1. New Testament Gospel

   
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1. NEW TESTAMENT GOSPEL

I. THE GOSPEL

1. The literal translation of gospel means “bring good tidings.” Mark 1:3. Rom 10:15.

2. The gospel embraced not only events and sayings, but was a portrait of Jesus’ bestowal. Heb 1:2,3.

3. When the believer was baptized he confessed that “Jesus is Lord.” Born 10:9 [? - ed.].

4. Love your enemies, and become “sons of the Most High.” Luke 6:35. Love and forgive one another. Eph 4:32.

5. The gospel story is formulated in acts. By Peter— Acts 4:8-12. By Paul— Acts 13:16-41.

6. In the religion of Jesus, and according to the Urantia Book, the gospel is: “The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.”

7. In the religion about Jesus, the gospel message evolved somewhat as follows:

a. Dawn of the Messianic age. Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.
b. Brief account of the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
c. Exaltation of the risen Christ—at the right hand of God.
d. The gift of the Holy Spirit as the sign of Christ’s presence.
e. The second advent of Christ.

8. The result of such preaching on the day of Pentecost confirmed their faith in such a message.

9. The glossolalia of Pentecost is of doubtful authenticity.

10. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:8. Pentecost is really the birthday of the Christian Church.

11. The Spirit was recognized in Old Testament times—see Judg 14:6. Now, at Pentecost, the Spirit is “democratized.”

12. The church is here. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42.

13. These early believers attempted to carry out a communistic plan of living. Later on, Paul was taking up collections to feed the starving brethren at Jerusalem.

II. THE GOSPEL IN THE GOSPELS

1. The gospel writers were not presenting history or biography. They were telling a story to confirm faith—”That believing you may have life in his name.”

2. The gospel was the whole of the apostolic message. “All that Jesus began to do and teach.”

3. Said Jesus: “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10.

4. Matthew came along with the idea that the ‘Sermon on the Mount” might be the gospel.

5. “Whosoever will may come” was the keynote of Jesus’ teaching. Salvation was a matter of faith.

6. The fatherhood of God was not a new idea in Israel, but to make use of the fact as the basis of the “brotherhood of man” was a new idea.

7. There was a new note of comfort in Jesus’ teaching. “Come to me all you who are weary and find rest for your souls.”

8. Jesus advised against all fear, anxiety, and worry. His message was one of faith, confidence, and trust.

9. Jesus knew and freely quoted the Scriptures.

10. He exhorted to doing the will of God—to be perfect even as God is perfect.

11. He healed sickness and restored the disordered mind.

12. He came to “reveal the Father” and “do his will.”

13. In the four gospels it is difficult to understand just how Jesus regarded himself as concerned the Messiah. He seldom referred to himself as “the Son of God.”

14. The gospel writers seemed to regard Jesus as the Messiah.

15. Jesus’ favorite title was “the Son of Man.”

16. He asserted his divinity often. “The Son of Man has power to forgive sins.” “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

17. The gospel writers carry along the notion that the cross was inevitable— that it was God’s will.

18. There is much in the gospels to lend support to Paul’s later doctrine of the atonement.

19. The New Testament teaches the literal resurrection of Jesus’ physical body.

20. The New Testament gives first importance to the cross—the death of Jesus.

21. More and more the resurrection becomes the living core of the gospel.

III. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL

1. Paul claims to have had a special and personal revelation of “Christ of the Damascus Road.”

2. Paul also claims to have received a mandate to preach the gospel to the gentiles.

3. Paul’s epistles were largely devoted to:

a. Defense against attacks made upon his teachings.
b. Resisting the efforts of Jewish Christians to impose ceremonial demands upon the gentiles.

4. Paul was inclined to ignore the human Christ. II Cor 5:16.

5. Paul was determined to know only “Christ and him crucified”—the atonement.

6. He was concerned with the “risen and glorified Christ”—the divine Christ.

7. Paul’s controversy with the apostles was resolved during his second visit to Jerusalem—when they extended to him “the right hand of fellowship.”

8. Paul believed in the “verbal inspiration” of the Scriptures.

9. Paul’s conversion is a mystery—also his long isolation afterward. “I went into Arabia.” Gal 1:17.

10. Paul becomes the philosopher and theologian of the religion about Jesus.

11. Paul usually speaks of Christ as “Lord” or “Son of God”—sometimes “Jesus Christ.”

12. The keynote of Paul’s preaching was “justification by faith.”

13. Paul calls his gospel the “righteousness of God.” Rom 1:17.

14. Paul teaches sonship with God by “adoption.” Rom 8:15. (King James Version)

15. Paul pays little or no attention to Christ’s life—he concentrates on his death and resurrection. I Cor 15:3.

16. Paul had specific ideas about the atonement—being “redeemed from the curse of the law.” Gal 3:13.

17. Reconciliation through the “blood of Christ” means a “new creation.” II Cor 5:17.

18. In place of “the kingdom of God,” Paul uses “in Christ”—a citizen of heaven. Phil 3:20. (King James Version)

19. Christ is not only Lord of the individual, but also “Lord of the universe.”

20. Paul does not promise a life free from hardship, but does assert “that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.”

IV. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN

1. As time passes, there is a reaction to Paul’s overstressing the divinity of Christ. Hebrews, I Peter, Revelation, and the pastoral epistles all call special attention to the humanity of Jesus.

2. John presents a more balanced picture of both the humanity and the divinity of Jesus.

3. John combines the teachings of the apostles, Paul, and much from the Greeks.

4. Use of “the kingdom of heaven” is not found in John. Already it had resulted in persecutions.

5. The incarnation is a central concept in John. John 14:9.

6. The summation of the religion about Jesus is found in John 3:l6.

7. The incarnation is summed up in John 14:10. “The Father who dwells in me does his works.”

8. Of all the New Testament the gospel of John is the best presentation of both the humanity and the divinity of Jesus.

9. It is interesting to note that the doctrine of the virgin birth is absent in John and in all of Paul’s writings.

10. It is in John that Jesus “thirsts” and “weeps.”

11. It is in John that we find the “I am” sayings—”I am the bread of life,” and so on.

12. John is the most logical, dignified, consistent, and philosophical of all the New Testament writers.

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