Barry Newman's Blog

June 11, 2012

The Gospel and its Proclmation (part VII)

Filed under: Proclaiming the gospel,The Gospel — barrynewman @ 10:41 pm

Judgement and the gospel

Paul states that according to his gospel, on the day of judgement, the secrets of men will be judged and the judgment will be carried out by Christ Jesus (Rom 2: 16).  In a passage that most of have some difficulty in understanding, Paul speaks of Israel, that though with respect to election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers, as regards the gospel, they are enemies of God (Rom 11: 28).  Shall those who remain the enemies of God, whatever their heritage, escape judgement? The coming judgement is an aspect of the gospel. In a solemn text in Revelation there is a reference to an angel with an eternal gospel to proclaim (euaggelizomai) to all earth dwellers, but when he speaks with a loud voice, it is, “Fear God and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment has come; worship him” (Rev 14: 6).  The gospel that this angel has to proclaim may be a particular gospel (see later) but it too concerns judgment.

Life under the gospel

Living under the gospel can be and should be expected to be very difficult and yet not without blessings beyond compare. Those who leave house or brothers or sister or mother or father or children or lands for the sake of Jesus and for the gospel receive extraordinarily much together with persecutions and in the coming age eternal life (Mark 10: 29).  Indeed living under the gospel can cost a person his life but it means his life will be saved. Jesus said he who loses his life for my sake and the gospel will save it (Mark 8: 35). Paul himself suffered much and was shamefully treated at Philippi but with courage in God he spoke (laleo) to the Thessalonians the gospel of God in the face of much opposition (1 Thess 2: 2).  Paul had been imprisoned for the gospel (Philemon 13) and not only once. He could write to Timothy in his last days exhorting Timothy not to be ashamed of testifying to the Lord but sharing in suffering for the gospel in the power of God (2 Timothy 1: 8). Yet in spite of his suffering for the gospel, Paul lived his life in a way that promoted the gospel. To the weak he become weak that he might win the weak and become all things to all men that he might by all means save some, doing it all for the sake of the gospel that he might share in its blessings (1 Cor 9: 22, 23).  Living as God would have us to live we must not lose heart (2 Cor 4: 1, 21).

Paul and the gospel

Paul saw himself as serving God in the gospel (Rom 1: 9), the gospel that God had entrusted to him (Gal 2: 7; 1 Thess 2: 4; 1 Tim 1: 11).  This was the gospel he proclaimed (kerusso) (Gal 2: 2) and announced (euaggelizomai) (1 Cor 9: 18; 15: 1; 2 Cor 11: 7; Gal 1: 11).  But he did not want to abuse his authority in the gospel (1 Cor 9: 18). He became the father of the believing Corinthians through the gospel (1 Cor 4: 15) and acknowledged others who were fellow workers with him in the gospel (Phil 1: 5, 27; 2: 22; 4: 3, 15; 1 Thess 3: 2).  His proclaiming and announcing was so associated with the gospel that he could speak of “my gospel” (Rom 2: 16; 16: 25; 2 Tim 2: 8) and when referring also to those who worked with him, “our gospel” (2 Cor 4: 3; 1 Thess 1; 5; 2 Thess 2: 14).

Paul was absolutely aware that the gospel came from God and not himself and was about God and his Son and was not about him. When he wrote of “my gospel” and “our gospel” he was merely identifying himself as a preacher of that gospel, the gospel that had been entrusted to him.

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