Monday, June 30, 2014

The Strongest Definition of the Gospel

The Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Zondervan: 2001) is a good layman's resource that I have found very helpful in personal study. It has improved on the original Strong's Concordance in a number of ways. For example, The Strongest Strong's has updated and expanded some of the Hebrew and Greek definitions of the original. In the introduction (page x) it says, "Our dictionaries are based on the latest dictionaries, lexicons, and word study books, reflecting great advances in Biblical scholarship."

One update that I have found very helpful in The Strongest Strong's is the expanded definition of the Greek word euangelizo. The Strongest Strong's gives this definition of euangelizo

"to preach (bring) the good news (gospel), often with a focus on the content of the message which is brought. In the NT it always refers to the death, burial, resurrection, and witness about Jesus Christ, including its implications for humankind's relationship to God" (see page 1613, number 2097 euangelizo).

The word euangelizo is used in both Acts 13:32 and 1 Corinthians 15:1 to describe the Gospel preached by the apostle Paul - a Gospel which according to both texts includes Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and appearances to witnesses (see Acts 13:28-31 and 1 Corinthians 15:3-5). This is the strongest definition of the Gospel!

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Gospel Message

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

     The gospel is very simple. Even a child can comprehend its content and respond to its message. The apostle Paul encompassed the heart of the gospel in just twenty-eight words - "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and . . . He was buried, and . . . He rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and . . . He was seen" (vv. 3-5). Paul was not ashamed of that gospel (Rom. 1:16) and proclaimed it wherever he traveled, assuring his readers in Rome that he had, up to the time of his writing, "fully preached the gospel of Christ" from Jerusalem all the way to the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea (Rom. 15:19). In his heart, this first century missionary had determined that wherever he engaged with unregenerate men he would preach "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (2:2). The church at Corinth was reminded of Paul's burden "to preach the gospel in the regions beyond [them]" (2 Cor. 10:16).
     "The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 1:8) "is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom. 1:16). It was the gospel that Paul preached to the Corinthians (Acts 18), knowing that only through that message would they be saved (v. 2). The good news of Christ, the crucified One, was the very foundation of their salvation. Paul delivered the message he had received (v. 3), and God did a work of grace in their hearts as they responded favorably, in faith. The "light of the glorious gospel of Christ" had penetrated their darkened hearts and given "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:4, 6). Has that light pierced the gloom of your heart? Christ died for sinners - trust Him today!

(Excerpted from the Fundamental Evangelistic Association's FEATURE Bible Study Guide, April - June 2014, page 15. Used by permission.)