Gospel of Jesus

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

Gospel of Luke 4:18-21; Jesus quoting Isaiah 61:1-2

This website is dedicated to proclaiming the gospel ("good news") of Jesus Christ. We talk more about what that means at What is the Gospel? But, frankly we can't say it all on that one page, so we've added this one to expound a bit more on what Jesus said his gospel was about.

We begin here with the verses above because that's where Jesus began. These words were spoken by Jesus at a synagogue in Nazareth and were the very first words Jesus said when he began his public ministry.

The gospel of Jesus is about salvation both in the present, in this world; as well as in the future, in heaven. It is both spiritual and physical; individual and societal. Jesus' gospel message proclaimed that God loves everyone and desires that everyone join in his kingdom - both on earth now and later in heaven.

One enters God's kingdom (both heavenly and earthly) by believing in and following Jesus. Jesus was adamant that it is not enough to simply believe; we must also follow his example and do the will of his father.

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Gospel of Matthew 7:21

Of course theologians have debated for centuries the mysteries of God's grace and concepts like justification and sanctification. And, salvation is by God's grace alone; not our works. This is discussed more at What is the Social Gospel? Here, I'm simply making the obvious point that the gospel of Jesus is about both belief and action. Simply put, to be a christian one must live like a christian.

So the question then becomes, what does it mean to live like a christian? The answer, provided by Jesus, is that christians should live unselfishly; loving God and others more than ourselves. In so doing we can aspire to live live a righteous and Godly life. As the prophet Micah said:

And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

This kind of righteous living is the way that Christ-followers can further God's kingdom. His earthly kingdom obviously, but also his heavenly kingdom as the two kingdoms are really one.

So far, almost everyone is with me. That's because to this point everything I've said has been theoretical. But, if we read the bible and take it seriously there are some obvious practical applications to us today.

What a Christian thinks about the gospel shapes his or her values, view of God, Jesus, neighbors, enemies, the poor, the rich, strangers, politics, economics, health care, taxes, spending, inequality, justice, the environment, and on and on.

It's true that Jesus was not a politician (though he actually was "into" politics). Yet, what he said and did should impact everything in the lives of his followers -- including our politics.

In short, our understanding of the gospel largely defines who we are. And, that has a tremendous impact, not only on ourselves, but also on our nation and world.

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