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The Gospel Came

By: Scott Morton

1Thessalonians 1:5

For our gospel came not unto you in word 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.

The most important thing in the world is the gospel. This is what saves us and identifies the fact that we have eternal life. Paul is identifying in this text how it is the gospel came unto them. The gospel that saves us in this dispensation is the following:

1Corinthians 15:1-4

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; [2] By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. [3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Let's take a look at some of the characteristics Paul identifies that the gospel came in.

Not in word only

The first item Paul speaks of is the fact that the gospel came unto them not in word only. The importance of this is a focus on who�s words did this come in. Paul praises this church in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 for the fact that they had received Paul�s message as the Word of God and not the word of men. The issue that comes up many times is the words of men, as they are not what the focus should be on.

When someone is preaching the Word of God, they can be wrong about things. The words of men are always in question, as Paul had identified the fact that God is true and men are liars (Romans 3:4).

It does not take long to see the confusion created by men preaching the word. If you listen to Christian television or radio, listen to what is said for how a person is saved. There will be all sorts of answers, such as a person needing to do good works to be saved, a person needing to participate in water baptism in order to be saved (Acts 2:38), a person needing to open the door of their heart to God (Revelation 3:20), or needing to pray the sinners prayer and asking to be saved. All of these things take away from the simplicity of the gospel that is listed above and include a work for salvation. In Romans 4:5, Paul states salvation comes not from works, but in belief. The belief is in the gospel stated in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and this is the only thing that can create salvation.

The issue with the words of men is they are dangerous. Look at what Paul states in Romans 3:

Romans 3:10-14

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [12] They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. [13] Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: [14] Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Paul is stating the condition of mankind. He describes the tongue and the words a man speaks. There is nothing good he says about the speech of man. How true this is. It does not take long listening to people speak to see how true verses 13 and 14 of the above text are. The words man speaks are a poison (Psalm 140:1-3) when they are not tempered by the Word of God. James speaks of how the tongue cannot be tamed (James 3:5-8).

The reason for this is what condition man is in. Mark 7:20-23 describes some of the things that are inside of man. These things are true of man until the redeemed body comes to us. This is why the next verse explains what happens:

Matthew 12:34

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Since all of the things listed in Mark 7 are inside of a man, these are the things that come out when man speaks. This is why the words are poisonous and no man can tame the tongue. Man cannot speak good because there is no good inside of a man. The only thing the words of men can do is to cause deception and various other problems for a believer.

In power

This is why Paul had to identify he was not speaking his words, but the Word of God. It is through the Word of God that there is power and this is why Paul identifies that the gospel came unto them in power. Paul identifies in 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 that the preaching of the cross is the power of God unto salvation. Look at what he says in Romans:

Romans 1:16-17

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. [17] For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Paul identifies the gospel of Christ in this passage as being the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. When this is used in context with the verses from 1 Corinthians, it can be seen what the gospel of Christ is. It is the preaching of the cross and what it accomplishes. There is nothing else the Word of God identifies as being part of this gospel. This is why Paul identifies in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 the gospel and it only speaks of the preaching of the cross. This is the wisdom of God, as opposed to the wisdom of men, which would pervert this gospel for their own glory (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

The redemption that has come for mankind is the power of God. This redemption has been accomplished for us by the blood of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:14). He has paid the debt for us and we are made partakers of this when we accept the gospel and have access to this power.

In the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost has a tremendous impact on the life of a believer. The believer has several things occur when they accept the gospel, all accomplished by the Holy Ghost. The first of which is:

Ephesians 1:13-14

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, [14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The believer is sealed with the Holy Ghost. This means that once a person is saved, they are always saved. There is nothing a person can do to undo the work that has been accomplished for them. Since it is the Holy Ghost that is the seal, we cannot break it. The only thing that will break it will be the redemption of the purchased possession, which occurs at the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).

There is also a baptism that occurs when we are saved. We are placed into the Body of Christ by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). This is the only baptism that a member of the Body of Christ needs (Ephesians 4:4-6). The baptism is simultaneous with our sealing and salvation, giving us another spiritual benefit from our reception of the gospel.

In much assurance

There also should be an assurance that comes with the gospel. This is the good news this world has been waiting for. It is the thing that we are not to be ashamed of (2 Timothy 1:8-12), as we know what this all accomplishes for us. We also know the gospel has made the following guarantee for us:

Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 1:10

That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

We have been promised to be kept until the day of Christ. When this day is studied out in Scripture, we see that it can only make a reference to the catching out of the saints and the reception of the rewards we will receive. The assurance we have is that this is the promise we have.

So the main question has to be why is this important for us? We have a message committed to us that needs to be shared with this lost world. It is important for us to realize how important this message is and to share it with others.



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