December 21: The Gospel Is? – The Power of God For Salvation
“The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound]. ” (Luke 4: 18-19 AMP)
The Gospel, “euaggelion” (gr); the “Good News,” comes from the same origin as the greek euaggelízō which refers to sharing, proclaiming, or preaching, the Gospel. It literally transliterates as “gospelizing” that activity that announces the complete message of “the good news.”
This passage of scripture from Luke, read by Jesus, in the synagogue of his home town of Nazareth, is a modification of the same passage from the book of the prophet Isaiah Chapter 61 verses 1 & 2; Jesus makes it personal. He reads it in a manner that is convincing, gracious and respectful to the message that is written.
When he handed back the scroll and sat down (a significant gesture in and of itself) his rendition of this piece of scripture, that these men had probably heard many times before, was so convincing that they were astonished. They looked and continued to look at Jesus, waiting for the next words that would come out of his mouth.
Even when he said “that’s about me!” they marvelled at how full of grace this proclamation was. They didn’t baulk at what he said. They rocked on their heels for a moment and then spoke to oner another: “Isn’t this Joseph’s Son?” They appeared to be fine with that.
It wasn’t until Jesus appeared to be comparing himself to Elijah and Elisha, two of their greatest prophets that they got angry and wanted to kill him.
But, let’s go back to this passage for a moment. Because, it is the point in Jesus’ life where he reveals his whole purpose in being there among the people. I’ve referred to it as his ‘Mission Statement.’ He is outlining the work that he has come to do.
Acts 10:38, also written by Doctor Luke, reveals to us that Jesus actually accomplished his part of that mission; even outlining the source of the problems in the first place; the devil; Satan; Lucifer.
But, this is where it also gets interesting for us as the church; the body of Christ; in the world today. Because, as Jesus was departing this Earth, for the last time, until he eventually returns; he turned around and gave the self-same mission to the disciples, in what is fondly referred to as “The Great Commission.”
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe:In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” (Mark 16: 15-20 AMP)
“ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28: 18-20 AMP)
This mission wasn’t just being given to the 72 disciples he had established by this time. But, as Matthew points out, this commission was to be passed on through a process of discipleship; this was to be an ongoing mission; their purpose of being.
Even today, that same mission hasn’t changed. The church still has the task of preaching the Gospel and as I pointed out previously, we have that same anointing upon and within us to be able to fulfil that mission. But, the key to actually doing the work of this mission is dependent on doing it in Faith.
All of these elements of this good news outlined in the prophecy can be summed up in the wonderful word that is “Salvation.” The greek word used is ‘soteria‘. Strong Bible dictionary defines this as referring to: welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, safety.
This soteria has at its root the greek word ‘sozo‘ pertaining to: God’s rescue which delivers believers out of destruction and into His safety. Under the definition of deliverance, prosperity and safety two other words can safely be added to the list: Healing and Wholeness; So the word salvation contains much more than just scraping it into Heaven’s gates.
In factual of the promises that are made available through this great ‘Salvation’ actually pertain to the “Here and Now.” Through religion many of the church live and in the past have died without experiencing everything that this Salvation; this soteria can bring into their lives NOW!
This is why Paul can proclaim in the opening chapter of his letter to the Church in Rome: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Rom 1:16)
Notice, he says that “The Gospel is the POWER…” The proclamation, the preaching; the announcement of everything that God can do produces the Faith that is needed for God to be able to act.
When Jesus could only heal one,or two people, the next thing he did was preach and teach; similarly Peter, Paul and all of the other disciples. Because as Paul points out: “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God”; the Gospel that brings Salvation. The Good news that declares all that is soteria.
It is therefore incumbent upon us, as the Body of Christ in the Earth today to do exactly the same. We need to ensure that people get to hear the Gospel. We don’t need to terrorise them into salvation. We need to give the Hope thatGod is the same today as he was yesterday. They need to hear it enough so that Faith can arise and they can then begin their journey to experience that Great Salvation.
The Same Holy Spirit that anointed Jesus, Peter, James, Jude, John and Paul. That same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in the heart of every person who has made Jesus the Lord of their life.
I don’t mean by just saying “The Sinner’s Prayer.” That is a good start. But, those who have continued and drilled down into all that is contained in that prayer and made it real in their lives. They have been nurtured and ‘discipled’ and pastored in a way that has made Christ real to them. They have that power, that Gospel to share.
We all have the great commission on our lives. We need not be ashamed.
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