The Gospel reveals a glorious God relentlessly pursuing relationships with His image bearers. Learn more about how Paul shared this message with the Jews and the nations.
Granted, it is the same gospel. Paul simply proclaimed that the good news of the gospel for the Jews was the Messiah has come (Acts 13:23) and to the Gentiles, God has overlooked the time of ignorance (Acts 17:30). Paul knew the gospel remained one, but it could be expressed in many ways.
The launch of a movement must involve movement leaders who have the capacity and skills to connect God’s story to the story of a culture.
- Talking with people in the culture.
- Observing the customs and practices of a culture.
- Studying the history of the culture.
Christ connects with people at different places, but those places all lead to a final destination: we must believe in him (John 16:9; cf. Rom 10:9-10).
The gospel is about believing Jesus is God and giving him glory. When we make it about our sins, then the gospel becomes about us. Jesus did this for me. Reality is, Jesus did what he did to bring glory to God (John 14:31). In other words, Jesus knows God is most glorified by others worshipping him. It is, after all, the root cause of angelic rejoicing (Luke 17:3-10). For this purpose, Paul writes,
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory (Eph 1:13-14, emphasis added).
To reinforce the nature of salvation, Paul emphasizes that it is God’s work of love and mercy rather than anything we have done, not even cataloguing and confessing our wrong doings (Eph 2:4-5).
Examples of Paul’s Gospel Presentations
Paul’s Compelling Argument for God to Jews in Galatia and Thessalonica
|Galatia (Acts 13)||Thessalonica (Acts 17)|
|God of the people Israel (Acts 13:17)||Christ suffered and rose from the dead (Acts 17:3)|
|Chose the Jewish fathers (Acts 13:17)||Jesus is the Christ (Acts 17:3)|
|Made them great in Egypt (Acts 13:17)||Jesus is King (Acts 17:7)|
|Gave them land in Canaan (Acts 13:19)|
|Gave them prophets and kings (Acts 13:20-22)|
|God brought a Savior through David (Acts 13:23)|
|John the Baptist announced Jesus’s coming (Acts 13:25)|
|Jews in Jerusalem executed Jesus (Acts 13:27-28)|
|God raised him from the dead (Acts 13:30)|
|Jesus appeared to his disciples (Acts 13:31)|
|Jesus is the good news that God promised the fathers (Acts 13:32-33)|
|Forgiveness of sins is proclaimed through Jesus (Acts 13:38)|
|Those who believe are freed from the law of Moses (Acts 13:39)|
Paul’s Compelling Argument for God to the Nations in Lystra and Athens
|Lystra (Acts 14)||Athens (Acts 17)|
|Turn from vain worship to a living God (Acts 14:15)||God is creator of the universe (Acts 17:24)|
|God made heaven, earth, sea and all the fill them (Acts 14:15)||God is lord of heaven and earth (Acts 17:24)|
|God allowed the nations freedom (Acts 14:16)||God is creator of humanity (Acts 17:25, 29)|
|God’s witness was demonstrated through his goodness to the nations (Acts 14:17)||God wants to be sought (Acts 17:27)|
|God is near people (Acts 17:27)|
|God wants all people to believe in Christ (Acts 17:30)|
|God will judge the world by Christ (Acts 17:31)|
|God raised Christ from the dead (Acts 17:31)|
“The gospel is to be carried abroad. It is to be preached among the nations. Wherever, then, it is preached, it must be heard. But so that all may hear, one must use one’s feet to travel. And so do we travel with haste and urgency.” – Gaius Marius Victorinus