Christ and the Gospel
Christ and the Gospel
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. (2Timothy 1:7-11)
In the text is told of a remarkable relationship between Christ—the anointed—and the gospel. It tells of what He has done through the gospel. It also shows that He and the gospel go hand in hand so that in reality, one cannot be had without the other.
What Has Christ Done?
The text tells that Christ has done two things. All would do well to understand what this means. The implications are great.
First of all, Christ has abolished death. There is so much involved in this simple statement. It does not mean that death no longer exists. Christ, Himself, overcame death and lives again. Since that time death's complete dominance over man has been broken, for He has sent forth the unmistakable message that death no longer has final claim over man. The day will come when the graves will give up the dead which they hold. However, there is another message in this. Christ also abolished death in the sense that He made provision for escape from death (remission of sins)—He did taste death for every man. There is no reason for death to have dominance over any man. Anyone can have victory; anyone can access the remission of sins through what Christ has done.
Secondly, Christ brought two things to light. The idea of bringing to light is the idea of making these two things so as to be seen. Some things had been hidden—so hidden that eyes had not seen them, ears had not heard them, and the hearts of men had never received them (1Corinthians 2:9), but Christ brought these things to light.
He Brought Life To Light
One of the things Christ brought to light was life (2Timothy 1:10). This refers to the new life which can be had in Him. This new life begins with the new birth (John 3:3-5). This new life is lived by the new creature one becomes in Him (2Corinthians 5:17). Living in Him means being children in God’s household which is the church of the living God (1Timothy 3:14-15). Before Christ came, this life was unknown. He brought all of this to light. Thanks be to God that He did!
He Brought Immortality To Light
The second thing Christ brought to light was immortality (2Timothy 1:10). He revealed, in clear terms, the existence of everlasting life. Christ revealed that, in this new life which He brought to light, one never dies if remaining faithful. Is this not what Jesus told Martha in John 11:25-26? Although such a one may die physically, as Lazarus did, yet he will live on. In a sense, Israel knew something of this, but Christ brought it to light and made it available unto all. Thus, the true Christian should not fear death as does the unbeliever.
How Did Christ Bring These to Light?
The natural question would follow. How did Christ bring life and immortality to light? How did he make these known? The text tells us that Christ did this revealing through the gospel (2Timothy 1:10). That means that if we are looking for life and immortality, we must go to the gospel to find them. That is the only way man can find life and immortality. Man cannot find these of himself. Notice verse 9: “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.” Truly, man must go to the source of revealing in order to have these things. Is it not strange that many are persuaded that life and immortality come from Christ but that the Holy Spirit must act in some mysterious way for these to come? We are plainly told that they come through the gospel! Why not be satisfied with God's provisions for us?
The gospel tells us that it is when people obey the gospel that they have freedom from sins (Romans 6:17-18). The gospel tells us that people have this new life in Christ when they are baptized (Galatians 3:26-27; 2Corinthians 5:17). The gospel tells us that people are born again when they are cleansed and that is when they obey the truth. “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God” (1Peter 1:22-23). Even the seed which produces the new living creature is the word of God—the gospel.
Christ brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. It is futile to seek for life and immortality through any other means.