What is the Gospel – has the old way been replaced?

This subject came up on a religious forum, I thought I share the answer with you.

Christians traditionally believe that one becomes saved when hearing the gospel about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Many even believe that one needs to pray to Jesus to save him/her. Others believe that one also needs to be baptised by water and/or Spirit.

Hebrews 6 mentions the fundamental teachings:

Hebrews 6:
1 Therefore let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith toward God, 2 instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Some translations have “of the Christ”, not “about Christ”, for these were the things Jesus himself taught.

Check again the fundamentals and answer the question:

At what point can one be considered “saved”?

Let us investigate it. The first two of the fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ is

1. repentance from works of death
2. faith toward God

The latter means not head knowledge but faithful obedience. You can believe anything you like, if you don’t obey, you are faithless.

Did you ever need anything else for “salvation”? Christian theologians think the old standard of salvation was abrogated after Pentecost, but this may not be true. Both John the Baptist and Jesus taught these. I suggest it is unreasonable to expect that Jesus would teach something that would be almost instantly outdated.

His preaching was in preparation of the Kingdom – and since the Kingdom did not come, nothing invalidates the message: repentance + faith toward God.

I suggest there was never any other way of salvation and the way was never changed or replaced by another one. Let’s verify this by checking what was preached in the first century and see what we get:

Matthew 4:
23 Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.

Matthew 24:
14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

So the “gospel of the Kingdom” was preached, but this gospel is also called the “gospel of God”:

Mark 1:
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

The gospel of God is “repent because the Kingdom is near”.

Now let’s investigate what did the first disciples preached.

Acts 14:
15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM.

The message is actually the same as the first two items listed in Heb. 6 – “repentance from dead works and faith toward God

Now lets investigate further what gospel the apostles preached:

Romans 1:
1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

Paul in the same chapter also calls this gospel the gospel of His son because Jesus preached it and commissioned his disciples to do the same:

Romans 1:9
For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,

Let’s continue checking the other epistles:

2 Corinthians 11:
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?

1 Thessalonians 2:
2 but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.

8 Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
9 For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

1 Timothy 1:
1 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

What about Peter? What was his gospel?

1 Peter 4:
17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Wow! The message they preached is the same as John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ was!

How does the message about Jesus’ death and resurrection come into the picture? Maybe consider the following verse:

Romans 16:
25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,

Well, I leave this to you to think about at the moment.

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