June 21, 2010

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Did Peter & Paul Preach the Modern Evangelical Gospel? I recently decided to examine the sermons found in the Book of Acts and compare them with how we "preach the Gospel" today. What they "leave out" and what they include is an interesting study indeed. For example, it is intextricably connected to the Jewish narrative. It isn't at all self-focused and doesn't revolve around a "personal relationship with God" (nothing like this phrase is used and though they believed the idea they didn't include it in the individualistic way that we do). Instead, they announced Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah of Israel (that was a loaded statement for the 1st-century Jews!) and the world's true Lord (that was a loaded statement to those in the Roman Empire, where Caesar declared himself as Lord!). I examined how Peter (Acts 2, 3, 4, 5, 10), Paul (Acts 13, 14, 16, 17, 22, 24, 26), and even Stephen (Acts 7) preached the Gospel. Below is my initial synopsis. THE GOSPEL OF MODERN EVANGELICALISM (As seen in Four Spiritual Laws, etc): 1. God made humans to be in relationship with Him. 2. Humans sinned and their sin separated them from God. 3. Jesus died on the cross for our sin and rose again. 4. Whoever believes in Jesus will go to heaven when they die. THE GOSPEL OF THE 1ST CHURCH (As preached by Peter, Paul, and others in Acts): 1. God made a good world (cosmos) and put humans in charge. 2. Humans rebelled against God and allowed Evil to infect the world (cosmos). 3. God launched His master plan to rescue and redeem the world (cosmos) through Abraham and his family. 4. Jesus, the seed of Abraham and the Son of God, brought that plan to completion by defeating Evil and atoning for human sin by dying on the cross. Jesus...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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