Today there are many different “gospels” preached. Paul warned the church of Corinth about accepting a counterfeit to the true Gospel or the real Jesus in 2 Cor.11:4.
“For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different Spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different Gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”
The reason for this? He mentioned in the previous verse: “your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
They allowed their minds to be distracted from simple, pure worship and commitment to Jesus! That should cause us to reflect…
I think it is interesting that Paul equated Jesus, the Gospel and the Holy Spirit together. When he basically warns them to stick with the true message, he makes no direct mention of the Scriptures. Now we can see from the Bible that Paul was well versed in teaching from the Scriptures. I can’t find or remember the exact amount but, believe that about a quarter of the New Testament is quoted from the O.T.
However, Paul’s emphasis is always on the Gospel, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is what brings the Father glory.
Jesus also equated Himself with the Gospel in Mark 10:29: “Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the Gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age…”
There are enough times in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John equating Jesus and His Gospel together to make me believe that Jesus’ idea of the Gospel (which means good news) is Himself. After all, the good news is Jesus. Jesus is the good news.
That’s why teaching the Scriptures was never Jesus’, Paul’s John’s or anyone in the Bible’s prerogative. Because the Scriptures were taught for thousands of years but, they didn’t bring life! “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life!” (2 Cor.3:6)
They taught the Gospel. The good news, which is Jesus and they often articulated the hidden truths in the Scriptures with spiritual truths of life in Christ!
We see Jesus doing this in what are called, “the 4 Gospels”. (On an interesting side note,many of His parables have very strong similarities to O.T. prophecies.)
in Luke 16:16 Jesus says; “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the (gospel) good news of the kingdom of God is preached.”
In Matt.28:19,20 He commissions the disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”
In Mark’s account of the same commission Jesus says: “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (16:15-18)
Nowhere in the New Testament are we given any reason to teach something else. But, is this what we have been taught and do we teach the good news?
The sad truth is that the Bible can be taught for a lifetime and never once mention the full truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.