Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Attractive Gospel

The following was written in response to someone who shared his elation at preaching the Gospel without sounding "religious," that is, specifically, without mentioning the name of Jesus.

Jesus is the Gospel

"The old cross slew men;

the new cross entertains them."

A.W. Tozer [1]


1.  The Primacy of Jesus in Preaching

Jesus is the Gospel

The writer of Mark’s gospel saw Jesus as central to his treatise and, therefore, begins by writing “the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1).[2] The gospel, meaning “joyful news,” proclaims the visible manifestation in and through Christ of God’s invisible rule. It is the joyful announcement of God’s reception of sinners and His execution of justice on the earth only through the man Jesus the Messiah.[3]

The primary object and pervading content of the gospel is Jesus. 

Without Jesus the Christ there is no salvation for the sinner, there is no justice on the earth, and, essentially, no gospel.

[I]f there be an omission of that mighty name…all the adornments of genius and sincerity will not prevent such a half gospel from falling flat. Its preachers have never been able, and never will be able, to touch the…heart or bring good cheer to men.[4] 

To omit naming Jesus from the evangelistic message is withholding the “joyful news” and proclaiming “another gospel” at odds with the joyful news of the salvation that is to be found is Jesus alone. 

There is but one genuine [gospel]; all others are counterfeits. For us it is all-important that we should be no less narrow than the truth and no more liberal than [Paul] was to whom the message ‘how that Jesus died for our sins’ was the only thing worth calling the gospel. Our own salvation depends on our firm grasp of that one message…let our tongues not falter in proclaiming, ‘Neither is there salvation in any other’. The gospel of Christ, who died for our sins, is the gospel.[5]

The saving power of God resides in the message of the gospel, which speaks of the only one who can save sinners. Without Jesus the gospel is empty words and promises for in the gospel Jesus, who is the Christ, is the power of God (Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:24). 

Jesus’ Egocentric Gospel 

To say one can make the Gospel attractive without Jesus is an oxymoron. It was Jesus who said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32). Not “if my teachings be lifted but”, but “if I myself be lifted up.”

To proclaim Jesus is to release the power of the Cross to draw all men to him; consequently, to omit Jesus is not attractive. Again, Jesus said, “You search the scriptures…and it is these that bear witness of me.” The message of the gospel is everywhere taught in the Bible – as promise in the first testament and as fulfillment of that promise in the second – and its every teaching point to Jesus. 

To leave Jesus out of the gospel message is to render it as nothing but the sayings of a man, lifeless in itself and, therefore, powerless to impart life and save the sinner. The attractiveness of the gospel is found in the proclamation of Jesus as Lord and Savior. As such, Jesus proclaimed Himself as the “joyful news”; He is the gospel for sinners. Apart from Jesus, there is no gospel.

At the same time, the name of Jesus is not magical; it is not an incantation to be performed in order to appease an angry God and get Him to do as one wishes. However, with reference to the hope of Israel as prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and in harmony with New Testament revelation of Messiah, Jesus is the name given to him as one who is sent from God with the authority, in God’s place, to either save or judge. As G.F. Hawthorne asserts, 

…as in the OT so in the NT one’s name was at times considered to be a revelation of who the person was or what he would do. Hence, the angel gave strict instruction to Joseph to call Mary’s son “Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21; “Jesus” = “Savior”)…and to address the person by name is to give that person significance, meaning, dignity, and worth.”[6] 

In his own proclamation of the gospel, Jesus “is not bringing a new teaching but bringing himself…Jesus both proclaims the gospel and is [the gospel] and actualizes it.”[7] Therefore, he makes grandiose claims such as, for example, those found in the gospel of John, chapter 5:

1.  Working the same works as and simultaneously with God.
2.  Giving life to whomsoever he chooses.
3.  Having the authority to judge and execute judgment.
4.  Demanding the worship of His being as God.

In the gospel records, there are many places where Jesus declares his possession of divine authority, for example:

1.  “All authority has been given to me” (Matt 28:19).
2.  “the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory” (Mark13:24).
3.  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he anointed me” (Luke 4:18).
4. “Father judges [no] one, but he has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:24). 

Along with the above claims, Jesus also announces Himself as the only way to God, excluding absolutely any and all other ways, religious or otherwise, and to see Him is to see God (John 14:6,9). In reading further the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels, one is struck by the fact that His claims are absurd were it not true that he was sent from God. 

Jesus’ message of God’s salvation centers on Himself.

To deliberately omit mentioning Jesus is omitting what Jesus Himself assumed was central to His message. Such a deliberate omission in evangelistic outreaches, if persisted in, entails tragic consequences (Matt 10:33). 

The Apostolic Claim of the Gospel: “In the Name of Jesus”

This message of joy is no longer to be separated from the messenger who brings it, and this messenger is Jesus himself (cf. Lk 11:20; Matt 5:1f.; cf. TDNTII:728f.). Moreover, he appears not only as the messenger and author of the message, but at the same time as its subject, the one of whom the message tells. It is therefore quite consistent for the early Christian church to take up the term euangelion to describe the message of salvation connected with the coming of Jesus.[8]

The disciples were quick and forthright to announce that salvation is found only in Jesus and to emphasize to those listening that they were the very ones who crucified their Messiah (Acts 2:22-23,36). It was upon hearing specifically of this Savior – Jesus – that His enemies were “pierced to the heart” and, consequently, about three thousand persons of those he charged with having crucified Jesus were added to the Church. The disciples disdained to make the gospel attractive at the expense of declaring the truth. 

As such, they did not fail to mention Jesus in their presentation of the gospel because they knew that in his name the power of the gospel was activated and revealed (Rom 1:16). The apostle Peter commanded the lame man, “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene – walk”; and the lame man went “walking and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:6-8). Furthermore, once again, the apostles were bold to mention the name of Jesus before the very same people who crucified Him. Peter boldly asserts that this Jesus, whom God glorified, they “delivered up and disowned” and “put to death” (Acts 3:13-16).

There was nothing attractive in Peter’s accusations; he had condemned them all as murderers of Jesus, the Messiah. What was the outcome? “But many of those who heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to about five thousand” (Acts 4:4); and that was only counting the men! In addition, we can assume that many who were saved were the very ones who participated in Jesus’ crucifixion.

The disciples were not so concerned about offending that they intentionally sought to make the gospel attractive or more palatable by leaving out any mention of Jesus. Rather, they boldly proclaimed the Christ as being Jesus and by doing so believed such a proclamation in itself was effective to save those who heard.

Their foremost concern was presenting the truth regarding Jesus even to those whom they knew hated His name and killed Him.

It is a dreadful mistake to think that the deliberate omission of Jesus’ name will persuade sinners to repent, believe, and be saved (2 Tim 2:12).

2.  An Evangelical Necessity: The Name of Jesus

Another Gospel

In Romans 10:13-14, the apostle Paul reminds his readers of God’s promise in the Hebrew Scriptures that “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved”, and then asks, “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard?” 

If you haven’t heard of the One who saves, you cannot believe in Him. If you cannot believe in Him, you cannot call upon Him. If you cannot call upon Him, you cannot be saved. Salvation is dependent on not just hearing the gospel but hearing of whom the gospel points. For all intents and purposes, to hear the gospel is to hear about Jesus. To not proclaim Jesus is to not proclaim the gospel. To not proclaim the gospel is to fall short of declaring the message that leads to salvation. To fall short of declaring the authentic message of salvation is to leave sinners in their sin even if their response to the message is positive. 

Again, as the apostle Paul says, “So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ[9] (Rom 10:17).

To the Galatians, Paul writes that it was Jesus Christ who made him an apostle, was risen from the dead, dispenses divine grace, “gave Himself for our sins” in order to “deliver us out of this present evil age,” and to whom belongs the divine glory (Gal 1:1-5). Afterwards, he accuses his readers of deserting “the gospel of Christ” only to replace it with a “gospel contrary to that which we have preached” (Gal 1:6-9). He affirms that the gospel he preached to them came “through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:12).

Note that the apostle makes specific mention of this Christ to whom he refers, Jesus; the same Jesus mentioned in his salutation. The apostle mentions the name of Jesus seventeen times in this short epistle. He affirms that Jesus was revealed to him in order that he might “preach Him.” Paul was not called to preach an “attractive gospel” but the gospel of Jesus. He was called to preach the message of Jesus’ Cross (Gal 2:20; Phil 3:10; Rom 6:8; Rev 12:11; Matt 10:38; 16:24). As Tozer frankly writes, the cross “had nothing of beauty in it. It was an instrument of death. Slaying men was its only function.”[10]

If one is not telling sinners to turn to Jesus, he is not telling them to turn to God. Without a clear presentation of Jesus, there is 

no grace in this message, no exalting of the life-changing, sin-cleansing power of the blood of Jesus, no clear proclamation of mercy. The declaration of God’s love expressed through the Cross is muffled – if it is even heard at all.[11]

Preaching Legalism

To deliberately avoid mentioning Jesus in the proclamation of the gospel is to unintentionally place a burden of legalism upon the hearers. Legalism renders the deeds of the law as the requirement for and means of salvation. This was the very problem Paul sought to correct in his epistle to the Galatians. There were those who were omitting Jesus and preaching that “a man is justified by the works of the Law” (Gal 2:18). To preach that one is to turn to God without mentioning Jesus is preaching justification by works. 

Legalism is “religion without relationship, emphasizing standards more than the Savior.”[12] It is a “preoccupation with form at the expense of substance.”[13] 

With respect to wisdom, there is no denying it is found in the Bible and it is true, holy and good. There is nothing wrong instructing others with wisdom from the Bible. However, without declaring Jesus Christ as the source of wisdom or, rather, as Wisdom himself, a person is left to practice religion apart from relationship (1 Cor 1:24,30). It is typical of the worldly to snatch what are perceived as merely Jesus’ wise sayings – like the Sermon on the Mount – from the Bible but leave Jesus out of it. 

The world agrees it is wise to be altruistic; who in the world, however, agrees that authentic altruism comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ? The world agrees the wise man is kind to his neighbor; however, who in the world will agree that it is Jesus Christ who empowers us to love our neighbor?

To tell others that God desires to save them and change their lives without the mention of Jesus is to tell them divine favor is obtained by working for it. To tell others that they must follow the precepts of the Bible without mentioning Jesus is to place on their shoulders the burden of legalism. This may not be what is intended but it is the consequence of omitting the person of Jesus from the message of the Gospel. Omitting Jesus is avoiding the Cross. What is the gospel message without Jesus but the gospel of works; it is not the gospel of grace.

If Jesus is not mentioned in our preaching and teaching, how different is Christianity from other religions and cults, all of whom preach a form of legalism? The gospel without Jesus, in whom God has decisively revealed Himself, is the gospel of cults and false religions. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not mention Jesus in their services and neither do the Muslims in their calls to prayer. The New Age religion is fond of Jesus’ virtuous life and teachings but they do not proclaim the Name. 

Even some so-called Christian churches now avoid any mention of Jesus or the Cross in order to make their message more palatable to the crowds in the hopes of “winning the lost” and increasing membership. If such is the case, they may be winning the lost but it is not winning them for God. If the salvation offered is not boldly directing sinners to Jesus – in Jesus’ name and with all it represents – they are being called to come to God by works, for “how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard?” 

Preaching Compromise 

Deliberately failing to mention Jesus Christ, on the other hand, makes the gospel a message of moral compromise. To compromise is making a practical adjustment of rival systems by a partial yielding to both sides.[14] To me it is akin to antinomianism, which is the setting aside of God’s moral precepts, if not in whole, at least, in part as binding. To purposefully leave out the name of Jesus in a gospel message is to leave out all that the name represents: “…you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). It brings a distortion to the message of God’s love for the sinner and of His power to save from sin.

To tell a sinner to come to God or to live for God is the wrong message. How can a sinner do so without first having been cleansed from sin? How can the sinner be cleansed from sin apart from Jesus? If Jesus is the way of wisdom, how can you show him what is wisdom without mentioning Jesus, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3)?

Eliminating any mention of Jesus from an evangelistic message is telling sinners that either their sin is of no great consequence or, worse, no sacrifice was made to free men from committing sins; no price was paid to deliver them from the terrible consequences of sin. It is leaving the sinner with the sense that sin is not that serious a matter to God. One may sin and call it a mistake, a mere miscalculation, an error in judgment, which results only in certain setbacks and varying degrees of difficulties. In essence, God does not really require punishment for sin.

A sinner who is listening to someone talk about God without mentioning Jesus will think forgiveness comes by the mere snap of God’s fingers and nothing more. He surmises that it cost God nothing to forgive him. He will say, “I am paying a greater price for my sins because of all the difficulties I must endure! God is not hurt by my sins; I have only hurt myself.” By and by, he will sin again and again because he cannot foresee any terrible consequences or how it affects God. “How nice it is of God to forgive me,” he may think. Of course, he may learn to desist from those sins that cause him the most difficulty but that is about as far as he will go in struggling against it.

Any teaching about God that leaves out any mention of Jesus is diabolical because it brings joy only to those whose aim is the destruction of the entire human race (John 10:10a). 

To mention Jesus is imperative. The problems of sin demands that we tell sinners about Jesus and all that the name entails; that is, His sufferings and death, His burial and resurrection, His ascension and soon return with a “sharp sword” (Rev 19:15).

We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable…We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.[15]

It is Jesus who demonstrates just how serious sin is and just how much it has affected God. For it is not with “perishable things” that a sinner’s life is changed, “but with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet 1:19; Heb 9:12). Our sin also deeply affected God so much so that in order to win us over to be His people, the Bible declares that He bought us with “His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

Such grace is costly because…it cost God the life of His Son…and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.[16]

The absence of any mention of Jesus cheapens the price paid to obtain forgiveness for us. To speak of the suffering and blood of Jesus may not be attractive but it is truth; and truth is a “hard mistress. She never consults, bargains, or compromises.”[17]

Through the blood of Jesus, sinners are not only forgiven but also called as believers to holiness and self-sacrifice for the sake of the gospel. The Cross demands believers to live as Jesus taught them to live in a hostile environment: “perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48). It demands men to carry their own cross, be slain upon it, and live for God alone. The words of Jesus echoes into the heart of every man, “Follow Me!”

The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.[18]

The gospel offers life but only as Jesus lived it. It is not a life calling for self-improvement but “life out of death” (Gal 2:20). [19]

…faith in Christ, which is imputed for righteousness, is not only the condition of salvation but also the motivationfor Christian conduct in terms of a life clearly described by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. Thus, the logical thrust of justification is to lead to sanctification of heart and life.[20]

If the holy Son of God, Jesus, paid for sin and it is by faith in Him that we are saved and empowered in order to fulfill God’s purposes, the name of Jesus must be mentioned whenever and wherever the claims of the gospel are being made upon men.

3.  The Task of The Church:  Proclaiming the Name of Jesus

Jesus: The Cause of Persecution

It would be a mistake to purposely tailor the gospel in order to gain “yes” votes. Of course, neither is it being proposed that the gospel be presented in a manner obnoxious to the hearers. What is being suggested is that the truth, as it is revealed in the Bible, be told. Truth should be told in such a way as to influence acceptance; but even when there is the fear of rejection, the truth should, nevertheless, be told. Leaving Jesus out of the message is not the way to do it. Saying that the gospel is attractive – that it will attract hearers to accept it – without mentioning Jesus implies that Jesus is an unattractive, maybe even an obnoxious, Bible character and betrays a dangerously flawed understanding of him. As stated earlier, Jesus Christ is the gospel. Remove Him and there is no gospel.

Many well-known and unknown believers have suffered persecution because of their stand for Jesus Christ. About seventy years ago, at a congress of all Christians in Russia from many denominations, Josef Stalin (“president of the World Movement of the Godless and a mass murderer of Christians”) was being praised and elected as honorary president of their governing body:

One after another, bishops and pastors…declared that communism and Christianity are fundamentally the same and could coexist. One minister after another said words of praise toward communism and assured the new government of the loyalty of the Church.
     My wife and I were present at this congress. My wife sat near me and told me, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ! They are spitting in His face.” I said to my wife, “If I do so, you lose your husband.” She said, I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband.”
      Then I arose and spoke…Afterwards I had to pay for this…”[21]

Unfortunately, the persecution of Christians did not begin with Communism’s rise or end with its fall. Since the beheading of John the Baptist, persecution the world over against believers in Jesus as Messiah has continued to this very day. Chuck Colson states, 

In fact, more Christians have been martyred for their faith in this century alone than in the previous nineteen centuries combined. More than followers of any other faith, Christians around the world are suffering brutal persecution. Volume upon volumes of irrefutable documented evidence continues to surface, revealing horrifying atrocities increasingly being committed against those who dare to follow Jesus Christ.
      The examples are heartbreakingly plentiful. The list of afflictions reads like an alphabet of cruelty…The sheer dimensions of the problem are mind-boggling.[22]

Jesus warned his disciple that in following Him they would undergo many difficulties (John 16:31; 2 Tim 3:1; Jam 1:2-3) because the world’s hatred for Him would spill out onto them (John 15:18; 1 John 3:13). Along with the blessings of following Christ is added persecution (Mark 10:30). Paul writes that anyone who decides to live for Jesus will inevitably be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12). Our response to Jesus’ warnings should not be to avoid hostile confrontations by deliberately neglecting to mention his name in our evangelistic efforts, but to prepare for suffering (1 Pet 4:1; Eph 6:13).

In Acts, chapters 2 through 5, we find the disciples preaching the name of Jesus. Peter stresses that God “brought glory to his servant Jesus” through the healing of a lame man; and, in case they were not clear about who he meant by “Jesus,” Peter says, “I refer to Jesus whom you rejected…and killed” (Acts 4:12-15, Living Bible). The religious leaders had the disciples arrested for preaching in the name of Jesus and, on at least three recorded occasions in these chapters, commanded them “never again to speak about Jesus”(Acts 4:18; 5:28,40; LB).

It is a sad commentary on the spiritual life of the Church when she willingly avoids mentioning Jesus; when she stops preaching for what our forefathers in the faith forfeited their very lives. Those who were our examples of faith endured deprivations, torture, and painful death for the Name. Today, at least, in America, we are not only ashamed to mention the Name, but even brag about omitting it.

The gospel is Jesus. Proclaiming the gospel in the name of Jesus necessarily means risking rejection and suffering, even to the point of death.

Therefore, an obvious question is warranted: Is the Church in America up to the task of proclaiming the name of Jesus at the risk of rejection and suffering, even to the point of death? If we do not stand up for Jesus now in the time of peace for believers in America, it is almost certain we will fall away when persecution advances upon our very shores.

The Gospel: Should We Make It Attractive or Truthful?

The desire of every mature Christian is to save as many as possible. I argue that numbers are important. It is the responsibility of the Church to save as many as possible. That is why Jesus says, “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). He did not say, “For God so loved the few.” In Acts we read that “the church grew daily in faith and numbers” (Acts 16:5, Living Bible).

I am not against an increase in church membership. I am against distorting the gospel in order to achieve greater numbers for church membership, especially by omitting any mention of Jesus Christ. Tozer states, “Truth is sovereign and will not allow itself to be trifled with.”[23]

I see two ways to make the gospel attractive. One way is to make it something agreeable to the hearers; maybe something impeccably logical, eloquently beautiful, emotionally stirring, or joyfully entertaining. This may require some manipulation of the message by adding one thing or subtracting another; however, the apostle Paul warns against tickling the ear (2 Tim 4:3). Such manipulation of the divine truth, even for the sake of gaining conversions, is a betrayal of it; it is a betrayal of the Great Commission (Matt 28:19 – “Make disciples…in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”).

The second way to make the gospel attractive is to “tell it like it is”, that is, to give the Word the way the Word is given. Of course, it must be done in an attitude of love for the sinner in the way that reflects God’s love, for only divine love will tell the truth regardless of the consequences, and consequences that may affect the speaker as well as the listener. It is only in the apprehension of God’s love demonstrated in Christ that we are able to proclaim truth with the expectation that all who hear will be persuaded, but at the same time, realizing there may those who reject it and react in one way or another against the speaker.

Yet, the failure of the hearers to believe is not because of the message itself, if faithfully proclaimed, but because of their own hardness against it.

Christ promises to attract men to Himself on the condition that he is given prominence in the proclamation of the gospel (John 12:32). Whether that attraction is positive or negative is simply up to those who hear. To deliberately remove Jesus is to make the gospel unattractive; it is to remove the primary means of influence used for the sinner in order for him to believe and be saved. To the apostle Paul, the proclamation of Jesus was so important that he was not concerned with the motives of certain preachers but rejoiced in the message preached as long as “Christ is proclaimed” (Phil 1:18).

A person may preach from wrong motives and still preach the truth but he cannot preach a message, even with sincere motives, that omits Jesus and still preach the truth. To leave Jesus out of the message is willfully giving a distorted message; this is not the gospel. A man with wrong motives damns himself but one with the wrong message, irrespective of his motives, damns others.

The apostle’s primary concern was not to make the message attractive but to make Jesus Christ known (1 Cor 2:1-5; 15:1ff). That is not to say methods are wholly worthless but that our chief concern should be to mention Jesus Christ, presenting him before the eyes of our hearers as the Savior and Lord whom God sent. The whole essence, character, and significance of the gospel message, as presented in the Bible, stands or falls on the person of Jesus Christ; without Him, there is no gospel.

Preaching the True Gospel
Therefore, we are left with a choice. Concentrate on attracting and distort the gospel or concentrate on Jesus and give a true message. 
This is not a criticism of methods used. Even the apostle Paul used “all means” to bring sinners to salvation. However, the use of “all means” was confined “for the sake of the gospel” (1 Cor 9:22-23). Paul did not use any methods that distracted from or distorted the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to make it attractive.
The issue here is not method but substance. Are we presenting the gospel as it really is or are we glossing over the message in order to make it more palatable? Are we giving a message that just makes those who hear feel better and more pliable to “accept God in their heart” or are we giving them the message of hammer and nails, which presses upon them the uncomfortable but utter need to die and live for Jesus Christ?
Jesus is the gospel. 
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Acts 2:21; cf. Joel 2:32.

Conclusion

Any attempt to share the gospel message with the intention of not mentioning Jesus or replacing him with some other religious subject matter no matter how true or great it is, starts a trend that leads to unintended and dangerous spiritual and eternal consequences for both those who give the message and those who hear.

While appreciating the desire to win the lost, it should be noted in no uncertain terms that the teachings about Christ are not attractive when Jesus is omitted. Allow me to reiterate that Jesus is the gospel. Every evangelistic effort should purposely and boldly include Jesus Christ as the center of its message.

Every pastor, ministry leader, and ministry worker ought to be regularly reminded that the name of Jesus Christ ought always to be on our lips as we minister the grace of God to others.

Every ministry in the church should be in the habit of publicly and boldly professing the name of Jesus Christ.

The only way to win souls and edify the Church is to give the true message of the gospel, that is, to boast in the name of Jesus Christ, proclaiming his person and work on behalf of sinful men.

Let our prayers be that the name of Jesus Christ is given the honor due his great and holy name through the Church to the world.  Amen.
--------------------
Endnotes
[1] A.W. Tozer, The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ (Camp Hill: Christian Publications, 2005), 128.
[2] All Bible quotations are from the NASB unless otherwise noted.
[3] “Messiah” is the English translation of the Hebrew word meaning, “anointed one”, which in the Greek NT has been translated as  “Christ”.  It is not Jesus’ proper name but His title.
[4] Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture: Mark (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 11.
[5] Ibid.  Emphasis his.
[6] G.F. Hawthorne, “Name” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromily (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), 482.
[7] G. Friedrich, “euangelizomai” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, abridged by Geoffrey W. Bromily (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 270.
[8] U. Becker, “Gospel” in New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, ed. Colin Brown (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986) 2:110.
[9] Emphasis mine.  It is interesting to read Rom 10:17 following the Greek: “Then faith from hearing and the hearing through a word of Christ”; cf. Alfred Marshall, Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, 3rd ed. (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1974) 635.
[10] Radical, 111.
[11] Michael L. Brown, Go and Sin No More (Ventura: Regal, 1999), 151.
[12] Ibid., 153.  Emphasis his.
[13] A.R.G. Deasley, “Legalism” in Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 478.
[14] Cf. American Heritage Dictionary
[15] Radical, 55.
[16] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, 2nd ed. (New York: MacMillan, 1963), 48.
[17] Radical, 33.
[18] Ibid., 54.
[19] Ibid., 55.
[20] Eldon Fuhrman, “Antinomianism” in Beacon Dictionary of Theology, ed. Richard S. Taylor (Kansas City: Beacon, 1983), 40.  Emphasis his.
[21] Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ, 4th ed. (Middlebury: Living Sacrifice, 1976), 16.
[22] Chuck Colson in his foreward for In the Lion’s Den by Nina Shea (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1997), ix.
[23] A.W. Tozer, The Set of the Sail, compiled by Harry Verpleoegh (Camp Hill: Christian Publications, 1986), 100.

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