the weblog of Alan Knox

The Gospel of the Gospels

Posted by on Oct 19, 2011 in blog links | 8 comments

Jonathan at “Jon’s Journey” has written a very good post called “Did Jesus preach the gospel?” The post is part of a series that he has been written looking at the good news in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

He begins with the gospel as it is commonly proclaimed today: “You are a sinner. God is holy and cannot have sin in his presence. Jesus paid the debt for your sins. Trust Jesus and you will have eternal life.” (By the way, this is the gospel that I’ve heard since I was very young.)

Next, Jonathan compares this to the gospel (good news) that he finds in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. At one point, he says:

You can not read the gospels without noticing how often the topic of the kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven is on the lips of Jesus. Matt 4:23, Matt 9:35, Matt 24:14, Luke 4:43, Luke 16:16 are a few that link the word ‘gospel’ with this kingdom message. We also find his disciples were sent out preaching the same message (Matt 10:5-8, Luke 9:1-2, Luke 10:9) . We have 4 books call the ‘gospels’ that have a lot to say about the good news message Jesus and His disciples preached. Paul and the other New Testament writers continued with the same message and themes.

I think that Jonathan is making a very good point. I think the gospel includes forgiveness of sin and eternal life. But, I do not think that is the whole gospel. I’m glad that more and more people are beginning to include the good news of the kingdom in their understanding of and proclamation of the gospel.

What do you think?


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  1. 10-19-2011

    Scot McKnight is making the same point in his new book, “The King Jesus Gospel.”

    Also, I’ve heard that line so many times: “You are a sinner. God is holy and cannot have sin in his presence.” Where do we derive this idea from? It certainly doesn’t seem that it comes from the Bible!

    Often we see God in the presence of sin and sinners – God speaking to Adam and Eve in the garden after the fall, Satan before God in the book of Job, and Jesus (God in the flesh) who is constantly in the presence of sinners. Besides, if God is omni-present, then everywhere sinner are God is there too!

  2. 10-19-2011


    Good observation!


  3. 10-19-2011


    For me, 2 Cor.3:12-18 says a lot about the two “gospels” which we hear preached in evangelical circles today; the one is of the Old Covenant,where “the glory of the Lord”, the glory of God revealed in the life and finished work of Jesus Christ, is hidden behind a veil of law and legalities, the other,the New Covenant inaugurated in Jesus Christ, “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.And we all, with unveiled face,beholding the glory of the Lord,are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”(16-18)

  4. 10-19-2011

    Aussie John,

    That’s a good comparison and contrast. Thanks!


  5. 10-21-2011

    One of the best books I’ve read is The Unchanging Person and the Unshakable Kingdom by E. Stanley Jones. He hits this dead on. Can’t recommend that book highly enough.

    Several years ago I began to feel a little unsettled about “the Gospel”; maybe we were taking some things for granted and making some assumptions for the sake of easy communication and “conversion”. The hardest thing to figure out was that Jesus proclaimed the Gospel – the good news – but we don’t see him giving the same “Gospel presentation” we’re used to. So there has to be more. So what did Jesus teach?

    Then it struck me – the Kingdom ITSELF was the good news! Jesus and his disciples proclaimed the incredible, wonderful news that a new order was being ushered in – the Good News of the Kingdom! It required a complete shift of allegiance from the world to the King, but it was possible! And that’s where the Gospel-as-we-know-it comes in – we’re able to shift our allegiance ONLY because of what Christ did. Without Christ bearing our sins, we would have no claim to be citizens of the Kingdom; now, though, we have an open door.

    This language of the Gospel of the Kingdom being a shifting in allegiance was a monumental shift in understanding for me. And it doesn’t push aside the “gospel” we all grew up with. In fact, it makes it much bigger.

    Scott, thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll check it out.

  6. 10-21-2011

    By the way, I was mistaken – it’s “The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person”. My bad.

  7. 10-21-2011


    I don’t think I’ve heard of that book. Thanks for the recommendation.


  8. 10-22-2011


    Salvation from our sins and the punishment for then is just the beginning or the gospel