søndag 18. desember 2016

The Gospel in a nutshell

After having given instructions regarding prayers for all people, Paul quickly moves on to a short version of the gospel. In several of his letters Paul included what was probably creeds used be the early Christians. Some are longer, like e.g. “The Christ Hymn” in Philippians (1), while the creed he reminds Timothy about, belongs to the short versions:
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as a ransom for all people.

1 Timothy 2:5-6a
This is the truth Paul is set to communicate to all men. Here he introduces the roles he has in relation to the gospel, which I have reflected on before: Herold, apostle and teacher (2), which in a straightforward manner can be summarized as follows:
By the gospel Paul was
  • Acknowledged as Herald (3)
  • Appointed as Apostle (4)
  • Accredited as Teacher (5)
Paul had proclaimed the "nutshell-gospel" together with Timothy before:
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 
2 Cor 1:19-20
Now Paul is challenging Timothy to continue to proclaim the gospel in the same way as Paul: As acknowledged, appointed and accredited. 
I think these are roles for every disciple, but some get it as a special ministry or gift. For example, the role of every Christian is to be a witness. Through testifying, the believer is evangelising, but evangelising is not the same as being an evangelist. Still, all believers are included in the mission of spreading the Gospel through being "Jesus" just where they are.

'Manna' today:

The Gospel: The man Christ Jesus gave himself!
* The illustration: "Christmas in a Nutshell" was produced by "The job" - a work-project in the Salvation Army.
(1) Phil 2:5-11
(2) See: ‘The good deposit’ 
(3) See: ‘What did the mentor do with deposit?’ 
(4) See: ‘Interesting links between functions’ 
(5) See: ‘Identity-building’

Ingen kommentarer: