We’ve just learned that the Gospel is simply the name or title given to that body of information in the Bible that makes known God’s incredible plan of salvation for us.
And we also learned that although the institutional gentile church has used the term “the Gospel” to mistakenly refer only to Yeshua’s birth, life, death, and resurrection, the truth is the Gospel was first presented to Abraham.
Paul reminds us of this in the following verses from Galatians.
“It was the same with Abraham: ‘He trusted in God and was faithful to Him and that was credited to his account as righteousness’. Be assured, then, that it is those who live by trusting and being faithful who are really children of Abraham. Also the Tanakh (OT), foreseeing that God would consider the Gentiles righteous when they live by trusting and being faithful, told the Good News (the Gospel) to Abraham in advance by saying, ‘in connection with you, all the Goyim (gentiles) will be blessed’”-Galatians 3:6-8
ALL of the Bible, not just the New Testament forms the Gospel.
Let us not forget that Yeshua and the Apostles taught the Gospel using only those Scriptures we know today as the Old Testament, since it wouldn’t be until decades after their deaths that the New Testament was written.
Another important point is that the Gospel is also a reflection of the spiritual-physical dual nature we find running throughout all of the Bible.
In other words, every command from the Lord has both an earthly physical manifestation and a parallel spiritual (heavenly) manifestation to it.
The truth is BOTH gentile Christians and the ancient Hebrews erred in their approach to the Gospel.
The ancient Hebrews erred by assuming the revelation of the Gospel given in the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenant was ONLY physical and thus restricted to only ritual and behavior.
The gentile Christian errs by assuming the Gospel is ONLY spiritual with practically zero requirement to have to obey God’s commandments and His system of justice as set up in the Torah.
The truth is both groups are right in what they have included in their respective viewpoints BUT wrong in what they have neglected.
A much more balanced approach to the Gospel (God’s Saving Word) is in order and we can look no further than Yeshua Himself to see a perfect example of this.
Just as the Gospel is both physical and spiritual, Yeshua as the Living Saving Word was also both 100% a physical man and yet also 100% God.
So how does this play out in terms of how we are to live out our lives here on earth?
Again, I think taking a balanced approach is the answer.
We are to do our utmost best to study and obey God’s commands (Torah) while here on earth but also not overlook the hope of eternal life given to us via the price Yeshua paid with His blood.
Remember this short life we have here on earth before we enter eternity with the Lord is training ground.
While we still have time, we are to learn and practice God’s perfect, unchanging and eternal Torah.
It is the SAME Torah that the Lord says He will write on our hearts.
And it is the same Torah that the Holy Spirit which dwells within us enables us to obey.
Also know that we are going to be commissioned to administer this Torah of God to the Angels.
One final point.
Although the ancient Hebrews didn’t fully grasp the spiritual implications or the full saving purpose of the Law, it is patent nonsense for Christians today to accuse them of legalism for earnestly attempting to live out what God commanded them to do in the first place.
Christians must not forget that through their faith in Yeshua, they have also been grafted into the Covenants that God has made with Israel and thus have a duty to be obedient to the commands.
If you have any doubt about this, read the Book of James.
And don’t misunderstand me and think I’m saying obeying God’s commands or Torah is what saves you.
I’m saying obedience to God’s commands is the natural and expected response to what God has done for you.
Obedience to God’s justice system is NOT legalism.
It is misusing the commands (and maybe some in the Messianic movement are guilty of this) as a means of self-justification that makes it legalism.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“If you love me, keep my commands.“
“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God
who keep his commands and remain faithful to Yeshua.”