Summary: Sermon on the Gospel
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?
Today our sermon is going to be a little unusual. But seeing as most of you know me as an unusual person, for me to be unusual, is of course not unusual. Therefore the today’s sermon really is not all the unusual, seeing that it comes from a person who is usually usual. Did you get all that?
Today we as we continue our series on Philippians we will not be going forward to verse 29, which would be the next verse, but we are going to go one step back, to verse 27. The reason I am doing this is because I feel that there is a very important word in that verse, a word we read, and hear allot of, but a word that most of cannot define properly.
That word is "gospel". Now you may notice that the word gospel appears twice in this one verse. It appears six times in the first chapter of the book of Philippians, and depending on what translation of the Bible you use, it appears over 100 times in the New Testament.
Now we can see from the frequency which the word is used that it is a very important word, or thought in the New Testament. Now most of us here if asked if we believe in the gospel would say yes, of course. We would say we believe it, we want to see it preached, we as we saw last week should want our conduct to be worthy of the gospel, but we need to ask ourselves the very basic question "What is the Gospel?" Can I tell other what exactly it is.
Most of us would say that the gospel is simply that Christ died for our sins, and when we put our trust in Him we have eternal life. And in it’s simplest form that is certainly what the gospel it. But we need to realize and learn that there are more elements to the Gospel then that. And if we are to preach the gospel and live our life worthy of the Gospel, we need to look at all the Scripture as to state concerning the gospel.
The Greek word from which we get the term gospel literally means, as most of us know, "Good News". Within the Scripture however there are three ways in which this word is basically used. One is the literal sense we just mentioned. It means "Good News". We see scripture speak of the Good news of Jesus Christ, and what He as done for us. However it is also used in the sense that it means to "preach the Good News". This is the term put into action. This is the act of telling one about the work Jesus as done for us. The third way in which it is used means "to preach before hand". That is to tell the "Good news" before the good news actually arrived. As we shall see this refers to the Good News that was presented in the Old Testament before Jesus came to earth.
Now that is how the Greek word is used. Now the English word "Gospel" actually comes from two words, "God- Spell". Spell means story. So the God-spell is the story of how God saved sinners. There is a common mistake that people make in their thinking of the gospel. The gospel is not something we must do, but it is something which God as already done.
Now when most of us thing of the gospel we think of the New Testament. However, we need to realize that the gospel, the good news of how God as saved sinner began in the Old Testament. Look at Genesis 3:15,
Here we see God speaking to serpent after Eve and Adam had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thus committing the first sin.
"And I will put en-mity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."
Here we have the first promise of the coming messiah. Here is the first mention of how God will save sinners, the first mention of the Good news.
When we look at the history of Israel we can how God continues to work in His people to being about the Gospel. Abraham, who was born thousands of years before Christ, heard to Good news of Christ.
Galatians 3:8 tells us "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed."
Abraham knew that Gospel. He was told of how God would save sinners. So we see that the gospel had it’s roots way before the New Testament.