Giving thanks for the gospel
by Terry Broome
We are so fortunate to live in a time when bibles are available in nearly every bookstore, variety store like Walmart and in most libraries. Most homes in America have several copies. It wasn’t always that way. A person in bible times was very fortunate if their family had managed to acquire any portion of the copies of scripture that scribes from centuries before Jesus had copied.
Some Jews in foreign lands held the translation of the old Hebrew and Aramaic text into Greek. This translation from about 200-225 B. C. was called the Septuagint. Usually only wealthier people might have portions of these ancient scrolls. It appears from some quotes such as in Stephen’s sermon of Acts 7 that Jesus, the apostles, and other evangelists of the First Century often quoted Old Testament passages from the Septuagint-Greek translation. It’s conceivable that these might be the parchments that Paul asked Timothy to bring to him in prison (2 Timothy 4:13 (KJV) 13The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
It’s important for us to take note that God took careful measures to preserve His holy message by means that were adequate to guarantee to us today that we have an accurate rendering of this same saving gospel that Jesus came to preach. We need to appreciate just how easy our access is to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and learn to be thankful for its saving message! Most folks didn’t have easy access to these scriptures, especially since they were copied by hand and limited in number of copies available. These folks had to wait for public readings of the sacred scriptures in the synagogues and the temple: Acts 15:21 (KJV) 21 “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.”
Do you remember the day that Jesus went into his home village of Nazareth and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day: Luke 4:16-22 ( KJV ) 16 “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. 22And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?”
Friends, Jesus was not only a preacher of the Gospel, He was the message! That day the good news had come to their assembly in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word gospel means “good news, good tidings.” It was good news when the angels announced His birth (Lk. 2:10); and the message of His coming and the salvation He came to bring is the good news that the world needs today! This message is called the Gospel of Christ: Romans 1:16-17 (KJV) 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Thanks be to God!!!
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.