GOSPEL

GOSPEL

Do you remember when someone first shared the gospel with you? Why not share with others the Good News? Especially in these worst of bad news times. People are desperately searching for hope and peace. Do you know the gospel of Jesus Christ and His unshakable Kingdom? You’re not ashamed of it. So go tell others!

Gospel: euaggelion you-ang-ghel-eeon (Strong’s 2098) good news, glad tidings, evangel, gospel

Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And He healed every kind of disease and illness. Matthew 4:23

Euaggelion is a Greek word which became inseparable from the Christian message. In fact, the eminent Bible scholar William Barclay said the word is at “the very heart of the Christian faith.” (William Barclay, New Testament Words, Westminster Press, 1974, Philadelphia, PA, p. 101) The word originally meant the reward for a messenger who brings glad tidings, but later came to mean the good news itself.

As the early church spread the Good News of God’s love and gift of His son (see John 3:16), that central message took on the name euaggelion. In English, “evangel” or “gospel” or “glad tidings” is this common word’s translation. When the four Evangelists composed their accounts of Jesus’ life, teachings, and sacrifice at the cross and subsequent resurrection, the stories were referenced as “Gospels”, ie euaggelion

The word predates the New Testament gospels in the scriptures. In the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) we find a foreshadowing of the New Testament use of the word in Psalm 40:10: I have not kept the good news (euaggelion) of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.

Perhaps the most popular euaggelion verse in the Septuagint is Isaiah 40:9, O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountain tops! Handel’s “Messiah” uses this verse in the chorus, “O thou that tellest good tiding to Zion, arise!”

Gospel, or good news, becomes a common Christian expression in the writings and preaching of Paul the Apostle. He emphasizes it in Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

Paul sometimes used euaggelion in a proprietary way as his gospel in Romans 2:16, 1 Corinthians 15:1, 2 Corinthians 4:3, and 1 Thessalonians 1:5. He often used the word “”power” in connection with his gospel. For Paul the word “gospel” was inseparable from the Christian faith. His Roman letter provides such a clear-cut explanation on receiving Christ’s salvation by faith that it is known as the Roman Road to Salvation. Here are seven key verses: Romans 1:16, 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9, 10:10, and 10:13. Everyone called to minister “the gospel of God” (Romans 15:16) should know and share these verses.

Our Christian words “evangel”, “evangelist”, and “evangelical” all stem from this word for gospel. The qualifying mark of an evangelical Christian is to believe in the full gospel and to live and proclaim it.

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