In this blog I want to back up to one of the first references to the “gospel.” There are only three direct allusions to the “gospel of the kingdom” in the New Testament and they are all in Matthew’s Gospel. The first two are recorded in Matthew 4:23 and 9:35. In these Jesus goes into “the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction” (9:35). The proclamation or preaching was accompanied with a physical evidence of the “rule and authority” of the King of the kingdom. Those who heard and those who received healing did not all realize who Jesus was; their Messiah and King.
The Jews of Jesus’ day were expecting a Messiah who would come and deliver them from the oppressive rule of Rome, much like the Israelites experienced under Moses when they were delivered from Egypt. What they did not understand was that this gospel was proclaiming a deliverance from the moral oppression of sin within the heart. There was only one way for anyone to come under this rule; through REPENTANCE. “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel”” (Mark 1:14–15). Yes, the time had come for the deliverance of all mankind, but they could only come under this rule one way; through repentance.
The rule and authority of God’s kingdom is not based on our fulfilling the Old Covenant Law given through Moses or working our way into favor with God, but through “the law of the Spirit of life [that] has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). The old law could not do this. Most of our problems today are that we resist coming under this divine authority and moral rule because we still want to control our lives instead of releasing complete control to God the Spirit. The path to this deliverance is very simple! REPENT!
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