Category Archives: Gospel

The Gospel – Have we ventured beyond the Entrance Hall of God's Kingdom?

Big-BuildI recently watched an edition of the Big Build on The BBC where a house in Whiteley was transformed for a family in need of help. Many of us will have seen similar programs and the last 10 minutes or so are wonderful as the family are introduced to their new home. Looks of astonishment & amazement, smiles, tears and an overflow of emotions are a common response.

Now imagine that your house has had a similar, top to bottom, incredible makeover. The first room that you see is the entrance hall and you are amazed. It is incredible, awesome, astonishing and you are lost for words at the love and care that has been lavished on you. You are so taken with the entrance hall that you don’t even think of exploring to see if there is more. The entrance hall is so eye wateringly beautiful that you are driven to tears of joy and thanks. You end up making your home in the entrance hall. It is spacious and comfortable and seems to offer all that you need.

That is how I’ve come to see the relationship between the traditional view of the Gospel and the biblical evidence. The traditional view is like the entrance hall. It is amazing, awesome and incredible. It leads to tears of sorrow, thanks and joy. It is a comfortable place to live, knowing that we are forgiven and that our eternal destiny is secured.

BUT forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation is the entrance hall. It is the room through which we enter the house, but it’s only part of the house. The other rooms in the house are equally awesome and amazing. They too will leave us with looks of astonishment and deep thankfulness that we are loved by God. The difficulty and sadness is that many of us don’t even know the other rooms exist, no one has told us and we’ve grown so comfortable and happy with the entrance hall that we’ve never explored.

The gospel of sin management and an eternal destiny in heaven is part of the gospel we read about in the Bible but it’s the entrance hall and not the full house. We can’t get into the other rooms unless we go through the entrance hall, there is no other way in and no back door, but we’re missing so much if we stop there.

Sadly there are other consequences of living in the entrance hall all our lives. It leads to many of us being Christians without being disciples. It also removes much of the motivation for mission and evangelism that saturated the lives of the Christians we read about in the Bible.



What is the Gospel – What does the Bible say?

Tyndale_Bible_-_Gospel_of_JohnI ended my last post by saying that the first, and primary, place we should turn in thinking about what the Gospel is would be the Bible. So what does the Bible actually say about the Gospel and how is the word used in the New Testament?

The New Testament was written in Greek and there are two words that are behind the English translations of the word Gospel. The first is the Greek word εὐαγγελίζω euaggelízō. This word is translated as to proclaim, bring, tell or preach the Gospel. It is the root of the word for evangelise, or evangelism. The second Greek word is εὐαγγέλιον euaggélion which is translated as gospel or good news.

Bearing in mind my traditional understanding of the meaning of the word Gospel the first thing that surprises me is that there are only two verses in the entire New Testament where the words Gospel and Salvation are linked together, Romans 1:16 and Ephesians 1:13. No where in the New Testament is the word Gospel linked with the words sin, forgiveness or eternal life within the same verse. Only once is the Gospel linked with the benefits of eternal life (Mk 10:29-30). The Gospel clearly is linked to our salvation as it is described as having “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” But as the word Gospel appears a total of 125 times (euaggélion 73 times and euaggelízō 52 times) in the New Testament there must be a greater breadth to it’s meaning than traditionally taught.

It is interesting to see how the Gospel is described in the New Testament. It is:
The Gospel of the Kingdom – Matt 4:23, 9:35, 24:14, Lk 16:16
The Gospel of Jesus Christ The Son of God – Mk 1:1
The Gospel of Christ – Rom 15:19, 1 Cor 9:12, 2 Cor 2:12, 9:13, 10:14, Gal 1:7, Phil 1:27 1 Thess 3:2,
The Gospel of God – Mk 1:14, Rom 1:1, Rom 15:16, 2 Cor 11:7, 1 Thess 2:2, 2:8, 2:9, 1 Pet 4:17
The Gospel of His Son – Rom 1:9
The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus – 2 Thess 1:8
The Gospel of the blessed God – 1 Tim 1:11,
The Gospel of the Grace of God – Acts 20:24
The Gospel of the glory of Christ – 2 Cor 4:4
The Gospel of your salvation – Eph 1:13
The Gospel of peace – Eph 6:15

Apart from the references to Jesus or God the Gospel is described as the Gospel of the Kingdom, of Grace, of your salvation and of Peace. The most common association however is between the word Gospel and the word Kingdom. Either the Gospel is described as the Gospel (euaggélion) of the Kingdom or we are told about preaching or proclaiming the Gospel (euaggelízō) of the Kingdom.

You can be set apart for the Gospel (Romans 1:1). Preaching the Gospel has some connection with signs and wonders (Romans 15: 18-19). THe Gospel is not just about words (1 Thessalonians 1:5). The gospel includes the death of Christ for our sins and his resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). The gospel has something to do with how we live today and not just our intellectual beliefs or what will happen when we die. Who we eat and drink with and how we relate to others is included in the gospel (Galatians 2:11-14). The gospel has something to do with our hope for heaven (Colossians 1:5).

What I find fascinating is that Jesus speaks about the Gospel, and his disciples preach the Gospel and all of this before any hint about his death and resurrection! The Gospel was real and existed BEFORE forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus was possible.

All of this seems to me to conclusively indicate that the Gospel is far broader than sin, forgiveness and our ticket to heaven.


What is The Gospel?


This summer I have had the opportunity to read and reflect. As I started there were two questions in my mind: What is The Gospel? And: What is a disciple, how do I become one and how do I help other become disciples? Over the weeks another question has arisen that is intimately associated with my first two questions: What is the Kingdom?

Over the next few weeks, time permitting, I will be collecting my thoughts and responses together and posting them here.

To help get started, and before I let you know my own thoughts, I’d be really interested in how you would describe The Gospel or he Good News. I’d greatly value as many responses as possible, either as comments on my blog, or as comments on the Facebook posts that link to this blog.

Please let me know your response, (and it might give me some idea how many actually read what I write!).