2. What is the Gospel? Notes (A4)


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The second study in our "Growing Deep in the Gospel" series in which we answered the question, "What is the Gospel?" In answering the question we looked at how the word "gospel" was used in Jesus' day and how the Bible describes the gospel. We also looked at what is the heart of the gospel, a outline of the basic gospel message and an outline of the gospel based on the entire Bible.

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2. What is the Gospel? Notes (A4)

  1. 1. What is the Gospel?The GospelFour Aspects to the Gospel 1. Understanding the gospel 2. Living the gospel 3. Proclaiming the gospel 4. Defending the gospelUnderstanding the Gospel 1. The gospel is like an iceberg in that there is more depth to it than we can see initially. 2. The gospel is like a diamond in that there are many facets to the gospel.The Bible uses different word pictures to help us understand the scope and depth of the gospel. Ituses the language of the law court (justification, punishment, judgment) to emphasize the moralaspects of redemption. The language of the temple (atonement, sacrifice, sanctification) revealsour accountability to God as our creator. The language of the family (adoption, bride andbridegroom) focuses on our relationship with God. The language of the marketplace (ransom andpossession) points out God’s ownership of us.Influences that Affect Us 1. Knowledge and understanding of God. 2. Knowledge and understanding of ourselves. 3. Knowledge and understanding of the culture and the times & spirit of our age.What we need most of all to understand the gospel is humility and dependence on God and HisWord. Bible  Gospel  JesusWhat is the Gospel?What is the meaning of the word “gospel”? A. Meaning of the Word “Gospel” in Jesus’ Day 1.Euangelion - Greek word which means “good news” or “good message”. 2. At the time of Jesus it was not used in a religious context, but rather in the context of kings and wars. 3. Most often it was a proclamation by a messenger to announce good news on behalf of a king: a. When a king would come to power, he would send out messengers to proclaim the “good news” of his new reign. b. If a son was born to him, he would send out messengers with the “good news”. c. If he was victorious over an enemy in battle, he would send out the “good news” of his victory. 4. In Mark 1:14-15 we see Jesus using the word in a similar way:
  2. 2. Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” B. Descriptors of the Gospel in the Bible 1. Gospel 2. Good News of God, Gods, of the blessed God kingdom of God of the grace of God about Jesus of Jesus Christ Son of God, of peace through Jesus Christ of Christ of a great joy of our Lord Jesus, of His Son of the glory of Christ of the kingdom, of peace, of your salvation, not mans, word of the gospel 3. Other Descriptors 4. eternal glorious law of liberty message of reconciliation message of salvation mystery of Christ power of God for salvation wisdom of God word of God word of Christ, word of the Lord word of the cross word of faith word of life word of truth, word of the truth Key ideas we learn from these descriptor words 1. The Gospel originated with God not man - means you can’t pick and chose what you want to believe. “If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” Augustine 2. The Gospel is about Jesus - He brought the gospel into being - no Jesus, no gospel 3. Romans 1: verse 1- the gospel of God and verse 3- about His Son Jesus Christ 4. It is a great joy - Do you know this joy? 5. It is God’s wisdom - if you want to be wise search it depths. 6. It is a word - something that is spoken - Jesus spoke the creation into existence - and it is the gospel spoken that brings life.The Gospel vs. The Plan of SalvationWhile the gospel and the plan of salvation are connected and overlap they are not the same exactthing. The plan of salvation is what we do in order to receive the benefits of the gospel forourselves.“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, bothLord and Messiah.” Acts 2:36 (NIV) 2
  3. 3. Peter tells the people the “Good News” about Jesus.When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles,“Brothers, what shall we do?” Acts 2:37 (NIV)The people respond to what they learned about Jesus.Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for theforgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 (NIV)Peter tells them the way of salvation.Jesus vs. Paul – Kingdom vs. JustificationJesus emphasized the kingdom of God in His preaching of the gospel where Paul emphasizedbeing justified by faith.Kingdom of God – restoring the reign and rule of God over all creation, where God’s will is done(Matthew 6:10).Justification by Faith – being declared righteous because you placed your trust in Jesus and whatHe did for your sin.Mark 1:14-15 (NKJ)Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdomof God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, andbelieve in the gospel.”Matthew 4:23 (NIV)Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of thekingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.Romans 3:21-26 (NIV)21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Lawand the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all whobelieve. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short ofthe glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came byChrist Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of hisblood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in hisforbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstratehis righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who havefaith in Jesus.Some people claim that Paul preached a different gospel from Jesus but that is not true. WhatPaul and Jesus did was emphasize different aspects of the gospel but it was the same gospel.Jesus was focused on the cosmic implications of the gospel and Paul was focused on how peoplebecame a part of kingdom that Jesus preached because of the confusion over the Law. You alsoneed to take into consideration that Jesus was preaching the gospel before the cross and Paulwas preaching it after the cross so it is understandable for them to be looking at it differently.There is a danger when only one emphasis is focused one. Implications of the kingdom vs.personal application. Was there anything that they both preached? Yes! 3
  4. 4. Heart of the gospel - Jesus dying for our sinsPaul’s focus:1 Corinthians 2:2 (NIV)For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NIV)3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for oursins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third dayaccording to the Scriptures,Did Jesus preach His death for the forgiveness of sin?Mark 10:45 (NIV)For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as aransom for many.”Matthew 26:27-28 (NIV)Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drinkfrom it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for theforgiveness of sins.So we see that both Jesus and Paul preached about Jesus dying for our sins.What is the gospel?According to Jesus and Paul the gospel in its simplest form is: Christ died for our sins androse again according to the scriptures.Here is what we have if we take what Jesus and Paul focused on and add the heart of thegospel to them: 1. The reign and rule of God has been restored. 2. Christ died for our sins and rose again according to the scriptures. 3. Our sins can be forgiven through faith in Jesus.The Four GospelsThe four gospels confirm that the gospel is about Jesus. Each gospel is titled with “kata”in the Greek which means “according to”. So here is what they say: 1. The gospel according to Matthew 2. The gospel according to Mark 3. The gospel according to Luke 4. The gospel according to JohnAs we read each one what do they say is the gospel? They say that the gospel is thegood news about Jesus: 1. His Life 2. His Death 4
  5. 5. 3. His Resurrection 4. His Ascension 5. His ReturnFocus of the Gospel MessageSince the heart of the gospel is Jesus He should be the focus of the gospel that we knowand preach to others.Basic Gospel Message Outline 1. Why we need Jesus – sin 2. What Jesus did for us – the cross 3. How we are reconciled to God through Jesus – repentance and faithMain Points from Man’s Perspective1. We have a problem - separation from God due to sin- consequences: judgment, hell and wrath2. We need a solution - Jesus is the only solution- Jesus died for our sins3. How we acquire the solution for ourselves - repentance and faithBasic Gospel Message – Short VersionThough we deserve judgment, hell and wrath because we turned from God, who is our Creator, tobe our own gods, there is good news! God has provided the way for our sin to be forgiven so thatwe can be restored in our relationship with Him and become His children and live with Him foreverin His eternal kingdom. That way is through His Son Jesus, who became a man and lived aperfect, sinless life and then went to the cross where He paid the penalty for our sin. What weneed to do in order to receive this salvation is to turn from sin back to God and place our faith inJesus and all that He did for us.Basic Gospel Message – Long VersionWe need Jesus because we have sin against God. We rejected our Creator and have denied HimHis rightful place in our lives. Instead we have turned in our hearts from Him to be our own gods,to seek our own significance, purpose and happiness apart from Him. Because God is holy andjust, sin cannot be in His presence. So we are separated from Him and have only judgment, helland His wrath for our sin waiting for us after we die.But because of His great love and desire for relationship with us, God sent His Son Jesus in orderto provide a way for us to be restored to Himself and become His children, now and forever, in Hiseternal kingdom. Jesus lived a sinless life then went to the cross where the Father placed all of oursin upon Him. Because of our sin Jesus was separated from the Father for the first time in all ofeternity and then He experienced the wrath of God for every sin then He died. Since Jesus had nosin of His own, after He had paid the penalty for every sin, He rose from the dead proving He wasthe Son of God and that He had overcome sin making salvation possible for us.In order for us to receive salvation we need to recognize that we have sinned against God. Thatwe have rejected and rebelled against our Creator to be our own gods. We need to confess it toourselves and to God and then we need to turn in our hearts from sin back to God. Then we needto put our faith in Jesus and all that He did for us and embrace Him as our savior and king and livelife accordingly.Key Bible Verses for the Gospel 1. Mark 1:14-15 5. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 2. John 3:14-21 6. 2 Corinthians 5:21 3. Romans 3:21-26 7. Colossians 1:19-23 4. Romans 6:23 5
  6. 6. Mark 1:14-15 (NKJ)14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”John 3:14-21 (NLT)14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be liftedup, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. 16 “For God loved the world so much thathe gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. 18 “There is nojudgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already beenjudged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s lightcame into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 Allwho do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who dowhat is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.Romans 3:21-26 (NIV)21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and theProphets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. Forthere is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely byHis grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by Hisblood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed overthe sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that Hemight be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.Romans 6:23 (NIV)For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NIV)1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received andon which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word Ipreached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of firstimportance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he wasraised on the third day according to the Scriptures,2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.Colossians 1:19-23 (NIV)19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself allthings, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior.22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight,without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do notmove from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimedto every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.The Gospel according to the Scriptures – Basic Outline 1. Creation 2. Fall 3. Redemption 4. RestorationOutline of the Gospel according to the Scriptures 1. Eternity Past 2. Creation 3. Fall 4. Redemption 5. Restoration 6. Eternity Future 6
  7. 7. “R” Outline of the Gospel 1. Relationship 2. Rebellion 3. Rescue 4. Restoration 5. RenewalThe Gospel in Detail Outline 1. Eternity Past a. Nature of God b. Character of God c. Satan and the angels’ rebellion 2. Creation a. God is the creator of all things b. Creation of Adam and Eve in God’s image c. Life before the fall 3. Fall a. What God commanded and why b. Temptation by Satan c. Consequences of sin 1. for Adam and Eve 2. for the rest of God’s creation 3. for us today 4. for everyone on judgment day 4. Redemption a. God’s love for us and His plan of salvation b. Jesus 1. His nature as God-man 2. His life and ministry - never sinned 3. His sacrifice on the cross 4. His resurrection c. What Jesus accomplished for us d. How we receive this salvation through Jesus 5. Restoration a. In the present- following Jesus (sanctification) b. In the future - kingdom of Jesus (glorification) 6. Eternity Future a. New heavens and earth b. Eternal kingdom of God – To be with Jesus and the Father forever!Reflection Questions  What would you write for a one sentence, a one paragraph and a one page definition/ explanation of the gospel?  If someone were to ask you what the gospel was how would you answer them?Last WordTake a hold of the gospel so Jesus can take a hold of you. 7
  8. 8. Psalm 32:1-2 (NLT)Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy forthose whose record the LORD has cleared of sin…Review Questions 1. What did the word “gospel” mean in Jesus’ day? 2. What are some of the things you learned from looking at the descriptors of the gospel in the Bible? 3. What is the difference between the gospel and the plan of salvation? 4. What are your thoughts and observations about the different focuses Jesus and Paul had when they preached the gospel? 5. Give at least two different answers to the question, “What is the Gospel?” 6. What things impacted you the most in this study of the gospel and why?To Learn More 1.Memorize the seven key Bible verses and the Gospel in Detail Outline. 2.Write out a one sentence, one paragraph and one page definition/explanation of the gospel in your own words. Review the notes, read the key Bible verses and look at the examples on the handouts you received. 3.Practice explaining the gospel by yourself then with to those close to you then look for opportunities to do so with others as well. 4.Over the next two months read the booklet “The Gospel in Detail”. As you read the summary and Bible verses for each section write out a summary in your own words. 5.Review these notes regularly and write down what God is teaching you. 6.Discuss items 1-5 with someone or in a small group. 8