THE GOSPEL OF GOD*
We have often stated our belief that God not only means what He says, but has a meaning for everything that He says. All the words and expressions used in the Scriptures of Truth have definite meanings. The same words are frequently used by Christians indefinitely, and quite apart from their Scriptural usage. Thus, when sinners believe the gospel and are saved through grace, they are spoken of as led into the kingdom, or brought into the fold of Christ; as though the Kingdom, which was preached by Jesus Christ our Lord when on earth, and the sheep fold into which He entered by the door, and the church which is His body today, were and are one and the same thing.
On the other hand, when the Scriptures are referred to which speak of the gospel of the Kingdom, and also of the gospel of the Grace of God, those who distinguish between these terms of Scripture are charged with making two Gospels. In both these instances the fault is the lack of intelligence in [regenerate] Christians, and not the want of precision in the Word of God.
Let us enquire, first, what is The Gospel of God? Every Sunday school child has heard that the word Gospel signifies good news. Now good news is not a statement of doctrine, or of opinion, but of fact. What then is the fact that constitutes Gods good news?
God has given us by four Evangelists
FOUR DIFFERENT NARRATIVES
of the life and death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. They differ in that
Matthew begins from
Mark begins from
Luke begins from BETHELEHEM (ch. 2: 4-6, and
John begins from the CREATION (ch. 1: 1-3).
They agree in that they all lead up to
Son of Man, who was born at
This one fact is the Good News of God.
fact was the subject of testimony, not only of the twelve Apostles, but of Paul
also; Paul says to the saints at
Thus, the Gospel of God, and all that flows from it, is contained in the announcement of this fact concerning Christ, that
God raised Him out of dead ones: (Acts 13: 30. Lit. Gk.)
But this one Gospel of God is the basis of
FOUR DISTINCT AND DIFFERENT RESULTS
as indicated by the four Evangelists.
MATTHEW it is viewed as the assured
[* Note also verse 34 For David ascended NOT to HEAVEN. cf. 2 Tim. 2: 18.
** Jesus, being a popular name at that time, a distinction is necessary no others being raised up (resurrected) as shown above!]
In MARK it is recorded how the Lord Jesus sent His apostles to proclaim the gospel (i.e., the good news that He was risen from the dead) in all the world and to the whole creation (Mark 16: 15); and promised that signs should follow those who believed; thus proving to the world that He by His death had overcome him that had the power of death; and in His resurrection had power to deliver the whole creation from Satans power.
This also was proclaimed by Peter when he called on the nation to repent that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; and that he may send him who was before proclaimed to you, even Jesus the Messiah, whom the heaven indeed must receive until the times of restoration of all things whereof God spake by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. (Acts 3: 19-21).
LUKE we are shown the Lord Jesus
sending His disciples as witnesses of His sufferings and of His resurrection to proclaim repentance and remission of sins among all
nations, beginning at
Thus we learn that, on the day of Pentecost, the gospel of God (i.e., the fact that the Lord Jesus was risen) was proclaimed as the basis of three different results.
(1) For the forgiveness of the Nation on its repentance;
(2) For the establishment of the throne of David; and
(3) For the deliverance of the whole creation from Satan.
Thus the fulfilment of all the promises and prophecies of blessing, not only concerning the People of Israel, but concerning the whole creation, was declared to be the result of the fact that the Lord Jesus was risen from the dead; and the repentance of the nation that had crucified Him would follow immediately on its accomplishment. But
THE NATION REJECTED THE ONE GOSPEL OF GOD:
first by Peter and the twelve apostles in
there is another aspect of the Gospel of God,
beside the three already mentioned, and another result of the resurrection of
the Lord Jesus, according to the gospel of JOHN;
and peculiar to the ministry of Paul, and to the writings of John. Paul describes what he calls my gospel in the Epistle to the saints at
Pauls gospel continued all that was committed to the twelve apostles concerning the Lord Jesus as the Messiah, the Lords anointed, with the additional facts concerning His exaltation above all principality and power, and made head over all things, to the Church, which is his body (Eph. 1: 19-23).
the rulers at
this another gospel? Most certainly not;
it extended to the Gentiles the
blessings promised to the People of
So also, when Paul speaks of righteous government on the earth [i.e., this earth], the resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the evidence that He is the Man whom God has raised up to judge [and reign over (Luke 1: 33; Rev. 3: 21)] the world in righteousness (Acts 17: 31).
There can be only one Gospel of God because there is only One Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died and was buried, and whom God [has] raised [to immortality] out of dead ones (lit. Gk.).
Whenever we turn, in Scripture, to find the basis of present of future blessings, all rests upon the fact that the Lord Jesus is [has been] risen out from the dead.
it the deliverance of
Is it the deliverance of the whole creation? His resurrection proves that, through death the Lord Jesus has overcome him that had the power of death; that as by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet (1 Cor. 15: 21, 25).
Is it justification from sin? His resurrection proves that, when the Holy One, who knew no sin, was made a sin-offering for us, His offering was accepted of God and the believer is justified (Rom. 4: 25).
Is it eternal life? His resurrection proves Him to be the Son of the living God, the One who has life in Himself, the Living One who became dead, whose voice to-day can give life to those dead in trespasses and in sins, and whose all [whose bodies] in the graves [and whose souls are in Hades] shall hear, and shall come forth, for blessing and for judgment (John 5: 25, 28, 29) [Acts 2: 27. cf. Heb. 9: 27 and Rev. 6: 9-11 with Rev. 20: 13ff.]
it the Restoration of
Is it the Mystery? the special revelation of which was committed to the Apostle Paul (Eph. 3.)? The resurrection of Christ is the foundation on which it is declared to rest. The exceeding greatness of His mighty power which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and gave him to be the head over all this to the church, which is his body (Eph. 1: 19-23).
When the complete and unfathomable mystery of God manifest in the flesh; whether we think the Lord Jesus as the Creator and the Upholder of all things, or as the crucified Man made sin for us; whether we think of Him as laid in the grave [i.e., Josephs tomb], or sitting [after His Resurrection] at the right hand of God crowned with glory and honour, He is the same blessed Person, in the deepest humiliation on the earth, and in the highest glory above the Heavens. His resurrection [out of dead ones] is the evidence to us Gentiles of the perfect satisfaction of God in His One Offering, who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God; when He made Him whose death the exceeding riches of the grace of God, is the glorious fact, the announcement of which constitutes
THE GOSPEL OF THE GLORY OF THE BLESSED GOD
(1 Tim. 1: 11)*; and, whether announced to-day as the basis of the Mystery, and as the evidence of the Grace of God toward us Gentiles, in making us members of the One Body of Christ; or proclaimed in the Apostles day, and as it will be in a yet future day, as the evidence to Israel and to the Gentiles that the Man who was crucified as the King of Israel and Lord of all: yet the Gospel of God is One, and there is not another. It declares that God has raised from among the dead that same Jesus who was crucified; and that every tongue shall confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2: 11).
[* See also 2 Cor. 4: 3-6, R.V. and compare Habakkuk 1: 5 with 2: 14, R.V.]
As there is only One Gospel, so only there is only One Hope set before all who believe: it is the return of the Lord Jesus Himself. But as the One Gospel has two aspects, so also has the hope of the Lords return.
We who have heard and believed the word of Gods grace, and have been made members of the One Body, wait for the Son of God from heaven, [to resurrect the holy dead from Hades (Acts 2: 34), or] to be caught up to meet Him in the air, so to be for ever with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:  17).
who in a future day shall receive the gospel of the
Kingdom, according to Matt. 24: 14, will
wait for the coming of the Son of Man to sit upon the throne
of His glory; and to fulfil
His promise to His Apostles (Matt. 19: 28) that they shall sit
upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of