“For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (NKJV)

        Paul, as an archetype ascension gift apostles as given in Ephesians 4:11, is declaring what he and the Apostles of the Lamb received from Christ Himself.

        Today I want us to spend more time understanding the Gospel that did not come from man but God Himself. This is the only way we can please God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If we took the time to do a detailed study of the Gospel, we would need to look at all the references in the four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We would need to consider all the references in the book of Acts and in the epistles. We cannot do that in this study today, but we can consider a few areas.

THE GOSPEL (GOODNEWS)

Definition: It is the good news of the power of God to break the power of sin and death through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. It is the good news of God with us in the person of the Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer and releasing the regenerated life of Christ into the believer, and living life by the resurrection life of our risen Lord.

The gospel is the good news of God’s power to destroy the “sin nature of man” and give the “new creation nature of Christ to everyone who obeys believing and receives God’s unfailing mercy and grace.

Peter answers the question of those Jews who heard Peter’s preaching in Acts 2, and having been cut to the heart, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter answered, “Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

        In the name of Jesus, because “all power in heaven and in the earth was given to Jesus, the regenerated, resurrected son of David, Messiah who is seated in heaven at the Father’s right hand and ruling the nations. Peter declares in Acts 4:12, nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

How we please God:

Through obeying God’s command to “repentant” (change of mind) concerning Christ as the Son of God, the Messiah promised in the Old Testament Law and Prophets.

Through death to self by a willingness to die to the nature of Adam which is the “human sin nature” and to receive the nature of the Last Adam, Jesus Christ, receiving a new identity in the power of Christ’s resurrection, represented in “baptism” and lived out through a “righteous lifestyle.”

By faith, that is “one who believes,” receiving the Holy Spirit who is God’s life resident in you and the down payment of your inheritance in Christ Jesus, the Lord (Ephesians 1:13).

Only by grace through faith can one be saved. (see Ephesians 2:8) not of myself, it is God’s gift.

It is not by law; not by a denomination or a church; not by works of righteousness which you have done, (Titus 3:5); not by some method of man. This salvation is manifested by the power of God through a “cleansed life” through the blood of Christ and a Spirit lead life by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 is Paul’s statement of the “gospel” he preached. The whole chapter is Paul’s “thesis” of the resurrection.

Paul’s message was contained in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ – all according to the Scriptures.

His message was confirmed by witnesses!

9-19 gives the expanded proposition of the “The Resurrection.”

Vs. 12 says that even in the early church, the resurrection issue was being challenged by some. (The Pharisees believed in the supernatural, resurrection, and angels. The Sadducees did not. It was all foolishness to the Greeks).

Verse 20 – 23 By man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. In Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. First was Christ, and afterward those who are Christ’s at His Coming.

24-28 All things under His feet. These verses are so important because they give us heaven’s perspective of the end. We have all kinds of various views expressed today about the ending. But Paul gives it to us in a pretty strategic way in these verses. These verses are part of the “gospel.” They deal with the real focus in verse 27. For He has put all things under his feet. The He is the Father. The goal is that “all things are made subject to Christ.” After that, Christ, the Son Himself, will also be subject to Him (the Father), who put all things under Christ, “that God may be all in all.” Remember what the apostles understood, that Christ is David’s greater son, a man raised from the dead to reign over the nations. This is what the Old Testament foretold.

Do you believe this? Then, if you do, you accept the Gospel that Paul preached.

Verses 29-33 give us the practical outworking of the Gospel in our everyday life. It is in the hope of the resurrection of the dead.

34 Awake to righteousness because some do not have the knowledge of God. We are to live in the way of righteousness so that others might repent and come to know God.

Paul now explains further about the resurrection by answering questions.

35 What sort of body will we receive?

36 Nature itself reveals the answers to unbelief

37-41 you sow the seed, not the body that shall be. Every seed has its own body. This is true of all flesh. This is true of all the heavenly bodies. There is the glory of the sun, lessor glory of the moon and then there are all the stares and their various glories.

42-51 So also in the resurrection (Note vs 45 – First man Adam became a living soul, the Last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.

Paul speaks to the process in 1 Thessalonians 5:23:

The spirit is saved when justified through faith (Romans 5:1)

The soul is being saved day by day through sanctification by the “Word of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit” (Philippians 2:12)

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Each must answer for what they did with this gift of His life that dwells within us.

The body is yet to be saved by being changed into His glorious likeness in the fulfillment of the promised resurrection of the dead at Christ’s return for His saints and final judgment of all disobedience. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Today, I would like to finish our study by looking at the end of the life of Paul as revealed in Acts 28:31. Let’s read Acts 28:23-31 for context.

“So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. 25 So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, 26 saying, ‘Go to this people and say: ‘Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; 27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn So that I should heal them.”‘ 28 “Therefore, let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves. 30 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him” (NKJV).