Why Gospel?

Why Gospel?

I. Introduction of “Why Gospel?”

We talk a lot about the gospel. As Christians we believe in the gospel. We preach the gospel. We share the gospel. We are centered on the gospel. But sometimes it’s good to take a step back and ask the question why? Why gospel? Why not hope, or peace, or joy? What is the gospel and why is this so central to the church?

In order to do this we must understand what the gospel means. In order to understand what it means we need to understand that the gospel is about a word. It’s God’s word. And so we’ll look at three aspects of God’s word that will help us to answer the question “Why Gospel.” The three aspects of God’s word that we’ll focus on are the Power of the Word of God, the Purpose of the Word of God, and the Practice of the Word of God. In our examination of these three aspects, it will become clear to us that the gospel is critical to the life of the church.

II. The word of God forms the basis of the gospel

Definition of Gospel: Greek is the word: euaggelion, which means “good news”. So, the gospel is something that is communicated. This communication is of words. Not just any words, but of divine spirit-backed words. (See 1 Cor 1:17 and 1 Cor 2:1-5)

Both verses explain that Paul sought not to use mere words of men but tell of nothing but “Christ crucified”. In other words Paul doesn’t want his own wisdom to inform his words, but only Gods wisdom. And so the gospel is first and foremost a word from God.

A. Power of the Word of God
• Genesis 1 – The power of the word of God is first demonstrated by God creating the world literally out of nothing. No other word has the ability to do this.
• We also see the power of God’s word through the calamities and judgments that God brought upon various peoples including the entire world through the flood, Pharaoh and the Egyptians, Babylonians, and even his chosen people of Israel.
• Power of the word of God displayed in Jesus
o New Testament: Jesus calmed storms: Mark 4:35-40
o Jesus cast out demons: Matthew 8:16
o Jesus called forth people from the dead: John 11:43

Throughout the bible, the word of God has stood out as powerful, authoritative, and sovereign. It has always done what it’s sought to accomplish and has never failed. This is substance of the gospel. And this speaks to the unstoppable nature of the gospel.

B. Purpose (or function) of the Word of God
In addition to the power of God’s word, we can also see the purpose or function of God’s word expressed in three ways.
1. Establishes God’s Rule
• We see that God’s rule is established from the beginning through his word (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:16-17, Exodus 20)
• Even earthly kings ought to rule by God’s word (Deuteronomy 17:14-20)

2. Exposes sin
• The Word exposes the hearts of men and separates good from evil and life from death. (Hebrews 4:12,)
• Romans 7:7-13 – Law brings death through sin. Again, through the law or word of God, there is this sort of exposure of sin.

3. Separates or divides the righteous from the unrighteous
• Deuteronomy 28-30 – Here we see blessing vs. curses based on obedience or disobedience to the law. This is a common thread throughout the Old Testament in relation to the law.
• Psalm 1 – Here we see the juxtaposition of the righteous and the wicked. The righteous delight in the law of God.
• Word of God forces us to pick a side. We cannot remain neutral
o Rejection of God begins with the rejection of his word (Genesis 3)
o Israel rejected the rule of God (1 Samuel 8:7)

The word is ultimately about life and death. If we choose to live by the rule of God, we have life, if we choose to rule our own lives, we will die. Israel asked God for a king because they wanted to govern themselves like the rest of the world. So God gives Israel a worldly king that will often not rule according to God’s law, thus bringing about much pain and destruction for God’s people. Only God’s word and law bring freedom and life. Any other word brings slavery and death.

Question: Is the power and purpose of the word of God in distinguishing life from death enough to constitute good news? No, because the problem is that we all naturally tend to reject the rule of God! (Romans 1:18-32)

C. Practice of the Word of God (movement of the Word of God unto salvation, how God uses his word to bring about the end to his story of salvation.)
In order for the word of God to be good news to us, we must understand the practice of the word of God, or put another way, how God puts his word into use.
• How does the Word work? John 14:10-11 God is at work through the word. (God is operating with a plan)
• John 1:1-18 – Incarnation of the word of God. Here we see how god intends to use his Word to bring about the kingdom of God
• 1 Peter 1:23-25 – born again through the word…word is the good news that was preached to you. This is where the word of God becomes gospel! God had this intention to use his word in this way from the beginning by announcing the gospel in advance. (Galatians 3:6-9). This drives the story of the entire bible.
• The gospel is the good news of the kingdom of God (Luke 8:1, Luke 16:16, Acts 8:12)
• The gospel is the good news that we get to have eternal life and not judgment (Romans 1:16,
• This gospel is not just our ticket into heaven, but it is what sustains us throughout the whole process. (1 Cor 15:1-2, Matthew 4:4, John 6:22-59 – Jesus bread of life, and John 4 (story of woman at the well, Jesus offers life sustaining water)

Jesus, the incarnation of the gospel sustains us! Without Christ, the word of God would destroy us. With Christ the Word is our savior.

In addition, the gospel is not just good news to you individually, but it is good news to the world, and thus we are called to a mission to proclaim the gospel. (Matt 28:18-20)
• We are called to do greater works that Christ (John 14:12-14). These greater works are to bring more people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as we proclaim the gospel and God works through his word to raise spiritually dead people to life (John 5:20-24)

III. Conclusion: Our life itself depends upon living on the gospel on a daily basis.
So why gospel and not something else? That’s like asking why air and not cars? Or why food and not pillows? Cars and pillows are nice, just as peace and hope are nice, but they are not our sustenance, and they are not our foundation. The word of God, and in particular, the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ is what we absolutely need for our spiritual survival. We need the gospel not just for the day we believe and not just on Sunday’s to get refreshed, but we need it for our daily salvation and to carry out the mission that God has given us. (2 Tim 3:15-17). And furthermore we are called not to just hear the word, but to actively live it out, by his grace (James 1:22-25), so that we might experience the power of gospel working in our lives for our joy and God’s glory in bringing about his kingdom where peace, hope, joy, and love will truly reign forever.

Advertisements

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: