The gospel has been made known to all nations through inspired Scripture.

The gospel is the good news of salvation by grace.

“All have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Sin separates us from God. But God offers forgiveness through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Jesus volunteered to undergo the penalty for our sins so we could be forgiven without violating the justice of God.

Christ revealed the mystery of the gospel through His holy apostles and prophets in the first century. They were commanded to make the gospel known to all nations by prophetic Scriptures. Prophetic means inspired by God.

Before creation the gospel was planned by God.

The elect serve “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:1, 2).

It was the will of God to offer salvation in Christ: “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1:4, 5).

Before the creation of the universe, God determined that we would be saved by grace in Christ: “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9).

Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

The gospel was foretold by Old Testament prophets.

It was foretold that God would send an eternal King, the Christ, “to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).

He would be anointed to preach good news: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:1, 2).

This great King would bring joy and salvation to God's people: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).

In earlier times the gospel was a mystery.

Even the Old Testament prophets had limited knowledge about God's plan of salvation: “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things which angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:10-12).

Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies.

Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

It was foretold: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was born to the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:23).

The Messiah's birth place was foretold: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was born at Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-6).

He would provide atonement for sin: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5, 6). In 1 Peter 2:24 it is stated that this prophecy was fulfilled by Christ: “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed.”

After His resurrection, Jesus told how He had fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies: “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).

“To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

To the Roman ruler Festus, Paul declared: “Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come - that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22, 23).

The mystery of the gospel was revealed by Christ through His apostles and prophets.

Paul explained that the Holy Spirit had revealed the mystery of the gospel both to him and to the other apostles and prophets: “How that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Ephesians 3:3-6).

Paul explains that the gospel is "the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26, 27).

The apostles and prophets were commanded by God to make the gospel known to all nations through Scripture.

At the end of his letter to the Romans, Paul explains that God commanded that the revealed mystery of the Gospel be made known to all nations through prophetic Scriptures: “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith” (Romans 16:25, 26).

What have we learned?

The gospel is the good news of salvation by grace. God offers forgiveness through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Jesus took upon Himself the punishment for our sins so we could be forgiven.

The gospel was planned by God before creation and was foretold by Old Testament prophets. The gospel was not fully understood in earlier times. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. Through His holy apostles and prophets Christ revealed the mystery of the gospel. They were commanded to make the gospel known to all nations by means of prophetic Scriptures. Amen.
Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.

Published in The Old Paths Archive