Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:20
What is it to truly preach the gospel? This question is asked by each new generation, and rightly so. So the question is now being asked again here, and we wish to give you the forthright answer from the infallible Word of God. It really comes down to mainly five things, all delineated plainly in Scripture: (1) The Cross, (2) God's Kingdom, (3) The Word, (4) Heartfelt Assurance, and (5) God's Grace. Look at these wonderful truths with us, remembering "What is true is not new." So here is the old, old story of Jesus and his love, "the not new gospel."
The Cross of Christ is central to all gospel preaching. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (I Corinthians 1:18). "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men" (v. 25). The Cross is the good news of God's gospel. It is the only hope for all bankrupt sinners. The gospel is for sinners only, and if you do not feel guilty of sin, there is nothing but "bad news" for you. "Being NOW justified by his blood" (Romans 5:9). The blood of Christ effectually saves and justifies all of the elect of God. What glorious news this is! Nothing ever told or heard by mortal man equals or surpasses this news. Christ's blood alone "redeems" us (Ephesians 1:7), and God has "made peace" between himself and sinners "through the blood of his cross" (Colossians 1:20). "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). There is forgiveness of sin no other way, but "the way of the cross." None, never!
The Kingdom of God (the domain of the King) is loudly proclaimed in gospel preaching. "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him" (Acts 28:30-31). It is God's Kingdom that we emphasize, not the kingdoms of men, which are sure to perish. Christ is truly Lord of his church, and King in Zion, with no rivals or vice-regents. All saints bow to Christ's holy authority! "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power" (I Corinthians 4:20). We enter this spiritual kingdom by a new birth from above (John 3:3).
If the word of God is ever sent to us "in power, and in the Holy Spirit," it will also bring us "much assurance" (I Thessalonians 1:5). In true gospel preaching, "the word" (2 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 4:12) is brought forth, and in clear language we learn that Christ Jesus is the only Saviour of sinners, the Holy Spirit is our Convincer and Comforter, and God's grace alone has sovereignly sought us, bought us, and taught us! "Chosen in Christ." "Bought with a price." "And they shall be all taught of God." "To the praise of the glory of his grace." We only know these things from the revealed fountain of all truth, the inspired Scripture, which must never be added to, or nothing taken from.
At the close of Revelation, it is no wonder that John "heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God" (19:1). By grace alone, may we humbly join in singing the same to the worthy Lamb of God, "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). This is "the gospel of God," and our only desire is to proclaim it in all its fulness, in all its sweetness, and in all its power. All hail King Jesus!