1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
Acts 4:1-4 (ESV)
I was studying this morning and one of the Bibles I read has inserts from C. S. Lewis. If you do not recognize his name he is the author of the Narnia Series. He also wrote several other nonfiction books about being a Christian two of those books are called Mere Christianity and Miracles If you have never read any of His work I would recommend these two books that is if you desire a closer walk with God. You see C. S. Lewis was a devote atheist who became one of the most influential Christians in the early 1940’s.
I said all that because I wanted to share with you a truth that C.S. Lewis shares in Miracles that we often overlook and that is important to understanding the Christian walk. That truth is the Gospel is not what we read today in the bible those are the biographies of Jesus life. The gospel is what was preached by those who lived with and walked with Jesus those who were witnesses. Peter and John were not arrested for reading the bible they were arrested for, “proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” The bible was written for those who had accepted Christ; so that the story could be known and bring encouragement to those who believed, but the real Gospel is about the Miracle of the Resurrection and the implications of it for those who were witnesses to it. Had they never shared that part of the story no gospels would have ever been written. You see today we often pick and choose what we desire to share with people about Jesus and we have made him into whatever best suits our need at the time. Groups are always laying claim to some characteristic of His nature. Trying to use some singular verse of scripture to bring people into their group; in those cases they are missing the Gospel. The Gospel in the simplest of terms is Jesus’ Sacrifice on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection and the everlasting hope found in Him when we trust in Him because of the testimonies of those who were witnesses to it all. They had no Bible to read in the synagogue all they had was their testimony of the life change experience of Jesus Christ. That is the real Gospel the Bible just allows for a written evidence of the testimonies of those who walked with Him. Had they never told anyone what they saw and experienced the bible; might never have been written, because no one would have ever changed. You see 5000 people were changed because of their testimony of the gospel. I want to challenge you today do you have a testimony of how Jesus changed your life if so don’t be afraid to share it. That is when Jesus has the most power before others; when we are a witness to Him. Have a blessed day as you walk in the light of His word.
Rev. Brian Mathis
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Thank you for this insightful article about what the Gospel is all about - it is the Good News that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose again that all who come to Him in faith and repentance will have a new birth and a new life, transformed and changed towards the purpose of God (Titus 3:4-7).