Friday, January 18, 2013

Peter defines the word of God; He was following Jesus and the other apostles

1Pe 1:23-25  since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;(Jesus)  (24)  for "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,  (25)  but the word of the Lord remains forever." And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

I have devoted a lot of key strokes to the indisputable fact that first Jesus, and then his first century followers redefined the phrase word of God to mean, either, Jesus the living word or the gospel (the good news of Jesus.) I have shown that Paul defined the word of truth as the gospel (Eph 1:13)… and likewise, so did James (James 1:18), and here we have Peter as yet another witness of the first century Christ follower who has redefined the word from Torah to gospel.

I recently did a word study on this and would like to include it here for you. I confess that it is more words than the usual blog post because it is quite exhaustive.

Jesus defines the word of God as the gospel:

Jesus defines the phrase “word of God” as the gospel in the parable of the sower.

(Mat 13:18-19)  "Hear then the parable of the sower:  (19)  When anyone hears the *word of the kingdom* and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.” So then, in this account from the gospel of Matthew, Jesus equates the seed with the word of the kingdom or the gospel of the kingdom. Now look at the same parable in Luke’s gospel. (Luke 8:11-12)  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.  (12)  The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Here Jesus defines the seed as the word of God. So then, in one place he calls the seed the word or gospel of the kingdom and in another place he calls it the word of God. One can conclude from this that Jesus defined the word of God as the gospel of the kingdom.

This becomes especially important when you look at the way that all of his first century followers who wrote the New Testament defined the phrase *word of God.* It was always gospel or Jesus the living gospel. In the New Testament writings, when you see the phrases *word of God*… *word of truth*… or just the word *word.* It always means *the gospel* or Jesus the living gospel and conversely, it never means scripture. You can easily test this out. Do a concordance search of the phrase *word of God* and then substitute the phrase with either scripture or gospel. You will soon see that it only makes sense when the word gospel is substituted.

Here is an exhaustive list with the substitution made and commentary that follows to justify the meaning.

(Luk 5:1)  On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret,… to hear the gospel makes sense… to hear the scripture does not. They went to the synagogues to hear the scripture read

(Luk 8:11)  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God… In this passage as shown above the seed is the gospel of the kingdom.

(Luk 8:21)  But he answered them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." Hear the gospel and do it, not hear the scripture and do it

(Luk 11:28)  But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"… hear the gospel and keep (believe) it.

(Act 4:31)  And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness… The continued to speak the gospel with boldness.

(Act 6:2)  And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables… preaching the gospel not the scripture.

(Act 6:7)  And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith… the gospel continued to increase

(Act 8:14)  Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John… Samaria received the gospel they already had the scripture.

(Act 11:1)  Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God… received the gospel not the scripture

(Act 12:24)  But the word of God increased and multiplied… the gospel increased and multiplied, the scripture was already very wide spread.

(Act 13:5)  When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them… they proclaimed the gospel not the scripture.

(Act 13:7)  He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God… sought to hear the gospel

(Act 13:46)  And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles… gospel be spoken first to you… first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles.

(Act 17:13)  But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds… the gospel was proclaimed

(Act 18:11)  And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them… teaching the gospel, not the scripture

(Rom 9:6)  But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel… not as though the gospel had failed

(1Co 14:36)  Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached?... the gospel came?

(Eph 6:17)  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,… which is the gospel

(Col 1:25)  of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known… make the gospel fully known

(1Th 2:13)  And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers… received the gospel which you heard from us

(1Ti 4:5)  for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer… by the gospel and prayer

(2Ti 2:9)  for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!... the gospel is not bound.

(Tit 2:5)  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled… that the gospel may not be reviled

(Heb 4:12)  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart… for Jesus is living and active… see verses 13-15 for context and proof.

(Heb 6:5)  and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,… tasted the goodness of the gospel

(Heb 11:3)  By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible… created by Jesus

(Heb 13:7)  Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith… spoke to you the gospel

(1Pe 1:23)  since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

(2Pe 3:5)  For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,… Jesus

(1Jn 2:14)  I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one… Jesus abides in you

(Rev 1:2)  who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw… bore witness to the gospel

(Rev 1:9)  I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus… on account of the gospel

(Rev 6:9)  When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne… slain for the gospel

(Rev 19:13)  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God… Jesus

(Rev 20:4)  Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years… testimony of Jesus and the gospel

Word of truth

Both Paul and James actually define what they mean by the phrase word of truth.

(Eph 1:13)  “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,”

(Jas 1:18)  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures… brought us forth by the gospel and Jesus

A question to ponder:

Here is my question; if Jesus, and his followers re-defined the word of truth and the word of God to be the gospel, and Jesus the living gospel… why… do all evangelical pastors and theologians insist on calling the scripture the word of God? Does this alone not show that they are walking in error?

Note: **I acknowledge that Psalm 119 defines the word of God and word of truth as the Torah. I acknowledge that Jesus referred to Torah as the word of God in Matt 15:6, Mark 7:13 and John 10:35. It really just speaks about two times because the Matt and Mark passages are both referring to the same instance. In each of these instances he was speaking to unbelieving Jews who thought that the Torah was the Word of God and he was being critical of how this belief had affected their theology.

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