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What is the Gospel

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by OldRegular, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Where in Scripture is the Gospel defined as the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    The whole of scripture is the Gospel. When we preach just the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, but fail to preach on washing each other's feet, or on feeding the hungry, or on being blessed when we're persecuted, or on not condemning and then sinning no more, or on live as Jesus loves, etc etc etc, we aren't preachign the whole Gospel.

    We will frequently accuse a person who doesn't preach on the death and resurrection as not preaching the Gospel, yet fail to point the finger at ourselves when we fail to preach on all of these things.
     
  3. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Johnv

    I found your comment on washing feet interesting. Would like to hear more from you on this, PM if it suits you.
     
  4. rjprince

    rjprince Active Member

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    JohnV,

    I certainly agree that we should preach the whole of Scripture (2Tim 4:2; Acts 20:27) and that all of the Bible is "good news", for some at least (bad news for others as noted earlier). But we cannot define the gospel quite as broadly and still line up with the Biblical use of the term. If we define it as “any good news”, "Hey I saved 20% on my car insurance!" That may be good news, but it is not the gospel. Jesus raised Lazarus. That was good news, but it is never called the gospel.

    Re foot washing, not very many Baptists have ever done that for a brother. It is a very humbling and a very special time. More commonly practiced by Brethren than by Baptists, though. Grace Seminary used to teach it as a third ordinance. However, I do not agree that preaching about "footwashing" is preaching the Gospel. Not because I do not like your idea, but because the Bible never uses the term in such a broad and sweeping manner.


    OR,

    Here is the passage referenced in my earlier post...

    1Cor 15:1-4
    1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    The text seems pretty clear that the gospel that Paul preached was “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” That was the message he preached, they received, wherein they stood, and which Paul had received.

    That was my point, it is not heretical, it is Biblical. Your repeated mantra and pervaphrase (I made another new word!) that I am declaring heresy is still without substance.
     
  5. rjprince

    rjprince Active Member

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    OR,

    Sorry, "pervaprhase" was a bit of a flame and I am already past the time where I can still edit it out. I was actively involved with my high school debate team even as a youngster. My debate partner and I made it to early final rounds for the state of Fl in 1973. Any way, sometimes I get just a little bit mean in my style. To make matters worse, sometimes I even get a just a bit proud of what I somethimes think is wit. A good friend once told me I was half right about the wit thing, he said that I really was a half-wit!!! Again, sorry, sometimes this whole flesh thing seems to get the best of me.

    Please, mind you, I am not apologizing for the content, only for my sometimes abrasive manner.

    In HIS service, and yes yours too, (iron sharpening iron and all that)

    Ray
     
  6. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
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    I'm just glad he admitted "pervaphrase" was made up. Saved me from trying to look it up. [​IMG]
     
  7. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Your point from 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 is well taken even though incomplete. The Apostle Paul better defines the Gospel in the passage I posted in the OP.

    Notice that according to Paul the Gospel was offered to the Jew first, which it was in the Gospel accounts, and then to the Gentiles. I would also note that in the Gospel according to John [verses 3:14-19] Jesus Christ taught of his death and then actually expands somewhat on Pauls very brief definition of the Gospel:

    Jesus Christ tells us that the Gospel is salvation to those who believe and damnation to those who don't.

    Furthermore, in light of the admonition of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ to the disciples on the road to Emmaus you cannot justify the claim that you made above
    Jesus Christ clearly tells the disciples in Luke 24:25-27
    that His suffering and resurrection were prophesied in the Old Testament. You cannot make any claims about the belief of the thief and Nicodemus since Scripture doesn't.

    In light of the Scripture posted above from John, Luke, and Romans it should be clear that Scripture teaches only One Gospel.
     
  8. rjprince

    rjprince Active Member

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    Started a response a couple of days ago, it has been hanging there while I have been otherwise occupied. Hope to finish tomorrow, actually later today... after I sleep some.

    For now, just this.

    Was Peter saved while he was preaching with the twelve?

    If so, he was saved by faith in something other than the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He did not believe that yet. Not only had it not happened, but when Jesus told him it was going to happen, Peter had a "hissy fit" -- thats in the Greek. OK not really, but "hissy fit" would seem to accurately capture his reaction at the time.

    So, how could he have been saved by faith in the same Gospel that Paul preached?

    More later...
     
  9. rjprince

    rjprince Active Member

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    OR,

    Paul does not define the gospel in Rom 1:16, he rather explains that the gospel has inherent power in and of itself. That is a fact about the gospel, it is not a definition of the gospel, the definition is in 1Cor 15:1-4. Nor does Romans 1:16 declare that the gospel of salvation was preached to the Jews during the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus. That is forcing much more than the context will bear into Rom 1:16, the word is eisogesis - reading your own theology into a passage that does not explicitly state your theology...

    What the passage does say was clear in your citation of the passage itself. The gospel is “the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek”. Nothing in that text, or any other declares that Jesus, or the twelve, preached the gospel of His death burial and resurrection PRIOR to the cross.

    Go through the book of Acts from chapter 13 and you will see that Paul’s practice was to proclaim the gospel, OF THE DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION, first to the Jews of an area and then to the Gentiles after the Jews rejected the gospel. He is still following this practice while under “house arrest” in Rome awaiting trial before Caesar – “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles” (Acts 28:28). There is no reason to understand Rom 1:16 in any other light. Certainly as Paul presents his message in the book of Romans the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus is central to his theme.

    Yes, the OT prophets spoke of His death, burial, and resurrection. But the message was so cryptic as to leave the prophets themselves searching for the meaning of their own message according to Peter – “ Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” (1Pet 1:10-12)

    I suggest that you re-read your citation from Luke 24. The disciples on the road to Emmaus neither understood nor affirmed the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah. Yet, Jesus clearly told them that the prophets had foretold His suffering. This lack of understanding makes it rather difficult to suggest that they were justified on the basis of their faith in the death, burial, and resurrection. In fact there is no one that can be used as an example of someone who was justified on the basis of their faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus until AFTER the cross. These two disciples who talked with Jesus give absolutely no indication that they “looked forward to the cross” as the means of their salvation.

    The Old Testament sacrifices were indeed a shadow of what was to come on Calvary. But a shadow does not reveal the detail that is evident in the clear light of His actual presence. A shadow is but a dim reflection of an outline, the brightness of His glory was not revealed until He walked among men and His death on the cross was not understood until after His resurrection.

    To contend that the gospel message prior to the cross was the same as the gospel message after the cross is to fail to deal adequately with the Biblical record.

    I do not believe that our discussion is merely a matter of disagreement over semantics. I do believe that there are some things that we do agree on. I believe that we agree...

    That Jesus is the only basis for salvation in either the OT or NT.
    The animal sacrifices were a shadow of what was to take place on Calvary.
    Jesus is the only way of salvation.
    Salvation is only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
    There is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
    Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Him.
    Salvation has never been on the basis of works, always on the basis of faith.
    Salvation and forgiveness of sin has always involved a blood sacrifice.

    Do we agree on these matters?

    My position is not so different from yours, I just believe that it is a bit more precise in its declaration of the particulars.

    If we were to define the “gospel” simply as “salvation by grace through faith”, then yes, there is only one gospel. My contention is that the particulars of the gospel message after the cross are much more specific than before the cross. In that sense, the content, and therefore the proclamation of the gospel message was different after the cross...
     
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