There are a few examples in the new testament where people are described as preaching the gospel. There aren’t many. Today we are going to have a look at these passages and compare them to 1 Cor 15.3-5 and see if there is any resemblance.
Step 3) Look for examples of gospel proclamation
My word searches brought up the following examples of someone proclaiming the gospel. We can now compare them against the content of the gospel described in 1 Cor 15.1-5,22-24.
 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Lk 2.10-11)
The angels announce the good news of Jesus’ birth. He is called a ‘Saviour’ who is named ‘Christ the Lord’. Christ’s death and resurrection are not mentioned. The listeners are exhorted to worship the baby Jesus.
 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,  and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1.14-15)
I have already discussed this passage in the results I have found from the Bibliographies of Jesus (covenant promises & repentance). As expected because this example of gospel proclamation occurred before the death and resurrection of Christ, no reference is made to these events. Comparing this example against 1 Cor 15.1-5 reveals no similarity.
“Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. (Acts 14.15)
The gospel presented is, ‘you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.’ This passage is talking about repentance. In this case the Gentile sinners are exhorted to turn away from idolatry to the living creator God. Comparing this example against 1 Cor 15.1-5 reveals no similarity. Christ’s death and resurrection are not mentioned.
 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” (Gal 3.8)
The example of the gospel here is, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’ Paul portrays the gospel as a promise of God. The gospel cannot be separated from the Old Testament promises of God. This passage suggests the nature of the gospel is promissory. God (as recorded in scripture) is seen here again as the proclaimer of the gospel. Comparing this example against 1 Cor 15.1-5 reveals the common element of the promises of God with Paul’s references to ‘according to the scriptures’.
How does this apply to the core elements of the death and resurrection of Christ described in 1 Cor 15.1-5? Romans 4 gives direction. Paul in this passage describes Abraham’s faith in the promises of God (Rom 4.1-20). At the end of the passage he draws a parallel between Abraham’s belief in God and his promises and those who believe in God who ‘raised from the dead Jesus our Lord’ (Rom 4.24). How is belief in God who raised Jesus from the dead similar to trust in God’s promises? It works two ways. First, the resurrection of Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise of God in which God promised to raise the Christ from the dead (Ps 16.10; cf Acts 13.35-37). Second, Jesus’ resurrection anticipates the future resurrection of those who believe in God. This is the gospel hope of resurrection from the dead (Rom 8.23).
 Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.  And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Rev 14.6-7)
The example of the gospel here is, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’ The gospel should be proclaimed ‘to those who dwell on earth, every nation and tribe and language and people’. A fairly exhausting list describing the intended scope of gospel proclamation. Comparing this example against 1 Cor 15.1-5 reveals no similarity.
In this example the gospel message here is a command to ‘fear God and give him glory’, ‘to worship him who made heaven and earth’. Judgment comes upon those who refuse. John associates the gospel with judgment saying, ‘the hour of his judgment has come.’ (Rev 14.7) He is not talking about the end time judgment of all nations. He is talking about event of judgment occurring when the ‘eternal gospel’ is proclaimed (Rev 14.6; cf Jn 5.25). John implies when the gospel is proclaimed an execution of the Sons judgment occurs (cf. Jn 5.27). Similar associations with the gospel and judgment in Jn 5.19-29 suggest there are people who ‘will not come into judgment’ (Jn 5.24). These people have already been brought into life (Jn 5.24). Are these people who have been made alive already to come again under judgment? No, but they are reminded to ‘fear God and give him glory’ (Rev 14.6).
This completes my study of Step 3 – ‘Look for examples described as someone proclaiming the gospel’.
The passages explicitly described as the gospel are generally short. They reflect varied content and different types of ‘good news’. Overall there is not much consistency with 1 Cor 15.1-5. None refer to Christ’s death and resurrection. However one does declare Jesus, Christ the Lord (Lk 2.11).
In the next post we will review the evangelistic sermons in Acts. Its a long one! Actually its so long I had to split it in two parts.
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