We Must Articulate The Gospel
Not Throw It At People
At the heart of Christian belief is the Gospel. It’s a major concept in the New Testament. I wouldn’t say it dominates but it is definitely pervasive. You find it everywhere you look.
The word is used 98 times in the New Testament and is found in nineteen books. It is mentioned toward the beginning and the ending of several of these books:
- The first three books: Matthew, Mark and Luke
It seems strange that the word “Gospel” isn’t found in John even once, until you realize that John focuses on “belief” which is the personal response that catalyzes the application of the Gospel to an individual’s heart. John’s focus, therefore, compliments the focus on the Gospel in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Other books where “Gospel” is mentioned toward the beginning and ending are:
- 1 & 2 Corinthians
Mark gives the word first importance. It literally opens and closes the book. It is mentioned in the first verse of the first chapter and almost the last verse of the last chapter. That is also true for Romans.
In three books: Romans, Galatians and Philippians, the word is used at least five times in the first chapter alone – six times in Philippians 1.
The Gospel was obviously important to the New Testament writers and most people recognize that. Unfortunately it isn’t always made very clear today.
The Gospel Needs Specific Definition
It is common that when people talk about Jesus they often mention the Gospel but rarely do much to explain it and it really needs to be explained. “Gospel” is only one word and it has a very simple, unspecific, generalized meaning: “good news.” That’s it. Without more detail you’re still in a mist. All kinds of news can be referred to as “good” so we need to specify what the news is. [Read more…] about What Makes The Gospel Good News?