Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The gospel question; what is the gospel: Part III

What is the gospel? This is a question that needs to be explored in depth. The question resulted from reading Brian McLaren’s latest book A New Kind of Christianity. This question is one of his ten questions. It is certainly an essential question for recovering or rediscovering the apostle’s doctrine (Acts 2:42.) We have explored several other essential questions already on this website. Click the link and you can get the essential questions in PDF form. Still, the gospel question is important and will end up being included as one of the essential questions. We have also explored some of these essential questions previously in this blog.

First of all, there is a paradigm shift within the pages of scripture. The New Testament, as we have stated before is transitional. It moves from a Jew only focus with John the Baptist, through Jesus ministry (still Jew only focus)… through the cross event, through Pentecost…still a Jew only focus with a new covenant emphasis… through the inclusion of the Gentiles in Acts 10.... through Paul’s focus on the new creation… to the destruction of the temple and the end of the Mosaic covenant. All of this must be considered in the question what is the gospel?

Likewise, we have looked at the way in which Jesus changed the hermeneutic and focus of the scripture from Torah to gospel. Jesus also taught that the scripture was primarily redemptive and, that too, must be considered in defining the gospel. The gospel then must be defined in terms of the total transition of the New Testament writings.

But, an equally important aspect of defining the gospel is to look to what the Old testament predicted. The word that is translated as good news or glad tidings in Hebrew is BASAR. It is found in Isa_40:9, Isa_41:27, Isa_52:7, Isa_61:1, and Nah_1:15. Therefore, the guiding definition is best described in the following two passages:
Isa 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Isa 61:1-3 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, (3) To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

According to the above Old Testament passages the expectation of the gospel is the proclamation of peace and salvation and the reign of God. It will be a proclamation to the poor, the brokenhearted and, the captives. It will proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and also the day of vengeance. It is a proclamation that will comfort all who mourn in Zion and will bring in a way in which they can be declared righteous.

1 comment:

  1. Luke 4:18-19 house the very words that Isaiah 61:1 says. I love what Jesus did in verse 20; He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue stared at Him intently. Verse 21 says, "Then He said, This Scripture has come true today before your very eyes!" Jesus was bad! It's something when you have that much confidence in what you believe that you can stand your ground and not even be concerned about your enemies, and do what thus saith the Lord.


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