GUEST POST ~ "Gospeling"
The One-Word Gospel
In working again through my translation of the Book of Acts I began to record passages where Luke the Storyteller put into words a summary of what the apostles preached when they were gospeling.
Here are the verses in the The Second Testament, with the appropriate words in bold:
Acts 8:35: Philippos, opening his mouth and beginning from this writing, gospeled Yēsous to him.
11:20 Some of them were men from Kyprios and Kyrēnaios [Cyrene] who, coming to Antiocheia, were speaking also to the Hellēnists, gospeling the Lord Yēsous.
17:18 Also some of the Epikoureioi [Epicureans] and Stoïkoi [Stoic] philosophers were engaging him, and some were saying, “Whatever might this scrounger want to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign demons.” (Because he was gospeling Yēsous and the resurrection.)
18:5 As both Silas and Timotheos [Timothy] went down from Makedonia [Macedonia], Paulos [Paul] was absorbed with the word, witnessing to the Youdaians that Yēsous is the Christos.
18:28 For he was vigorously refuting the Youdaians in public, exhibiting through the writings that Yēsous is the Christos.
19:13 Even some of Youdaian itinerant exorcists attempted to name the Lord Yēsous upon those having evil spirits, saying, “I implore you by the ‘Yēsous’ whom Paulos announces [to leave].” (Notice then 19:17 This became known to all the Youdaians and Hellēnes who reside in Ephesos, and awe fell on all of them and the Lord Yēsous’ name was magnified.)
20:20 … as I did not back off of what is beneficial so to announce to you and to teach you, in public and house-to-house, 21 witnessing to both the Youdaians and Hellēnes [Greeks] about conversion to God and faith in our Lord Yēsous.
28:23 Ordering for him a day, even more came to him in his guest room, before whom he laid out, witnessing about God’s Empire, and persuading them about Yēsous from Mōüsēs’ [Moses’] Covenant Code and the Prophets, from early until evening.
28:30-31 He remained two whole years at his own wage and he received all journeying to him, announcing God’s Empire and teaching unhindered matters about the Lord Yēsous Christos with all frankness.
Here are eight or nine – one could combine the last two – instances of summarizing early Christian gospeling.
This gospeling is being done in the first generation. This gospeling is done by the apostles and those formed by them (Philip, others).
I believe in the Bible as God’s revelation to us, and I believe Christian theology has to begin first with Scripture (prima scriptura).
I also believe if our framing of theology is not according to Scripture, we are called to adjust it until it conforms to and is consistent with the gospel. This is what I do in The King Jesus Gospel.
The uniform message can be reduced to one word: Jesus.
Jesus is the Messiah
Jesus and the resurrection
Repentance toward God and faith in Jesus
God’s kingdom and the Lord Jesus Christ
Not one of these summaries of apostolic gospeling contains a word about salvation – justification, reconciliation, redemption, substitution – and that’s worthy of note.
Not because redemption is not the impact of that gospeling, for it is, but the content of the message according to Luke is the person, Jesus, and not about what he accomplished. He did it all, he accomplished it all, but the focus of the apostolic preaching was Jesus – who he was, what he did, what he accomplished, in that order.
Gospeling today could learn from the apostles. We could learn that gospeling others is about talking about Jesus, announcing Jesus, and generating conversations about Jesus. I promise you, it will get to redemption because it leads there, as can be seen with Peter in Acts 10. And, telling others about Jesus is attended by the Spirit who will prompt repentance, forgiveness of sins and redemption, that too in Acts 10.