Thursday, September 29, 2005
The Good News Is Old NewsPaul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy scriptures . . . Romans 1:1-2
Paul wanted the believers to know the most important thing about the gospel message: the gospel is God’s message, not man’s. The word "gospel" was not a new word to first century believers.
John MacArthur tells us, “The word “gospel” comes from the Greek word “euangelion . . .” Euangelion was a common term used in the cult of emperor worship that was common in Paul’s day. Many of the caesars claimed deity for themselves and demanded worship from every person in the empire, free or slave, rich or poor, renowned or unknown. Favorable events relating to the emperor were proclaimed to the citizens as “good news.” The town herald would stand in the village square and shout, “Good news! The emperor’s wife has given birth to a son,” or “Good news! The new emperor has ascended to the throne.”
The "good news" message Paul proclaimed, he credited as "The gospel of God," because it originated with God. A little later on Paul added, "[It is] the Gospel of Christ.” Paul was emphasizing that the good news centered on Christ -- a message Paul was not ashamed of(Romans 1:16). Paul also said, "It is my gospel” because God gave it to him (Romans 16:25-26).
At the basis of every believer's life is the gospel -- the gospel of God. Remember, it started with God. He initiated it; He brought the message to us. The Gospel focuses on Christ -- not us. John Piper said it well, ". . . when it [the gospel] is in some measure about me, it is not about my being made much of by God, but about God mercifully enabling me to enjoy making much of him forever."
I would add, sharing the gospel is making much of Him.