1 ¶ The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
This is not a church age gospel. What comes next is John the Baptist’s presentation of a gospel. No one says to look forward to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to be saved. This is not Paul’s gospel. That comes later. This is John the Baptist clearing the way for a messiah for Israel.
Show me a verse in Mark where someone gets saved by looking forward to the cross. Or explain why the apostles were so clueless about Christ’s impending crucifixion.
One of the ways the Bible defines words is by an allusion in the New Testament to a verse or set of verses in the Old and replacing a word to show its definition. Note what Jesus says here;
Luke 4:18 The 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,
Now, see what He is referring to from the Old;
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Using two different writers and many translators, separated by a span of hundreds of years in the first case and over a millennium and a half in the latter, the Holy Spirit has given one definition of “gospel” as “good tidings” (good news) just as he has given one definition of “meek” which is “poor”. This is a regular occurrence throughout the Bible and rather than run to a dictionary you can just see which words correspond to each other in like verses for understanding.
The gospel is good news and there are many gospels in the Bible, from the “gospel of Jesus Christ” stated as such only here to the “everlasting gospel” of Revelation 14:6 that God’s judgment is coming and that the world system is about to be destroyed, and much more. The good news here is that Jesus Christ is coming, the Saviour of Israel and then mankind is about to be presented to the world. This is the good news being given. It is not His death for the propitiation of our sins (Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2) and the sins of the world or his resurrection for our justification (Romans 4:25). This gospel is that the physical image of the invisible God, the Son of God, capital “S”, Israel’s redeemer, the Saviour, is about to be introduced.
This was the angel of the Lord, the appearance of God on the earth in the Old Testament, (Judges 2:1; Isaiah 63:9) now come in the flesh. Great men before had called themselves the son of God. Alexander the Great, whom legend had it was conceived by Zeus in the form of a serpent cavorting with his mother, had himself declared the son of God in Egypt. Augustus Caesar (Luke 2:1) signed documents as the son of God, deus fide, after declaring that his adopted father, Julius Caesar, had ascended into heaven after a great comet was seen. But the Bible states that only once, did God come in the flesh. All the rest were fakers and liars. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, born in the flesh.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
1John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Contrary to at least one modern Bible version, the NASB, Jesus is not “the only begotten God.” That was a heresy prided by the Arians, who like modern Jehovah’s Witnesses denied the deity of Christ as having always been God, written by the early church leader, Origen, who wrote it both ways. Origen, steeped in Greek philosophy and worldly scholarship, quoted the Bible over 30,000 times, even quoting contradictory verse renderings. He was the originator of the modern Christian philosophy, “hey, it’s all good.” Well it isn’t all good.
There is truth. There are lies. One truth. Many lies. Jesus Christ is the only truth, the only way for man to approach God.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If you belong to a so called church or a civic group that doesn’t believe John 14:6 you better get out now, while you can. Judgment, yours or the world’s, is coming and it won’t be good news for you if you don’t acknowledge Christ for who He is.