What is the Gospel?

29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord,

“Sit at my right hand,

35        until I make your enemies your footstool.” ’

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”[1]

 

For today’s scripture selection, for purposes of space, I have chosen only part of Peter’s first sermon on the day of Pentecost.  However, I would recommend that you start at the beginning of chapter two to get the full effect.  The main point I am bringing out today is that the apostles always preached what in theological terms is known as the Kerygma.  The Kerygma is the public proclamation of the Gospel.  The results that followed the preaching of the Kerygma in the New Testament were always stunning, in that people inevitably repented of their sin and became followers of Christ.  When we compare this with what is preached in many churches today and the results, it should give us pause to ask the question; are we then proclaiming the Gospel or something else?

The proclamation of the Gospel means the proclamation of the life, death, burial and the resurrection of Christ and is followed by repentance of the hearers.  It is so simple and yet so profound.  It’s announcing to lost humanity, including Israel that Jesus has come as Lord and Messiah and through his ministry, death and resurrection has now secured for the world, right standing with God if we will have enough sense to turn from trying to do it ourselves and believe what Christ has done through his life, death and resurrection as enough and make Christ Lord of our lives.

Tomorrow, we will begin to examine in more detail, our theme for this coming Sunday, “Is This That?” by comparing the New Testament message and results with our modern day message and results.  But for today, allow me to ask:  Have you believed the Gospel?  Have you turned from your way to the way God has provided for you to be forgiven and put in right standing with him?  If not why not do it today? The promise is for everyone!


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ac 2:22–39). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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