1. The Gospel of the Apostles
The Gospel is the message taught by Jesus Christ and by the Apostles who followed him.The same message appears throughout the whole of the New Testament, and indeed is in the Old Testament as well.
After the resurrection the Gospel was first proclaimed in Jerusalem, but was taken to cities throughout the ancient world by Apostles and Evangelists. Some of the activities of the Apostles are recorded in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. The message carried by the Apostles is described in a set of speeches which they delivered to people in the cities that they reached. These speeches are summarised in Acts; they all have a common structure and they carry the sane message.
Peter's speech in Acts 2
A typical example of the Apostles' teaching is found in the speech which Peter gives to a crowd of onlookers in Jerusalem at Pentecost, 49 days after the resurrection. This is summarised in Acts 2:14-39. The Apostles had just received the miraculous ability to teach the Gospel in foreign languages and as they exercised this new gift they drew a crowd. Peter first addresses the crowd and explains the miracle. He then goes on to present the Gospel, which contains these main points:
Jesus, a man approved by God,was killed by crucifixion ( Acts 2:22-23 )
On the third day afterwards he was raised from the dead by God. of this there is evidence:
- Eyewitnesses met Jesus after the resurrection ( Acts 2:32, 1 Corinthians 15:3-9 )
- The tomb of Jesus was empty after the resurrection
As a consequence of the resurrection we can know that Jesus has been honoured by God.
The Fact of the Resurrection
The resurrection of Jesus Christ may very well be the most significant event in human history. It has very important consequences:
It shows that death can be overcome - and has already been overcome. Because of the resurrection of Jesus ,we have a hope of life
It shows that Jesus has been endorsed by God:
- Jesus is the Son of God ( Romans 1:3,4 )
- Jesus is both Lord and Christ ( Acts 2:36 )
- At some day in the future Jesus will return as judge and ruler of the world ( Acts 2:34,35; Psalm 2:1-8; Acts 17:31 )
This is the core of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The New Testament is the book of the resurrection and can't be understood without it. The theme also appears in the Old Testament; indeed the Old Testament only makes sense in the light of the resurrection.
The resurrection is the basis of the Gospel. To understand the Gospel, start with the resurrection.
Click for an online video on the core Gospel.
More detailed look at teaching in the Acts of the Apostles
Click here for an additional look at the activities of the Apostles after the resurrection of Jesus.
The next lesson in this series is an introduction to Jesus Christ, what he did and who he is.