For the first post in this series click here:
There is only one gospel
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is the central message of the Bible. It was preached by Christ and the apostles, and was foretold by the prophets. This good news is mentioned throughout the New Testament, sometimes with various terminology. It is often just referred to simply as “the Gospel,” but can also be called by other names.
24 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
– Acts 20:24-25 NKJV
The Gospel of grace of God and the Gospel of the kingdom of God are one! For it is by Jesus Christ becoming king through His death, resurrection and exaltation that the grace of God can be given to us.
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
– Mark 1:1 NKJV
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.”
– Mark 1:14-15 NKJV
The Gospel of the Kingdom and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are one and the same Gospel! The Gospel of the kingdom of God is about Jesus Christ being made king by His Father and is therefore appropriately called the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
– Acts 8:12 NKJV
This was the message preached to the Samaritans.
23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.
– Acts 28:23 NKJV
This was the message preached to the Jews.
31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.
– Acts 28:31 NKJV
This was the message preached to the Gentiles.
The Gospel pertains to the coming of Jesus Christ and His exaltation as God’s anointed King. The Gospel IS the Gospel of the kingdom of God. This is synonymous with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the grace of God. It is the Gospel! By saying the Gospel of the grace of God we are emphasizing that through the exaltation of Christ as Lord we can receive salvation. By saying the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are emphasizing that the good news of the Kingdom of God is focused on the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed king. There is not more than one Gospel; there is only one Gospel referred to in various ways. It is the Gospel of God in His grace coming to reign through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Waht is the Good News of the kingdom (Jesus’ ministry)
7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
– Isaiah 52:7 NKJV
So, why is the Gospel good news? God is bringing salvation; He is coming to reign directly over His people. This is good news indeed!
1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
– Isaiah 61:1-2 NKJV
11 “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
– Matthew 3:11-12 NKJV
God came to reign in the Person of His Son. The good news is that God has anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit, that is, God made Him king. He did this so that Christ, as God’s holy Son could reign on God’s behalf. He is the divine representative of God on earth. He came to bring justice. This includes showing mercy and salvation to those who are oppressed and in bondage. And it also includes bringing judgment on the unrepentant and the wicked.
37 “that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
– Acts 10:37-38 NKJV
28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
– Matthew 12:28 NKJV
16 “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound–think of it–for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”
– Luke 13:16 NKJV
6 “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins“–then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 7 And he arose and departed to his house. 8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
– Matthew 9:6-8 NKJV
14 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. 16 Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”
– Luke 7:14-16 NKJV
38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
– John 7:38-39 NKJV
Jesus healed and delivered from Satan’s power, forgave sins and even raised the dead. This was the grace of God poured out through God’s anointed king. This was the kingdom coming not in word only, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. While Jesus walked on earth He healed and delivered by the power of God’s Spirit. But He also promised that after His exaltation to the right hand of God He would pour out this baptism of the Spirit on His people.
how jesus was crowned as king (Jesus died)
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
– Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV
Jesus was not crowned king because He defeated His enemies through human warfare. Instead He overcame sin, death and the devil by obeying God unto death. And not just any death, but a painful, unjust and humiliating death. He obeyed God and yet God did not immediately deliver Him though He prayed with tears in the Garden of Gethsemane. God seemingly forsook Him in His moment of most need. Facing this, in obedience to His Father, is what gave Him the right to receive all power in heaven and earth.
14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
– Colossians 2:14-15 NKJV
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
– Revelation 12:10 NKJV
By dying on the cross He both took away our condemnation and destroyed the one who condemned us before the Father. While dying forsaken on the cross He looked weak, but in reality, He was destroying the power of the devil, sin and even death itself.
Jesus is lord and savior (jesus rose)
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
– Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV
24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
– 1 Corinthians 15:24-26 NKJV
30 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
– Acts 5:30-31 NKJV
Christ overcame our enemies (i.e. sin, death and satan) by obeying the Father all the way to the cross. Adam had failed to obey God in paradise, but Christ won the victory by obeying God even on that old rugged cross! He was crowned Lord of all because He accepted our crown of thorns in obedience to His Father.
He was made the Savior of all men. At the right hand of God He still retains the authority to forgive sins. All that come to Him in genuine faith will receive mercy from Him. But He does not only forgive once. He ever lives and presents His perfect sacrifice before the thrice holy God. So those who come to God through Him always find a place of refuge and acceptance.
He was not risen to the highest place only to be Savior, but also to be the Lord of all of creation. He told His disciples to go into all the world and make disciples, teaching them to obey everything He had commanded while on earth. From the throne of His Father He sends forth His law and expects it to be obeyed. Those who submit to Him find mercy and receive the grace of the Holy Spirit which day by day writes His law on their hearts and gives them a renewed desire to obey the law of Christ.
26 “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 “and come forth-–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
– John 5:26-29 NKJV
Jesus did not only heal and deliver people while on earth and baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit after His exaltation. But He also promised that those who follow Him in an obedient faith in this life will inherit eternal life in the age to come.
Jesus is the judge of all men (jesus is coming again)
34 “Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 “that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 “Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
– Matthew 23:34-36 NKJV
14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.
– 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 NKJV
26 “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 “and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
– John 5:26-29 NKJV
30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
– Acts 17:30-31 NKJV
Besides coming with salvation, He also came with judgment. He warned of imminent historical judgment on the Jewish nation which took place in A.D. 70 when Rome destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the Jewish people around the globe. But, that was not His most solemn warning. He also warned of a future judgement in which the wicked would be raised and stand before Him to be condemned for their wickedness. Jesus came as God’s Son to bring justice, both salvation and condemnation. Both in this life and in the next! This is the nature of the kingdom of God which came in the Person of Jesus Christ.
This is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God which has come through Jesus Christ. Through Him God’s justice is manifest. This leads to salvation to those who humble themselves before God’s anointed Son, but leads to eternal destruction for those who resist His kingdom authority in their lives.
a person, not principles
Note that this good news is something that happened historically and is still being worked out until the second coming of Christ. It is not a set of concepts and principles like the “Four Spiritual Laws” or the “Roman’s Road.” It is the life, death, resurrection, exaltation and second coming of Jesus Christ. This is the Gospel. We proclaim what He did and what He promises to do. This is not a test about our theological understanding, but it is the acceptance of God’s work in human history. Just as the Old Covenant was established in the act of God bringing Israel out of Egypt, so the New Covenant is founded on the act of God in Christ destroying sin, death and the devil through his life, death, resurrection, exaltation and second coming. We proclaim the work of God through Jesus Christ. Jesus has won the victory and purchased salvation for all that come to Him.