had seen
the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly
gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them"
Because Paul realized that the preaching of this message was of utmost
importance, he, being in possession of it, wrote, "I am debtor both to the
Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. I am ready
to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that
believeth" (Romans 1:14-16). He felt that anguish and despair would
be his if he failed to preach it--"For though I preach the gospel, I have
nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I
preach not the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16).
It is a blessed privilege to carry this message for the salvation of
souls. Those who love the Truth respect those who preach it. The
Scriptures exclaim, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the
gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom 10:15).
The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is the means of being spiritually
begotten. Paul writes to the Christians in Corinth, "...In Christ
Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel" (1 Corinthians 4:15).
To be saved a person must hear the Gospel and believe it. "So then
faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
Remember Jesus said to, "Preach the gospel to every creature. He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..." Later, we read,
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to
God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently
seek him" (Heb 11:6). Timothy was told "Preach the word; be
instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not
endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves
teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from
the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
So we see that hearing the Gospel and believing it will lead a person to
salvation. Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye
shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7).
The honest seeker of the truth will happily accept it. Those who
"gladly received" the message on that Pentecost day, referred to
earlier, "were baptized" (Acts 2:41) "for the remission of
sins" (verse 38).
Here we have it! The message implanted in the hearts of men springs
forth in obedience to the command to be baptized. This is clearly what
Jesus had reference to when he said, "Not every one that saith unto me,
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 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: And 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. And every one that heareth these
sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which
built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods
came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was
the fall of it" (Matthew 7:21-28).
Now we can understand what took place when Philip preached Jesus unto the
Ethiopian in Acts 8:35-39, "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the
same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their
way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water;
what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest
with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand
still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and
he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit
of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on
his way rejoicing." The Truth was received into the heart of the
convert and it resulted in baptism.
Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of
water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John
3:5). Do you see it? The Gospel is preached, men believe it, and
the seed is planted; it results in a birth of water, that is, baptism for the
remission of sins (Acts 2:38). This is the beginning of a "new
creature" in Christ Jesus. "Baptized into Christ" we
"put on Christ" (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:26,27). There we
"rise to walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4) we become "a new
creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new"
(2 Corinthians 5:17), and are become "the servants of righteousness"
In order to be a new creature a person must turn from their old life of sin
-- Jesus said, "Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke
13:3; see Acts 2:38); confess "I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of
God" (Acts 8:37). Again, Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall
confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in
heaven" (Matthew 10:32).
Friend, have you heard the Gospel message, believed it, and obeyed it? Do
you "ask" so that you may "find" the Truth? Do you
"diligently seek" of God? Will you "knock" for the
door to be "opened unto" you? Why not hear Christ's tender
pleading, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest" (Matthew 11:28) -- HEAR the Gospel of Christ -- BELIEVE Him
to be the son of God -- REPENT of your sins -- CONFESS Jesus blessed and holy
name before men -- and BE BAPTIZED into Christ for the remission of your sins,
that is, for your salvation (1 Peter 3:21). Then the Lord promises in
Revelation 2:10 "be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown