THE WORD OF TRUTH, THE GOSPEL
By John C. Carpenter
 
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote to the saints at Ephesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory (Eph 1:1-14).
 
One of the most prominent teachings in the New Testament church is the idea that the Holy Scriptures, or what is commonly referred to as the "bible," is the "word" of God. Proponents of this though are correct in that, in a general sense, God spoke words to men who wrote down those words on parchments which later became what we today refer to as the Holy Bible. However, the New Testament does not, as we shall see, refer to itself as the "word" of God. What is this “word,” that the Apostle Paul is referring to here, and how is this "word" related to the "truth" and the "gospel?"
 
THE WORD
 
In order to understand this “word” of truth, we must first understand three Greek words: logos, rhema, and graphe. The Greek word “logos” occurs 325 times in 310 verses of the New Testament, and is defined as “account, cause, communication, doctrine, fame, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, say, speaker, speech, talk, thing, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, or simply the Divine Expression (i.e., Christ). In the gospel book of John, we read, In the beginning was the Word [Greek, logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word [logos] was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-4). A few verses later, the Greek “logos,” translated as the English “word,” is clearly identified as Jesus Christ (John 1:14-17). Scriptures also tell us that Christ went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God (Luke 1:1). Both words “glad” and "tidings” are the Greek word "euaggelizo", which means "to announce good news, to evangelize, or preach the gospel." To illustrate His point about these "glad tidings," Christ immediately began to teach the gospel of the kingdom available through Christ using a parable, specifically, the parable of the sower (Luke 1:5-8). Christ taught, Now the parable is this: The seed is the word [Greek, logos] of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:11-15). In the context of these verses regarding "glad tidings," the "logos," or “word” which is "sown," is clearly the good news regarding the kingdom of God, which is available only through faith in Christ. In another example, Scriptures tell us regarding some of the apostles of Christ, when they had testified and preached the word [Greek, logos] of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. (Acts 8:25). Here, the "logos," or “word,” is again identified with the gospel, and appear to be synonymous. Speaking to a crowd who were arguing about the need of circumcision for salvation, the apostle Peter responded, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word [Greek, logos] of the gospel, and believe (Acts 15:7). Again, the "word" is referring to the gospel. To believers in Colossae the apostle Paul referred to the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word [Greek, logos] of the truth of the gospel (Col 1:5), and, to believers in Thessalonica, he said, For ourgospel came not unto you in word [Greek, logos] only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake (1 Th 1:5). Again, the "word" refers to the gospel and its truth. In the book of Acts we find, Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word [Greek, logos;] which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach [the word of this gospel] unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard theword (Acts 10:34-44). In these verses, we find that God the Father called and sent Peter to preach the "logos," or gospel of "peace by Jesus Christ." In the context of these verses, the "word [logos]" is clearly a reference to the gospel of Christ, since Peter referred to Jesus being "anointed, slain and hung on a tree, and raised up the third day, and that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Confronting some Pharisees and scribes who preferred to keep their Jewish ordinances rather than believe in the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ, the Lord said they were, Making the word [logos; i.e., gospel message] of God of none effect [no impact and benefit] through[because of] your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye (Mark 7:13). When some of the Lord's disciples were criticized for spending so much time teaching and preaching the gospel of Christ (Acts 5:42-6:1), the twelve responded, It is not reason that we should leave [forsake teaching and preaching] the word [logos; i.e., the gospel message] of God, and serve tables (Acts 6:2). However, the steadfastness of the disciples was evident when, two verses later, we read that Christ's disciples gave themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word [logos; i.e., message of the gospel] (Acts 6:4). Scriptures tell us thatthe word [logos; i.e., gospel] of God increased [grew, spread; i.e., increasing numbers came to faith in Christ]; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7). In explaining why he and fellow disciples preached the gospel of Christ to the Jews (Acts 10:45), Peter said that he [God] commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he [Christ] which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him [Christ] shall receive remission of sins (Acts 10:43). Scriptures then immediately tell us, And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also [in addition to the Jews] received the word [logos; i.e., gospel] of God (Acts 11:1). Again, the "word" that was "preached" to the Jews and Gentiles is identified as the gospel of Christ. In explaining the suffering that accompanies the preaching of the gospel, the apostle Paul wrote Timothy, Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the [gospel] word of God is not bound [restrained from continuing and growth] (2 Tim 2:8-9). A few verses later, Paul instructs Timothy to Study [make an effort, labour] to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing [correctly understanding] the word [logos; i.e., gospel] of truth (2 Tim 2:15). Paul taught that God approves of the workman who makes an effort to correctly understand all aspects of preaching the gospel, including the associated suffering. Paul had just explained that preaching the gospel requires enduring hardship (2 Tim 2:2), is in essence a war (2 Tim 2:4), involves striving (2 Tim 2:5), involves labor (2 Tim 2:6), involves suffering trouble (2 Tim 2:9), enduring all things (2 Tim 2:10), suffering (2 Tim 2:12), periodic unbelief (2 Tim 2:13), and not striving about words (2 Tim 2:14). The apostle James wrote the twelve Jewish tribes scattered abroad Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat [breed forth, bring forth] he us with the word [Greek, logos; i.e., gospel] of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive [accept] with meekness the engraftedword [message regarding the gospel], which is able to save your souls (James 1:17-21). Again, the "word" of truth is the gospel of Christ, which is the only word that is "able to save souls." As prophets and teachers in the Church in Antioch ministered unto the Lord and fasted (Acts 13:1-2), ...the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them (Acts 13:2). Scriptures then tell us, And when they were at Salamis, they [also] preached the word [logos; i.e., gospel] of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister (Acts 13:5). The "work" that Barnabas and Saul were called to by the Holy Spirit was to preach the "word" of the gospel of Christ. In explaining the parable of the sower to His disciples, Christ said: The seed is the [gospel] word [logos; i.e., the gospel] of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved (Luke 8:11-12). Salvation results from believing the seed which is sown in the hearts of men. That "seed" is clearly the word of the gospel of Christ. The author of the book of Hebrews give us two tremendous examples that the "word" is a reference to Jesus Christ, and the gospel of salvation through faith in Him. First, after referring to the preaching of the gospel (Heb 4:2) and entering in the rest from works [of having to keep the law] available through faith in Christ (Heb 4:10), the author of Hebrews adds, For the word [logos; i.e., gospel of Christ] of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (Heb 4:12-14). Secondly, in contrasting his fellow believers in Christ from some Jews who had refused to believe the gospel, the author of the book of Hebrews wrote, For unto us [believers] was the gospel preached, as well as unto them [who refused to believe the gospel of Christ]: but the word [logos; i.e., gospel] preached[to these unbelievers] did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it (Heb 4:2). Both of these examples clearly identify the "word" as the gospel of Christ. The apostle Paul wrote to Titus, Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth [truthful, true, real] which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his [gospel] word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour (Titus 1:1-3). In these verses, Paul clearly explains that preaching the "word" [of the gospel] results in acknowledging of the truth, which results in the hope of eternal life, which God the Father promised before the world began. Lastly, referring to those who believed in Him (John 17:9), Christ prayed to His heavenly Father, Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word [Greek, logos; i.e., gospel of salvation available through faith in Christ] is truth [real, true, truth, verity] (John 17:17). Again, the "word" is the truth of the message of salvation available through Christ. Believing this truth results in godly sanctification, and sanctification results in eternal life. Verse after verse, the “logos,” when translated into English as "word," is clearly identified as the “gospel” of Christ and His kingdom. This idea is confirmed by Christ in the parable of the sower when he said, When any one heareth the word [logos] of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side (Mat 13:19). This Gospel "word" of Christ brings hope (Col 1:5), righteousness (Heb 5:13), and life (Phil 2:16, 1 John 1:1). It must be realized, however, that although the Greek word “logos” often refers to the word of the gospel of Christ, it certainly does not in every case that it appears in the New Testament. In context, "logos" can have other meanings. Whether it is a reference to the gospel can only be determined by analyzing the context. The point remains, however, that when the gospel of Christ is referred to, it is referred to in the Greek as "logos," and translated into the English "word." Secondly, the Greek word “rhema” occurs 73 times in 70 verses in the New Testament. “Rhema” is defined as “an utterance, a matter or topic, saying, or word.” We read in the book of Hebrews, Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed [completed thoroughly] by the word [Greek: rhema] of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Heb 11:3). Scriptures verify that this "rhema," or "word," that completed the worlds is the Holy Spirit when they teach that through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2), God created the world (Gen 1:1). Christ explained the life and quickening His words bring when He told His disciples, It is the [Holy] spirit that quickeneth[vitalizes, gives life]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words [rhema] that I speak unto you, they are [speaking and operation of the Holy] spirit, and they are [bring, result in] life (John 6:63). In this verse, the word “rhema” is clearly identified here as the Holy Spirit. The apostle John also clarified who the "rhema" is when he wrote, For he [Christ] whom God hath sent speaketh thewords [rhema] of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him (John 3:34). The "rhema" is clearly the Holy Spirit. In the book of Hebrews, we read, God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding [bear, carry] all things by the word [rhema; i.e., demonstration through the Holy Spirit] of his power [dunamis; i.e., explosive, miraculous power] when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb 1:1-3). All things are born by Christ through the supernatural, miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. Explaining that Christ speaks only what He hears from His Father in Heaven, the apostle John wrote, For he whom God hath sent [Christ] speaketh the words [rhema] of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him (John 3:34). In this verse, the apostle clearly identifies the “rhema” as the words of God the Father spoken by the Holy Spirit through Christ. Teaching about faith, the apostle Paul wrote to those in Rome, The word [rhema] is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word [logos; i.e., gospel] of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God (Rom 10:8-17). Paul wrote believers in Ephesus, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word [rhema], That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Eph 5:25-27). The "word" in verse 26 is the Holy Spirit [rhema], and this interpretation is consistent with the fact that it is the Holy Spirit which sanctifies and cleanses (1 Cor 6:11; 2 Thes 2:13; Rom 15:16). Holy Scriptures also tell us, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed [spoken] unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word [rhema] (Luke 2:25-29). As part of Paul's instruction to believers in Ephesus to ...take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Eph 6:13), he instructed them to takethe sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God: (Eph 6:17). In these verses, the word “rhema” is clearly identified with the speaking, movement, and operation of the Holy Spirit. As with the Greek word “logos,” it must be realized that the Greek word “rhema” sometimes refers to the speaking, movement, and operation of the Holy Spirit, but this is not always the case. Rhema can be used in other contexts and have other meanings as well. Thirdly, the Greek word “graphe” occurs 51 times in 51 verses in the New Testament. “Graphe” means “a document, i.e. holy Writ (or its contents or a statement in it), scripture." It derives from the Greek word “grapho,” which means “to "grave," to write, describe, writing, or written. There are those who believe that the "word" of God refers to the Bible, or Holy Scriptures. This concept is not consistent with the teaching of Holy Scriptures themselves. The Scriptures always refer to themselves as the Greek word "graphe," or some derivative thereof. Chastening some Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection of the body, Christ responded, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures [graphe], nor the power of God (Mat 22:29). While in the temple in Nazareth, Jesus read the Scriptures from the book of Isaiah which prophesied His coming. In announcing that His ministry had begun, Christ said, …This day is this [Old Testament] scripture [graphe] fulfilled in your ears (Luke 4:21). Some of Christ’s disciples were shocked by His resurrection. After Christ reminded them of the prophecies in the law of Moses, the prophets, and in the psalms concerning His death and resurrection, Scriptures tell us, Then opened he [Christ] their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures[graphe], And said unto them, Thus it is written [grapho], and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:45-47). Speaking to some Jews who refused to believe in Him, and who mistakenly believed that they could receive eternal life through keeping the law, and who also wanted to kill Him, Christ responded with sarcastic instruction: Search the scriptures [graphe]; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life (John 5:39-40). Christ made it very clear that eternal life is not in the Holy Scriptures, but that the Scriptures testify of Him, in whom life is found and available (See Phil 2:16, John 1:1). Referring to the Old Testament prophecy concerning John the Baptist, Christ said, For this is he, of whom it is written [grapho], Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee (Mat 11:10). These verses clearly show that the Greek word “graphe” refers to the Holy Writ, or Scriptures. As Paul and Silas preached to Jews in a synagogue in Berea, scriptures instruct us that the Bereans received the word [logos; i.e., word of the gospel] with all readiness of mind, and searched the [Old Testament] scriptures [graphe; i.e., Holy Writ] daily, whether those things [regarding the gospel of Christ] were so (Acts 17:11). In the book of Acts, we read a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty [powerful and capable] in [with his knowledge of] the scriptures [graphe], came to Ephesus (Acts 18:24). Paul wrote believers in Rome, For whatsoever things were written [prographo] aforetime were written [prographo] for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures [graphe] might have hope (Rom 15:4). In addition to bringing hope, the Scriptures bring faith. John wrote, But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:31). Paul instructed and encouraged Timothy,from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures [gramma; i.e., writing, letter, note, epistle, books], which are able to make thee wise unto [resulting in] salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [graphe; i.e., document, holy Writ (or its contents or a statement in it), scripture] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:15-16). Finally Paul wrote believers in Corinth, Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written [grapho; i.e., to "grave," to write, written] for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come (1 Cor 10:11).
 
Holy Scriptures make it clear that when they refer to themselves, they always refer to themselves as the Greek word "graphe," properly translated into the English "scriptures." When the Holy Scriptures, or Bible, are spoken of and referred to as the "word" of God, this is technically incorrect. To summarize, "logos" refers to the "word" of the gospel of Christ, "rhema" refers to the speaking and operation of the Holy Spirit, and "graphe" refers to the Holy Writ, or Scriptures.
 
OF TRUTH
 
The English word "truth" is translated from the Greek word "aletheia," which means "real, truly, truth, or verity." Aletheia, which occurs 104 times in 93 verses, is derived from the Greek word "alethes," which means "true, as not concealing." Essentially, "aletheia" means "the quality or state of reality based upon revelation, or evidence given" The apostle Peter wrote, Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying [responding to and believing] the truth [of the gospel] through the [revelation of the truth of the gospel by the Holy] Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of corruptible, by the word [logos; i.e., the gospel message of salvation through faith in Christ] of God, which [word] liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word [rhema; i.e. speaking, moving, and operation of the Holy Spirit] of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word [rhema] which by the gospel [word of truth] is preached unto you(1 Pet 1:18-25). Peter clarified the steps of salvation: (1) the Holy Spirit [rhema] reveals, through preaching, the truth of the gospel to the individual heart, (2) the individual heart obeys (responds to and believes) the gospel, and (3) because the individual heart believes the gospel, God the Father considers the soul purified. Peter also summarizes that the believer is born again, not of corruptible seed, but of the incorruptible seed of the word of the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ. Paul warned those in Rome, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from [the Jewish] faith to [the Greek] faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold [resist, refuse to believe] the truth [of the revealed gospel of Christ] in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened (Rom 1:16-21). Christ prayed to His Heavenly Father, ...I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things [the true meaning of the works of Christ] from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes [children, i.e., the humble, receptive, believing] (Mat 11:25). At one point, the Lord asked Simon Peter Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? Peter responded, ...Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mat 16:16). Scriptures immediately tell us And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it [the fact that Christ is the Christ, the Son of God; i.e., the truth of the gospel] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven (Mat 16:17). Christ also said, All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him (Luke 10:22). Paul explained, But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (1 Cor 2:9-10). Paul also wrote believers in Ephesus, For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery [of Christ]; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: (Eph 3:1-5). Holy Scriptures make it clear throughout that the truth of the gospel of Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God, is revealed only by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
 
THE GOSPEL
 
The English word "gospel" is translated from the Greek word "euaggelion," which means "a good message, i.e. the gospel." Euaggelion, which occurs 77 times in 74 verses, is from the same root word as the Greek "euaggelizo," which means "to announce good news, declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel)." If the "gospel" means a good message or good news, what is that "good news?" The apostle Paul answered that question when he referred to the gospel [good news] of your salvation (Eph 1:13) and ...our inheritance [of eternal life] (Eph 1:14). Paul verified the eternal nature of the "word" to those in Philippi when he referred to, Holding forth the word [of the gospel] of [which results in eternal] life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain (Phil 2:16). The apostle John also referred to the gospel message of salvation through faith in Christ when he wrote, That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word [of the gospel] of [which results in eternal] life(1 John 1:1). Referring to the gospel word of eternal salvation, John also wrote For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17), whereas Paul wrote believers in Rome if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Rom 10:9). Speaking of Christ, the author of the book of Hebrews wrote, he [Christ] is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance (Heb 9:15). The apostle Peter referred to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you (1 Pet 1:4). The gospel, the good message, the good news, is that salvation and the inheritance of eternal life is available and reserved in heaven for those who believe in Jesus Christ.
 
OF YOUR SALVATION
 
Paul wrote the Ephesian church,he [Christ] hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard theword [revelation by the Holy Spirit] of truth, [which is] the gospel [good news] of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed [attested to, preserved] with that [same] holy Spirit of [regarding the] promise [of inheritance of eternal life (see Rom 4:13, Gal 3:14, Gal 3:29, Eph 2:12-19, Eph 3:6, 1 Tim 4:8, 2 Tim 1:2, Heb 9:15, 1 John 2:25)], Which is the earnest [pledge, security for the rest] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory (Eph 1:8-14). In these few verses, the apostle explained the steps of salvation: (1) through the speaking, movement, and operation of the word, or Holy Spirit [Gr: rhema], who initiates salvation, the individual hears the truth [reality] of the gospel [good news of salvation and the inheritance of eternal life]; (2) after hearing the gospel, the individual trusts or believes on Christ; (3) after believing on Christ, the individual is promised salvation [rescue or deliverance from death], (4) after the believer receives the promise of salvation, that promise is sealed by and with the presence of the Holy Spirit; and (5) after the Father's promise of salvation is sealed, verified, and evidenced by the presence of the Holy Spirit, and redemption has been completed in full, God the Father is glorified through His salvation of the believer. Paul specifically wrote that the promise of eternal life was sealed with "that" Holy Spirit. "That" is a reference back to the "word [Greek: rhema]," or Holy Spirit, who initiated salvation by revealing the truth of the gospel "word [Greek: logos]" to each and every believer.  AMEN.
 
 
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
"This is my commandment,
That ye love
one another, as
I have loved you.  Greater love
hath no man than
this, that a man
lay down his life
for his friends"
(John 15:12-13)



Home

Our
Beliefs

TCH
Articles

Study
Aids

Links

Subject-Verse
Index

Books