However, this gospel is not the dilluted and low gospel one hears in today’s Christianity, such as “repent and believe in Jesus to go to heaven and be saved from hell” or “judgement is coming: repent or else!” The gospel that the Lord preached included all the truths in the Bible; actually, the entire Bible is the gospel of God!
We need to know the truth, be constituted with the truth, and have an intimate relationship with the Lord so that, in season and out of season we would proclaim the gospel to all creation by speaking the truth in the word of God.
Our unique commission as the church is to preach the gospel for the bringing in of the kingdom of God and for the building up of the Body of Christ so that God would have an organism to express Him on earth.
What is the gospel and what is included in the gospel? Isn’t the gospel the contents of the four Gospels, the first four books in the New Testament? On the one hand, the gospel is clearly presented in the four Gospels, but on the other hand the entire Bible with all its major truths is included in the gospel.
The gospel includes all the truths in the Bible, and in the gospel we have the fulfillment of all the prophecies, promises, and types in the Old Testament. There are many aspects of the gospel, not just the aspect of believing into the Lord to be saved and receive His life.
Today we want to spend some time in the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – and see the different aspects of the gospel in these four books. In each of the four Gospels we are presented with different aspects of the gospel, and Christ is revealed as a particular kind of person giving us a specific commission related to the gospel with a particular goal.
Different Aspects of the Gospel as revealed in the Four Gospels in the New Testament
In each of the four Gospels we see the Lord Jesus revealed as a particular kind of person preaching the gospel and commissioning us, His people, to proclaim the gospel for a particular goal.
In the Gospel of Matthew Christ is the King-Savior who, after passing through death and resurrection, has received all authority in heaven and on earth for the establishing of the kingdom of the heavens.
As the King-Savior with all authority, Christ commissions us, His disciples, to go and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all that He has commanded us, to make them citizens of the kingdom of the heavens (see Matt. 28:18-20).
Christ came to preach the gospel of the kingdom; He is the heavenly King coming on earth to bring in another kingdom, the kingdom of God, and we as His disciples and believers need to cooperate with Him to preach the gospel, baptize people into the Triune God, and make them citizens of God’s kingdom for them to become kingdom people.
The Lord never told us to preach the gospel so that people would go to heaven; He commanded us to preach the gospel of the kingdom so that people would become kingdom people, those regenerated by God’s life and living in the sphere of the divine life under the rule of God. The intrinsic purpose of our preaching the gospel is to bring others into the Triune God so that they would be citizens of the kingdom of the heavens (Rom. 14:17; Gal. 5:21).
In the Gospel of Mark Christ is the Slave-Savior who commanded us to preach the gospel not just to all men but to all the creation, of whom mankind is the leading part. The Gospel of Mark reveals that we need to preach the gospel to all creation so that part of the old creation may be brought into the new creation (see Mark 16:15-16; Rom. 8:20-21; Gal. 6:15).
Man as a leading part of the old creation, who once took the lead to bring the entire creation into the fall and thus be subjected to corruption, vanity, and death, now needs to take the lead to preach the gospel of God to all creation so that man would be redeemed, brought back to God, and become a new creation, and so that the entire creation would enjoy the glorious freedom of the new creation.
Nowhere in the Gospels are we told that if we believe in Jesus we will have peace, joy, and go to heaven, but the Gospel of Mark tells us that we are becoming the new creation of God. The low gospel preached today is centered on man and his need, but God’s gospel is centered on God, His need, and His heart’s desire, of whom man is a part.
Hallelujah, through the preaching of the gospel part of the old creation is being brought into the new creation, enjoying the freedom of the new creation and all the riches of the divine life!
In the Gospel of Luke Christ is the Man-Savior who, after the accomplishment of God’s redemption for man through His death and resurrection, charged His disciples to proclaim repentance for forgiveness of sins in His name to all the nations, so that the fallen men may be redeemed back to the way of peace that leads them into the blessing prepared by God for them according to His eternal economy (see Luke 24:46-48; 1:77-79; 2:30-32).
We as fallen men need to hear the gospel, and when we believe into the Lord we are forgiven of our sins in His name, are redeemed back to the way of peace, and we enter into the blessing prepared by God for us according to His economy.
The gospel the Lord preached and commanded us to proclaim – as seen in the Gospel of Luke – is a word of repentance and forgiveneness so that people may be redeemed and return back to God’s ordained blessing.
This is what God has prepared for man in creation, and we are being brought back through the gospel to the blessings from God (see Eph. 1:3, 7), the greatest of which is the blessing of the Spirit – the consummated, life-giving, all-inclusive, compound Spirit (Gal. 3:14).
In the Gospel of John Christ is the God-Savior who came as a great vine tree for the increase of God in man, so that man and God would be mingled and blended together for the building up of the Body of Christ, which is Christ’s increase (see John 20:31; 15:16; Rom. 8:10, 6, 11; 12:4-5; Gal. 3:28; 4:19; 6:10, 16).
What we see in the Gospel of John is that we as Christ’s disciples, His believers, children of God, have the eternal life, and we need to abide in Christ to bear fruit for the increase and spread of God in Christ in the universe. If we abide in the Lord, He abides in us, and we will bear fruit – this is our preaching of the gospel, so that our fruit would remain and God would be glorified (John 15:16).
The Gospel of John is a book of life, and when we preach the gospel we minister life by speaking words filled with Spirit and life (John 6:33) for men to be regenerated and enter into the kingdom of God as a realm of the divine life (John 3:3, 6).
The result of preaching the gospel is that men are saved to become the increase of Christ, the Body of Christ, consummating in the New jerusalem for God’s eternal enlargement and expression in the universe.
Wow, what a gospel! There’s no place in the Bible that tells us that we need to be saved to be spared from hell and go to heaven; rather, in the four Gospels we see that we become the people of the kingdom of God (Matthew), we become God’s new creation (Mark), we partake of God’s blessing (Luke), and we build up the Body of Christ as His increase (John).
May we be renewed in our mind, have any veils of religion and old concepts removed, and be constituted with the gospel in all its aspects so that we may preach the gospel to all creation, bring men into the Triune God, and build up the Body of Christ for Christ’s increase on earth!
Lord Jesus, uplift our view and appreciation of the gospel to Your standard. May we be those who preach the gospel of the kingdom to bring people into the Triune God and make them citizens of the kingdom of the heavens. May our preaching of the gospel to all the creation is to bring part of the old creation into the new creation of God. Lord, we want to preach the gospel of the forgiveness of sins to bring redeemed people back to the God-ordained blessing! May we abide in Christ to live a life of preaching the gospel to bear fruit for the building up of the Body of Christ, which is Christ’s increase!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, bro. Minoru C’ sharing in the message for this week, and Crystallization-study of the Epistle to the Romans, msg. 26 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Gospel (2016 International Chinese-speaking Conference), week 1 / msg. 1, The Gospel of the Kingdom.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Come let us speak till the kingdom of the Lord comes down. / Yes, let us speak till the kingdom of the Lord comes down. / Why hold your peace? / The Word release. / Let us speak until the kingdom of the Lord comes down. (Hymns #1294)
# We have endless treasure found; / We have all things and abound; / Rich abundance and to spare; / Shall we not the blessing share?… / Tell how He hath set us free, / How He leads triumphantly; / How He satisfies our need; / How His rest is rest indeed. (Hymns #916)
# You did not choose Me, but I chose you and I set you. / That you should go forth and bear fruit, / And that your fruit should remain, / That whatever you ask the Father in my name, / He may give you. (Scripture song)