The Gospel is More than “Faith Alone in Christ Alone” -- By: Jeremy D. Myers
JOTGES 19:37 (Autumn 2006) p. 33
The Gospel is More than
“Faith Alone in Christ Alone”
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Surprisingly little work has been done on the definition and content of the gospel (euangelion, euangelizo) in the NT. Even with titles like The Gospel According to Jesus1 or The Gospel According to Saint Paul2 the authors nowhere define what they mean by “gospel.” Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles does contain a list of sixteen truths that are “fundamental to all evangelical teaching,”3 but does not equate this in a technical sense to the term gospel. Throughout these books (as well as most others about the gospel), the gospel seems to be defined as “the essentials of what must be explained in evangelism” or “the facts that must be believed in order to receive everlasting life.”4
This is also the way the term is often used in Free Grace circles. Like Lordship/Perseverance authors, we equate the gospel with what a person must believe in order to receive everlasting life. Our definition of the gospel does not differ from theirs; we just have different ideas on what is essential to the gospel. For us, the gospel is often equated with “faith alone in Christ alone for everlasting life.”
JOTGES 19:37 (Autumn 2006) p. 34
However, a study of the term gospel reveals that this understanding is incorrect. Therefore, a large part of the debate between Lordship Salvation and Free Grace is wrapped up in a failure to properly define the gospel biblically. Defining the gospel won’t solve the debate, but it might clarify the issue. There is also some debate within our own circles about what truths must be shared and believed for evangelism to occur. Hopefully, a proper understanding of the gospel will bring some unity within our own circles as well.
II. Lexical Definition
A study on the term gospel begins with a lexical analysis of the word in its original contexts in both secular and biblical usage. The term translates two Greek words: euangelion (noun: used 76 times in 73 verses) and euangelizo (verb: used 54 times in 52 verses).5 Euangelion is always translated as gospel in the NKJV. Euangelizo is most often translated as preaching the gospel, thus it can also ...
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