THE (ONE) GOSPEL
January 1, 1986 Issue
by K.G. Wilks
"...Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached through out the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." Mark 14:9. ''The beginning of the gospel of Christ, the Son of God." Mark 1:1 "...I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..." Rom 1:15, 16.
Please notice that the word "the" is a definite article, defined pp. 74 and 75 of Fernalds English Grammar Simplified as, (quote) "...always the same in all situations and under all conditions..." and (p., 75) as "...'The always indicates a definite object, either: (item 3) "An object emphatically designated, as if the only one worth of consideration..." In short, it means one and only one certain gospel in this study, or in the whole word of God.
The word "this" is a demonstrative pronoun, one that directly indicates its antecedent, as if pointing with a finger. It is singular in number. (Pp. 39 and 40 of the same grammar).
Therefore, "this gospel" means the one and only certain gospel under consideration. The definite article "the" means the one and only gospel. So, the Scripture being true, there is one and only one gospel of Christ. There is no authority for the statement "the four gospels". The proper title of each of the four accounts is properly, "The Gospel According to Matthew; The Gospel According to Mark; The Gospel According to Luke; and The Gospel According to John. They are four witnesses, each one testifying for Christ according to his concept of his life with The Christ, and each one for a different people. The first three, Matt., Mark, and Luke were written by inspiration about 27 to 30 years after the establishment of the church A.D. 33. Therefore, having been written by God inspired men through the Holy Spirit, John having written about A.D. 93 (about 60 years after the establishment of the church) they are reliable. For Jesus told them while he was yet on earth, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. "John 15:26. Again, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come." John 17:13.
QUESTION: Since it is established that there is ONE AND ONLY ONE gospel, that Jesus preached it while living, and that Paul said "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth", the Holy Spirit delivered that one and only one gospel to all of the divine writers-- the same to every one of them. The Holy Spirit did not give one message of salvation to one divine writer, an other message (gospel) to some other divine writer, and a third gospel (message) to a third writer. The epistle of the Romans was written about the year 53 or no later than 58 A.D. --i.e. 20 to 25 years after the establishment of the church after Christ had ascended to heaven. It was written by Paul, the Apostle born out of due season as he described himself. (1 Cor 15:8). He upheld the gospel delivered to the others. He is quoted in Acts as telling the Ephesian elders, 20:26,27, "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men, For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." But do we have all of his words or even all his writings? Evidently not. So it was with the writers of the gospel according to the four recorded accounts of the gospel. Not all of the words the Lord Jesus spoke are recorded for us, for in John 21:24,25 we have recorded for us the evidence that this sentence is true. " This is that disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."
The evidence that Paul preached and wrote the same gospel that all of the others preached and wrote is found in his own writing to the Galatians. Quoting: "1:6, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7. Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 10. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ...16... "To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lords brother. 20. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 21. Afterward I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 22. And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judea which were in Christ: 23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 24. And they glorified God in me."
The preceding quotation from Galatians chapter 1 was said to have been written in the A.D. 50s or later, which would put the writing about 17 to 20 years or more after the establishment of the church. From this epistle is perfectly clear that he was not inferior to any of the other apostles just because he came late in to the church, concerning which Jesus said, "I will build my church." (Matt 16:18). For his conversion read Acts 9:4-20. In Gal 2:11, "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." Why? Because Peter was afraid to associate with the Gentiles when the Jews were around and withdrew from associating with the Gentiles. Herein Paul is shown to be the equal of any of the apostles.
Paul preached the same gospel-- the gospel --that any of the other apostles preached. Furthermore, all of the other apostles or any other divine writers preached the same gospel--the gospel-- "the power of God unto salvation to believers" that any other preached. It all began with the preaching of the gospel by Jesus during his life time. Just because a truth is not recorded by all of them does not mean there is a difference in what they all preached. They all preached the same thing whether it is recorded in the same words of not. Otherwise, the Holy Spirit would be guilty of favoritism, partiality, a respecter of persons. "God is no respecter of persons..." Acts 10:34. None else dare to be so, then, now or ever. Think about it! There was then, there is now, and there always will be but one gospel!
"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Col 4:6.
"A moral, sensible, and well-bred man will not affront me, and no other can." (From Cowper in "Conversation",1.193.)
Other OPA Article Links:
K.G. Wilks 1986 OPA Main Page Home