Is the Gospel or “good News” that is preached today the same as the gospel that Jesus preached?
The Gospel preached at the evangelical churches today is a gospel of salvation, mainly based around the scripture in John 3, you must be born again.
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Although this is a true fact we see that Jesus only spoke about it once, to one man, in the middle of the night.
The “Full Gospel” encompasses so much more than this but today we tend to not be concerned with it. Today’s gospel stops at salvation. Salvation is only the entrance, living in the Kingdom of Heaven is a lifestyle.
The Good news that Jesus preached was that of the Kingdom of God, and that it was at hand and available to everybody that believed. Jesus gives many analogies of the Kingdom of God in the parables that He tells but the simplest description is what Paul says in Romans:
Rom_14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Righteousness, Peace and Joy.
Righteousness through the Father,
Peace through the Son,
Joy through the Holy Spirit.
Righteousness is the opposite to sin and sin is simply not believing God.
Peace comes from love and if we do as Jesus said and love God with all our being and our neighbour as ourselves we will always have peace.
Joy comes from the abundant life that Jesus gives to us, being guided by the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
The first major preaching that Jesus did is what we today call “the sermon on the mount”.
If we look back to the Old Testament we see that Jesus was updating what Moses had written in Deuteronomy chapter 28, the chapter about the blessings and cursing’s of God. If we are obedient to God we will be blessed, but if we are disobedient to God we will be cursed.
Today we love the blessings but ignore the cursing’s. We blame Satan and also God when things go wrong instead of looking at how we live our own lives and are being disobedient to God by not living the way that we should.
Righteousness is available to us through Jesus; He became the offering for our sin:
2Co_5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
But righteousness is not a one off thing, it is on going, and we need to be continually walking in it.
If we look at the word translated as “peace” we see that peace incorporates happiness, friendliness and prosperity, or, health, wealth and happiness, the ingredients for abundant life.
We obtain true peace by overcoming the world, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life. These are the three things that brought down Adam and Eve when they ate of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. These same three things are the first things that Jesus gained victory over when He was tempted in the wilderness after forty days fasting. Jesus has made that victory available to us, we just need to accept it and walk in it.
The knowledge of Good and Evil causes us to judge others by our own standards rather than to love others by God’s standards and stops us from keeping Jesus second commandment, to love our neighbour as ourselves.
If we want to live in the Kingdom of God today we must be overcomers of the world so that we can have the true peace, the peace of God that is above all understanding, and let it rule our hearts.
Col_3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
It is the peace of God that sanctifies us and makes us able to enter into God’s presence.
1Th_5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Isaiah we read about the Gospel of Peace brought by the Prince of Peace
Isa_9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa_52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
In Ephesians we are told to put on the whole armour of God and part of this is having our feet shod with the Gospel of Peace:
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
The Gospel preached today should not only be one of salvation but one of righteousness, peace and joy.