…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14
While interacting with new followers of Jesus, … sometimes the question,
“What is the gospel?” is asked.
The reason being, in the English, “gospel” is not a common word.
Also in the Chinese, “福音” is a Christian created word, not found in the standard vocabulary.
The following is a humble attempt to address this question from the Bible.
The word ‘gospel‘ means ‘good news‘ in the Greek, εὐαγγέλιον.
So, what’s the good news?
What’s so good of this news?
What was the gospel that the apostles preached?
How did the apostles share the gospel?
Let’s examine 2 passages in the Bible.
Romans 1:1-4 (NKJV, NLT)
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle
and sent out to preach his Good News.
2 God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures.
3 The Good News is about his Son.
In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line,
4 and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.
He is Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:1-3, 21-24 (NLT)
Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me.
Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.
4 He was buried, and
he was raised from the dead on the third day,
just as the Scriptures said.
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.
24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power.
In both passages, Paul based His gospel on the word of God, according to the Holy scriptures.
These 2 passages gives the main points of the good news in a simple, and logical, memorable way; through an outline of the life of Jesus.
Let’s examine these passages further (subsequent quotes from these 2 passages are in green)
Before we examine the 2 passages in detail, when we read Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, we find the same important elements of the gospel, good news of Jesus Christ.
Acts 2:22-24, 29-33 (NIV)
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this:
Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs,
which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,
put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.
30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay.
32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.
33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
** the gospel of God … concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord
The Good News is about his Son
The Gospel or good news is all about Jesus Christ, our Lord, the son of God.
Mark introduces his book with,
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Mark 1:1 (NASB)
For the first disciples of Jesus,
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).
42 And he brought him to Jesus.
John 1:35-37, 40-42 (NIV)
They followed Jesus
Then, Andrew brought his brother to Jesus.
Jesus is the gospel, the good news.
Follow Jesus, … bring others to Jesus.
The gospel is first and foremost about Jesus.
Here’s how Paul and the believers in Acts shared and presented the gospel of Jesus Christ,
18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles
by word and deed,
19 in the power of signs and wonders,
in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Romans 15:18,19 (NASB)
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
1 Corithians 2:1-5, 12,13 (NASB)
Let’s focus on Jesus.
As Paul wrote,
I have fully preached the gospel of Christ ….
by word and deed,
in the power of signs and wonders,
in the power of the Spirit
so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
The focus of the gospel is Jesus,
rather than about —
something else, or someone else, or somewhere else … or a special place or person …. or getting a ticket to heaven, or finding one’s purpose or meaning in life, or a silver bullet for everything, or a success formula or some noble cause, or end-time prophecies, or sins of others.
Let’s share who Jesus is, and the great and awesome things He has done, especially His work in our own lives through our personal testimonies.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:8-10, 15 (NIV)
And like Paul, we all need a personal revelation or encounter with Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit to know Him personally.
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but
I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 1:11,12 (NASB)
** He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord
The prophets prophesised about Jesus, the Messiah, Christ and His life.
Jesus was foretold by various prophets who lived in human history during the era of different empires under the reign of different rulers
The prophecies are documented in the Old Testament (the scriptures) in the Bible.
The stories and prophecies of the Bible all happened in human history,
… all the way from creation.
… Worship God.
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Revelation 19:10 (ESV)
After Jesus rose from the grave,
Jesus said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you:
Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in
the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.
Luke 24:44 (NIV)
Jesus came and fulfilled that is written about Him.
(more than 300 prophecies about Him)
Jesus said, “39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” John 5:39,40 (NIV)
The scriptures (the Law of Meses, the Prophets, and the Psalms) testify about Jesus.
The central message of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is Jesus.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.
1 Peter 1:10,11 (NIV)
The prophets predicted about the Christ,. the Messiah (i.e. the chosen anointed one) who will be coming to earth … the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.
** In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line.
Jesus Christ came to earth as a man, the son of man.
Jesus was born,
on earth, Jesus lived a sinless life, and … God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
Acts 10:38 (NIV)
His life, ministry and teachings were documented by eye witnesses
in the 4 Gospels of the Bible — Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.
He existed in History, and His ancestry can be traced;
the descendant of a well-regarded Jewish king, David.
At His miracle birth to a virgin, Mary betrothed to Joseph,
… an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:20 (NIV)
To the shepherds,
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Luke 2:10,11 (NIV)
Jesus’ name means he will save his people from their sins.
Jesus is the savior, the Messiah, the Christ, the Lord.
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
1 John 4:14 (NIV)
4 But when the fullness of the time had come,
God sent forth His Son,
born of a woman,
born under the law,
5 to redeem those who were under the law,
that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Galatians 4:4,5 (NKJV)
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
John 18:37 (NASB)
By living amongst us, Jesus revealed the Lord God. He revealed God’s heart to us. He taught and showed us the kingdom of God and His truth through His life and teaching.
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. John 14:9 (NIV)
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John 1:14, 18 (NIV)
32 When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city had gathered at the door. 34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons …
Mark 1:32-34 (NASB)
9 “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? 10But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” 12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
Mark 2:10-12 (NASB)
Jesus demonstrated His salvation,
He forgave sins, healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out demons by His authority as the son of God.
Through word, deed, and signs/miracles, Jesus revealed the good news of the Kingdom of God, moved by His love and compassion — the good Shepherd.
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:35,36 (NIV)
I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:11 (NIV)
** Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.
At the trial of Jesus before the Roman leader, Pilate, and Jewish religious leaders,
John 19:4-7, 16 (NLT)
4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”
6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”
7 The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”
16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.
Matthew 27:18 (AMP)
For Pilate knew that it was because of jealousy that the chief priests and elders had handed Jesus over to him.
The Roman leader, Pilate found Jesus not guilty of any crime,
“I find him not guilty.”
Jesus was crucified
because He called himself the Son of God;
which He truly is;
fired by the jealousy of the chief priests.
Jesus was falsely accused, unjustly and mercilessly judged, and condemned to die by crucifixion (a slow and agonising death); poisoned by the jealousy of others.
For Christ also suffered once for sins,
the righteous for the unrighteous,
to bring you to God.
1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)
He paid the ultimate price, sacrifice to bring us to God.
Jesus’ sacrifice is once, complete and sufficient for all our sins, for all time.
No other sacrifices or good works can pay or atone for our sins.
Jesus suffered and died for our sins,
so that our relationship with God is restored.
Instead of rightful judgment and condemnation for our sins,
we receive mercy and grace from God,
and become adopted as His children,
because of Jesus.
the righteous for the unrighteous,
Though Jesus suffered greatly for our sins,
He did not sin.
22 who committed no sin,
nor was any deceit found in His mouth;
23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return;
while suffering, He uttered no threats,
but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross,
so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness;
for by His wounds you were healed.
1 Peter 2:22-24 (NASB)
Through Jesus death, our sins are forgiven,
and by His wounds we were healed, i.e. divine healing.
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. Romans 5:6-11 (NLT)
We have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ.
Our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son.
This is good news!
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh,
God made you alive with Christ.
He forgave us all our sins,
14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us;
he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities,
he made a public spectacle of them,
triumphing over them by the cross.
Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV)
Through Jesus, God made you alive with Christ
our legal indebtedness of sins were canceled and forgiven, nailed to the cross,
the powers and authorities of the devil were disarmed,
with a devastating resounding victory,
once and forever,
triumphing over them by the cross.
Praise the Lord!
This is good news!
On the cross,
39 One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:39-43 (NLT)
The Old Rugged Cross
Jesus said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and [voluntarily] gave up His spirit.
John 19:30 (AMP)
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud [agonized] voice, and gave up His spirit [voluntarily, sovereignly dismissing and releasing His spirit from His body in submission to His Father’s plan].
51 And [at once] the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth shook and the rocks were split apart.
52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints (God’s people) who had fallen asleep [in death] were raised [to life]; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they entered the holy city (Jerusalem) and appeared to many people.
54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, they were terribly frightened and filled with awe, and said,
“Truly this was the Son of God!”
Matthew 27:50-54 (AMP)
** He was buried … just as the Scriptures said
Jesus Christ was buried
(fully dead for 3 days)
At the crucifixion,
John 19:32-35, 39-42 (NIV)
32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
39 Joseph of Arimathea was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Matthew 27:65,66 (NIV)
** he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said, he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit
Jesus Christ miraculously rose from the dead.
Matthew 28:1-6, 8,9 (NIV)
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
He resurrected, He was raised to life, by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and many eye-witnesses met Him, some physically touched Him, some ate with Him.
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
1 Corinthians 15:4-6 (NLT)
The resurrection proved that Jesus Christ is the son of God,
who has power over death and hades.
he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him
Peter said, ” … wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” Acts 2:23,24
John wrote, .. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,“Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
Revelations 1:17,18 (NKJV)
Therefore, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 14:6 (NASB)
He’s alive! I’m forgiven! The gates are open wide! …. that’s the good news!
So crucial is the miraculous resurrection of Jesus in the gospel,
that Paul wrote, 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty … 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 1 Corinthians 15:13,14, 17 (NKJV)
Why does it seem incredible to any of you that
God can raise the dead?
Acts 26:8 (NLT)
Hence, faith in Jesus includes faith in His miraculous resurrection.
.. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Romans 8:34 (NIV)
Jesus raised to life, is now at the right hand of God interceding for us.
After Jesus resurrected, Jesus proclaimed,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Matthew 28:18 (NIV)
Therefore, because Jesus overcame and triumphed over death, devil and hades, and was resurrected with all authority, Peter shared,
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
Acts 3:16 (NIV)
And Jesus taught,
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:12,13 (NIV)
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons
Mark 16:17 (NIV)
Hence, by the power of Jesus resurrection, in the authority of Jesus name,
** be saved
** receive healing
** pray in Jesus name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
** drive out demons
Paul prayed that we may know his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
Ephesians 1:19,21 (NIV)
Because Jesus was raised to the right hand of God, the Holy Spirit was poured on all followers, to empower and guide us all.
33 Exalted to the right hand of God, Jesus has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
17 ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
Acts 2:33, 17,18 (NIV)
There is much in the Bible about the Holy Spirit, so here’s a brief introduction of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life,
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him,because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
John 14:15-17, 26; 16:13,14; Acts 1:8 (NIV)
By the power of His resurrection, Jesus the Son of God continues His good work by the Holy Spirit, through His followers,
for our gospel did not come to you in word only,
but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction …
1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NASB)
And they went out and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them,
and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.
Mark 16:20 (NASB)
“The late Festo Kivengere, a dynamic evangelist and Ugandan Anglican Bishop of the diocese of Kigezi, was exiled during Idi Amin’s regime. I once heard him ask the question,
“What can you preach to the Ugandans who have suffered incomparably and lost everything [due to Amin] and now feel in complete bondage?”
His answer was: “The only thing you can preach is the resurrection. That he whose power overcame the greatest of evil forces can help them overcome.” There is no question that the power of the resurrection became the theme of Bishop Festo’s life and message.”
— Source: Paul-Gordon Chandler, God’s Global Mosaic, IVP Books, 1997,2000, Chapter 5.
** who belongs to Christ will be given new life.
Jesus Christ’s resurrection gives new life to all who believe in Him, who belong to Him.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10 (NIV)
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8,9 (NIV)
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death,
in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his,
we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ,
we believe that we will also live with him.
9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead,
will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all,
but the life he lives he lives to God.
11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin
and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:3-11 (ESV)
Just as Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of God,
His resurrection has given us a new life,
we are dead to sin, alive to God in Christ Jesus.
We live a new life to God,
He has set us free from sin.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
Colossians 1:21 (NIV, NLT)
In our new life in Jesus Christ,
through prayer and His word,
the Holy Spirit gives us the power and strength to overcome sin in our lives,
and leads us to live to please the Lord in our lives.
13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die;
but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
Romans 8:13,14 (NIV)
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God,let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
Hence, its no longer about us trying to meet God’s standards by our own strength.
Through Jesus, we receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need
to help us with our weaknesses whenever we are tempted to sin.
God helps and enables us to meet His standards.
This is good news!
** then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.
After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father
At the end of the age, Jesus Christ will come back again, and believers will be raised to life again to live in His Kingdom with the Lord forever,
Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we have this glorious hope.
because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead
will also raise us with Jesus
and present us with you
2 Corinthians 4:14 (NIV)
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NIV)
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega,the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. ….
17 … Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
Revelations 22:12-14, 17 (NIV)
We believe in the Savior who is alive!
Jesus Christ. who is coming back again!
awaiting and confidently expecting the [fulfillment of our]
blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior,
Titus 2:13 (AMP)
The gospel is about Jesus Christ,
the son of God,
who was foretold by prophets,
who was born in a miracle virgin birth,
lived a sinless life amongst us doing good and miraculously healing those under the power of the devil.
who died for our sins,
and was miraculously raised from the dead after 3 days.
These are confirmed by prophets in scriptures, and eye witness accounts in history.
The resurrection proved that Jesus Christ is the son of God.
Jesus Christ’s resurrection gives new life to all who believe in Him, who belong to Him.
At the end of the age, Jesus Christ will come back again, and believers will be raised to life again to live in His Kingdom with the Lord forever.
In a nutshell, the Bible’s central theme — the good news of Jesus Christ, the son of God.
15 “But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
Because Jesus is the son of God, and He is alive,
He continues His work through His followers, doing good and miraculously healing those under the power of the devil.
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Mark 16:19,20 (NIV)
Life changing miracles and signs continue to happen in the name of Jesus.
And through life’s challenges, ups and down,
our hope & confidence is on God,
the God who raises the dead.
… we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.
2 Cor 1:9,10 (NLT)
In John’s gospel, Jesus said,
3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.
10:9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.
They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.
From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
(John 3:16,17; 10:9-11; 11:25,26; 14:6,7 NIV)
Jesus gave His life to save us,
so that we can know God personally,
and live a life with God, following Him forever,
because God so loved the world
and He desires to save the world through Jesus
God’s gracious gift is freely given,
unearned, undeserved, by grace,
available to anyone who believes.
This is how good the news is!
I am the way, and the truth and the life,
I am the resurrection and the life,
I am the good shepherd
Let’s follow Jesus.
We’re now living in the day of Salvation,
with the opportunity to believe in Jesus, our Savior, and follow Him.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.
There is coming a day of Judgment,
where Jesus will return as the Judge,
some will rise to life, some will rise to be condemned.
Jesus is the righteous Judge,
having had first-hand experience of receiving the unjust and evil acts of men on this earth. (For more on this, click here to another post)
24 “Very truly I tell you,
whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life
and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 “Do not be amazed at this,
for a time is coming when all who are in their graves
will hear his voice 29 and come out
—those who have done what is good will rise to live,
and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
John 5:24-29 (NIV)
If anyone have yet to believe in Jesus, and follow Him, … here’s how,
For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
Indeed, the “right time” is now.
Today is the day of salvation.
1 Corinthians 6:2 (NLT)
Acts 16:29-31 (NIV)
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
Romans 10:9-11 (NLT)
9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God,
and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
In conclusion, by understanding what the full gospel is,
helps us to appreciate Paul’s prayer in Philippians,
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
10 that I may know Him
and the power of His resurrection,
and the fellowship of His sufferings,
being conformed to His death,
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Philippians 3:7-12 (NKJV)
Remember Jesus Christ,
raised from the dead,
descended from David.
This is my gospel,
2 Timothy 2:8 (NIV)
In the olden days, when education was not widespread, people were oral, visual learners.
The stained glass windows in churches and paintings were the ‘powerpoint’ slides at that time.
God’s word and truth was also propagated through scripture-based songs.
by 林弟兄, bro Lim
October 15, 2015
Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License