December 1 I Wednesday
2 Peter 3
THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding His Son.” —Romans 1:1-3
It may surprise us to learn that the gospel of Jesus Christ does not begin with His coming to earth and making His dwelling among humankind. Paul teaches that the gospel has its roots in history and prophecy long before Jesus Christ was born. Jesus does not arrive on the scene out of the blue; He is not the founder of Christianity, but the fulfiller of it.
The important factor about any message that we need to consider is whether or not it is credible. Does it carry authority and is it true? In this regard, the prophets of the Old Testament are as important as the apostles of the New Testament. In Ephesians 2:20, Paul tells us the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and we need to understand how they connect in revealing one continuous and cohesive story.
The Old Testament Scripture was the only documentation that the apostles, and even Jesus, had to teach and preach from. One of its remarkable features is that it contained prophesies written up to 2,000 years prior to the birth of Christ, and every single one came to fruition in the right place, at the right time, exactly as it was foretold. We may believe in the historicity of Jesus and the validity of His death and resurrection, not just because the New Testament told us, but because the Old Testament recorded it with incredible detail long before it happened.
The message of the gospel did not evolve, but goes deep into the prophesies that God had revealed to His prophets, which not only precedes Christ in time, but goes back beyond time. Its origin predates the history of Israel as well as the history of the human race. Paul writes, “For He chose us in [Christ] before the creation of the world…” (Ephesians 1:4). God was not taken by surprise when the human race fell. He knew in advance, He prepared in advance and He revealed His solution in advance.
Paul, an apostle called by God, sent by God and under the authority of God, confirms the gospel of Jesus Christ as standing above every human philosophy and reasoning. It is not personal opinion, speculation or theory, but truth that has its roots deeply entrenched in centuries of prophesy. Had they not been true, they would have been exposed as such, but each one has proven to be authentic and trustworthy. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God for the redemption, salvation and reconciliation of humanity to Himself.
Prayer: O Lord, without the gospel of Jesus Christ, humanity would be lost in a world that does not make sense. Thank You for the stability, the richness and the grace that the gospel has given me.