The New Testament gospel evolved from the Old Testament.
The Old Testament predicted the coming of a King (meaning Jesus), and his Kingdom. This New Testament Kingdom is explained and expounded on by the gospel of Jesus that he says we MUST believe and live by.
WHY MUST WE LIVE BY THE GOSPEL?
Acts 3:23-26 says the reason our Lord wants us living by it is because it is how we are BLESSED (verse 26). The gospel gives us all the blessings, and all of the promises of God in Jesus Christ. In John, Jesus says it is how we enter into his abundant life: “I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” Also, Hebrews talks about it as entering into the process of God’s “New and living way.”
This is what the gospel does for us!
A more profound reason for believing and living the gospel is that God says he REQUIRES it of us. This was stated in the Old Testament, in Deuteronomy 18:15-19. And this is repeated in the New Testament in Acts 3:23-26. Paul says the secrets of our hearts (our beliefs) will be judged by the gospel (Rom 2:16). Jesus says that the reason he came and was born was to give testimony to the gospel truth, and that we are to hear his voice on this (John 18:37). Ge also says that this truth and the words he preaches (the gospel) is what will judge us in eternity (John 12:48).
Paul also says Jesus is coming back to judge those or us who do not believe and obey the gospel (II Thes 1:7-9). The gospel is so important that God even dispatches ANGELS to preach it to some people on earth (Rev 14:6).
This should make the gospel FIRST PLACE in our belief system!
HIGHLIGHTING THE GOSPEL TRUTH OF JESUS
The purpose of these pages in this section is to show how gospel truth and reality is highlighted throughout certain books in the New Testament. Paul wrote over half the New Testament, and his focus was the gospel. It is what he spent 3 years with Jesus learning (Gal 1:11-18), and then 14 more years in on-the-job training (Gal 2:1). Paul was then given a special conference with God in heaven about it (II Cor 12:1-4).
He says we should only minister the NEW Testament (II Cor 3:6). This doesn’t mean to ignore the Old Testament. It has a lot of good law, history and prophecy to read. But it puts a veil over our hearts if we are not well-founded in the truth of the NEW Testament (II Cor 3:14-16). Wikipedia speaks of the gospel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel
Thus I call myself “The Gospel Life Coach.”
The first three books I’ll review will be Hebrews, Galatians and Romans. I believe that, with an understanding of these three books, we have a deep understanding of the gospel.
NOW, CONCERNING THE APOSTLE PAUL
Paul is particularly noteworthy, because he wrote over one-half of the New Testament. He wrote at least two of the books I just mentioned: Galatians and Romans. I also believe Hebrews was written by Paul, although his name doesn’t appear in the book as it does in others. If it was not written by Paul, it must have been written by his constant secretary, who did much of the actual writing as Paul dictated his letters. Many believe this could be due to him having poor eyesight. One thing he said can be interpreted as him having eye problems, although we’re not sure of this.
What I would say is that, according to my studies, the writings of Paul were almost the only writings the early church had during the earliest years after the resurrection of Jesus. What we do know for sure is that Paul was martyred sometime between the fire of Rome in 65 A.D., and the end of Nero’s reign, which was in 69 A.D, and most probably about 67-68 A.D. Thus all of his letters were written before this time.
Paul was called by Jesus, on the Road to Damascus, about six months after his resurrection in 33 A.D., and Paul spent 17 years preparing for ministry before he initiated his writing. We know this because of Galatians 1:18 and Galatians 2:1. This would put the timing for him starting to write at about 50 A.D. (33 + 17 = 50). Thus he wrote all of his letters during the 18 years between 50 A.D. and approximately 68 A.D.
For most of the first 18 years of the church after Jesus, and probably substantially longer than this because of all the Roman persecution the church was experiencing, most of what the early Christians heard was, “The Gospel According to Paul.” He says, he was appointed by God to both confirm and defend the gospel (Phil 1:7).
AS A PARENTHESIS, . . . . . This is a truth we’ve lost sight of today. The question is often raised as to WHY today’s modern church is not as powerful or as effective as the first century church. At least part of the answer to this is this fact. The early church was totally focused on the writings of Paul which were exclusively on the gospel.
Today, we have more theories and denominations than we can even begin to count. Paul refers to this as being ‘10,000 instructors in Christ’ (I Cor 4:15), so he faced some of the same problems, but much more limited. Today, our thinking is not FOCUSED, as was that of most of the first century church. It is far more SCATTERED. It is deluged with human theology — the thinking of man — the opinion of man.
Paul did not write from this basis. His basis was the revelation from God himself!
Here are the books by Paul we will start with: