Whose Gospel Is it Anyway?

Question from a Site Viewer
Why does Paul refer to the gospel as “my gospel”?

In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Romans 2:16

Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began . . .
Romans 16:25

Tim’s Answer
Thanks for the question about Paul’s referencing the good news of Christ as “my gospel.”

Paul uses many terms to reference the good news (gospel) brought to us through Jesus Christ. Paul describes Jesus’ death for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the gospel that he (Paul) preached. He calls this good news the gospel of God (Romans 1:1; 15:16; 2 Corinthians 11:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:2; 2:8; 2:9; 1 Timothy 1:11). He calls this good news the gospel of His Son (Romans 1:9). He calls this good news the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16; 15:19, 29; 1 Corinthians 9:12; 9:18; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 4:4; 9:13; 10:14; Philippians 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 3:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:8). He calls this good news the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15) and quotes Isaiah as saying the same thing (Romans 10:15). And these are all true.

But to Paul, the gospel was more than an abstract truth of good news brought from Jesus. The good news of Christ for the Gentiles was a matter that was personal to Paul. When Paul was converted, Christ told Ananias that Paul was Christ’s chosen instrument to bring the good news to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15). This is the same message that Christ personally told Paul (Acts 26:15-18). Paul was commissioned by Christ as an apostle or messenger to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:15-2:9). The message Christ gave to Paul was the good news that the Gentiles would be joined to Christ through belief in the work of Christ (Ephesians 3:2-8). And so, for Paul, it was a personal charge by God to preach this gospel to the Gentiles (1 Corinthians 9:16-17; 1 Timothy 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:10-11). I believe that it is in this sense that he terms this “my gospel” (Romans 2:16; 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8) and he defends this good news against other so-called “gospels.” In Galatians 1:8-11, he says that those who teach other gospels are accursed. He states again that the gospel he preached did not come from men (Galatians 1:11-12), but through the revelation of Jesus Christ. It was his gospel.

But it was more than simply his gospel. Paul also calls the gospel “our gospel” (2 Corinthians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:14). Those who joined with Paul shared in the personal connection to the gospel (see also Galatians 1:8, 11). And, finally, we who believe in the gospel have every right as well to say that it is our gospel. In Ephesians 1:13, Paul terms this same good news as “the gospel of your salvation.” It belongs to us who believe.

The good news of Jesus Christ is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16; 10:14-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). By hearing and believing this good news, we enter into the family of Christ, are infilled with His Holy Spirit, and begin to grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. As the angels announced at Jesus’ birth, this message is the good tidings of great joy. We have peace with God, fellowship with His Son, and the opportunity to become sons and daughters of the most wonderful person in the universe. He invites us to walk with Him and He one day will welcome us home to His place in heaven.

May the Lord Jesus and His Holy Spirit strengthen you in the gospel and use you to proclaim His great love by word and action to those who do not yet know Him.

a servant of Christ,

tim

One thought on “Whose Gospel Is it Anyway?

What's Your Opinion?