Saturday, February 03, 2024

The Gospel and You

What is the Gospel? Is there more than one? What does it mean to live the Gospel?

The word "Gospel" is an Anglo-Saxon word derived from the words "Good Spell" or, more literal in meaning, "Good Story". And that it is. The Gospel is a great story that makes a difference in our lives!

When we read the word Gospel in the New Testament it is a translation of the word "Evangelion" which means "Good News." When Jesus used the word, it was a particular kind of good news. It was Kingdom News. 

When the Roman Empire coronated a new Emperor - they sent out the Evangelion to the far reaches of the world. "Good News! There is a new God King in Rome!" When the Roman army won a battle, they sent the Evangelion to the Emperor in Rome. "Good News! We've won the battle!" 

So, when Jesus used the word, He meant it in that cultural context. He was using it the way the locals did, not the way we do! He took the Roman meaning and put a God-centered spin on it. You can see it clearly at the beginning of Mark's good spell. "After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!' " Mark 1:14-15 

With Jesus, the Kingdom of God sends Evangelion. The Kingdom of God has come near! Good News! Luke spells out the good spell Jesus was teaching in Luke 4:16-21. It was "good news to the poor." This Kingdom sets captives free, heals the blind and proclaims the year of the Lord's favor! 

After Jesus, the word Evangelion went through another reworking because of the way the Early Church used it. The Roman meaning was left behind and it became a new "Good News". Jesus died for us. He rose to life again. He lives interceding for us. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. His death, His resurrection and His love are ours to take to heart today. Now, that's Good News! 

As the New Testament closes, in the book of Revelation, Evangelion takes on an even more amazing meaning: "Eternal Good News!" What could that be? How is it different from the Gospel Jesus preached? How is it different from the Gospel of the Early Christian Church? Which is the most important Gospel?  

Watch my sermon for the rest of the Gospel story! It's a wild ride (and some beautiful scenery!)

Then, let me know what you think!

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