What is the gospel, the Good News to which the first disciples testified?
Mark 16:15-20 - "And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs."
1. If you believe the gospel and are baptised, you will be saved. So it is something to believe, but what? The beginning of the book of Mark says:
Mark 1 - "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. ... John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. ... And he preached, saying, “After me comes He who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” ... Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”"
2. It is all about Jesus Christ (Yeshua, the Anointed One), the Son of God!
3. It involves repentance and forgiveness of sins (agreeing with the earlier Hebrew Scriptures!).
4. Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit (so it includes promises concerning the Holy Spirit in e.g. Joel 2).
5. It involves the Kingdom of God (which are clearly connected to the Son of man/Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures from before: e.g. Dan.7).
Luke 24:36-53 - "As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God."
1. The fulfilment of the Scriptures.
2. The Messiah should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead.
3. Repentance and forgiveness of sins proclaimed in His Name.
4. For all nations (again in accordance to the previous prophecies).
Acts 1:4-11 - "And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”"
1. The power from the Holy Spirit when we are baptized with Him.
Matt.28:18-20 - "And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”"
1. Diciples of Jesus.
2. Baptized in the Name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. Teached to obey all the teachings of Jesus (including all on the Kingdom of God).
4. He is with us.
Joh.20:19-23 - "On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”"
1. Receiving the Holy Spirit.
2. Sent as Jesus was sent (disciples making disciples).
3. Forgiveness of sins.
What is your definition of "the Gospel"?