If we want to know what the true gospel is and what we should preach: we can do no better than to follow the example of our Lord!
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;
Shortly after Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, the Bible says that He returned in the power of the Holy Spirit to Galilee. After teaching in the synagogues in that region, He came to the city of Nazareth, His hometown where He grew up, and entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day. When he stood up to give His reading, He quoted the above Scripture from Isaiah but put it in slightly different words. He said:
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, 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Right about the beginning of His ministry here on earth, Jesus stated that He had been sent by God the Father to (among other things) do these six things:
1. Preach the gospel of salvation to the spiritually poor
2. Heal the brokenhearted who were mourning over their sins
3. To preach deliverance to the captives held in bondage to Satan and sin
4. To preach recovering of sight to the spiritually blind so that they could learn and understand “SEE” spiritual things
5. To set at liberty them that are bruised and suffering in bondage to Satan and sin
6. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord, salvation through the willing sacrifice of the Lamb of God for repented sin
Preach the Gospel to the Poor
All who have ever lived are in need of what Jesus was sent to do for humanity; all have sinned and all are in need of a Savior. The people on earth are spiritually poor and needy; and when it comes to spiritual truth and how to live the right way of God they are impoverished and desperately in need of the whole Gospel (the whole Word of God) being taught and preached to them. The Gospel has the power of to bring all to salvation for all those that embrace it and begin to live it.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Heal the Brokenhearted
Psalm 43:2 …Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?… 43:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Most of us have had our hearts broken over the disappointments and losses that this life invariably brings, but most of all, we suffer because of SIN, for sin brings decay and death to ourselves and to others.
Jesus came that we might have an atonement for sin, hope and forgiveness after receiving the knowledge of God and then entering a baptismal covenant with Him.
The atonement for sin and the faith and hope that He imparts can deliver us from the sufferings in this life and from the knowledge that all physical things are temporary and that we will die.
It is the atonement for and the forgiveness of our sins that releases us from our bondage to Satan and sin which has as its end suffering and eternal death.
The true gospel is that the sacrifice of the Lamb of God to atone for our sins which will release us from bondage to Satan, sin and death; if only we will sincerely repent of sin and go forward a new person sinning no more.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart [sincerely remorseful and repentant over sin]; and saveth such as be of a contrite [humble with a broken or crushed pride] spirit.
All have sinned and we are all in need of spiritual healing for our hearts. Jesus came to show us how to keep the commandments and how to keep them in their deepest spiritual intent by writing His commandments in our hearts. He is the God that heals us and if we allow Him to lead, us guide us, and empower us by His Spirit, we take on His own divine nature and our hearts become whole and spiritually healed.
The following verse gives a promise of God’s healing when we broken or diseased; we can look at this in physical terms, which God is perfectly able to do, but more importantly we can apply this in spiritual terms and have absolute faith that Jesus came that we may be healed of all our spiritual diseases [sins] as well as our physical diseases [when we are changed to spirit].
Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
Our broken hearts are going to be renewed if we have applied the atoning sacrifice of Christ top our sins blotting them out and washing them away to then received His Spirit and then dedicate our lives to live by every Word of God. Jesus is the true Physician and He came to heal the brokenhearted [the humble and sorrowing in repentance]: God has given certain promises concerning the heart also in Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
To Preach Deliverance to the Captives
Since the days of Adam and Eve, when they took of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, all mankind has been taken captive, for just like they, we too have been deceived by the lies of Satan rather than believing God. We all have sinned and Jesus says that “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”
Paul describes the two ways of living, or the two camps. If we yield to sin, that sin brings us into captivity to Satan, sin and death. But if we yield to God and His righteousness we are set free from that captivity to Satan sin and death and He sets us on the path to eternal life, if we remain faithful to the end of our lives.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Jesus came to show us the way out of captivity and if we believe His words (God’s Truth) and we live them, God sets us free from our bondage to Satan, sin and death.
John 8:34 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
To Preach the Recovering of Sight to the Blind
We are born into this world blind to God’s truth and it is Christ who frees us from spiritual blindness.
First God the Father calls us and He stirs us up to seek the truth of God and if we respond positively to what He shows us and we repent of our sins, earnestly desiring to obey Him; He gives us a measure of His Holy Spirit that removes the veil of spiritual blindness covering our eyes and we start to see things that we could never see before. The more we seek to obey God, the more we grow in His Spirit and the more we are able to understand.
2 Corinthians 3:13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
When Paul was struck down on the road to Damascus, he became blind and could not see until Ananias placed hands on him to receive his sight.
This is very figurative of what happens when God calls us and we begin to see the whole world in a different light; we receive a whole new perspective because we see God’s plan and purpose being worked out in our own lives and being worked out in the world. We “see” the importance of God’s commandments and His whole way of life in ways we were blind to before. We become aware of sin and the devastating effects of it and we want nothing to do with it anymore.
It was Jesus that healed Paul of his blindness, not just the physical blindness as a result of the bright light, but of his previous spiritual blindness that had made him persecute Jesus, His Way, and His saints before he was struck down.
Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
To Set at Liberty Them That are Bruised
The wages of sin is suffering and death and Jesus came to set us free from the decay, suffering and death that sins brings.
Jesus’ sacrificial death provides a way of salvation for all those who turn from sin and from the lies of Satan and who ask that the atoning sacrifice be applied after repentance and a commitment to sin no more.
Revelation 12:10 Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night, 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.
Isaiah 59:19 When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
One thing that is very liberating is the fact that once we know God and come to believe in His whole Word and come to know all of the promises which He has in store for those who belong to Him, is that we no longer fear death.
We come to know that death is not the end, it is actually the door to eternity for those who were faithful, endured to the end, who then died in Christ. We come to realize that death is like going to sleep at night knowing we are going to wake up in the morning; but in death we will rise up with a new spiritual body. Not only are we then free of the constraints of this physical body but we will be free of a world that is full of evil and we will be free from sin ever having any kind of hold over us forever more.
1st Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalms 91:15 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.
Why was Jesus sent to earth? what was his mission? There are many reasons, as told to us throughout Scriptures.
These thoughts and few verses are just a few examples of all the things we could look up and apply to Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18-19. The subject of these verses could entail many hours of study, for the subject of captivity and being set at liberty is vast, it is very profound and is taught throughout the Scriptures; and is very pertinent to what is happening in the lives of the first fruits and will someday apply to all who have the veil taken from their eyes and are able to make an informed decision to turn from their former life of sin and wickedness.
Jesus came that we could have victory over sin, over Satan and what he has done to the whole world. It is because Jesus, Himself, has gotten the victory over Satan that we can have victory and Jesus is going to take over the reign of the earth at the appointed time. And then all mankind, all those who have been redeemed will celebrate their deliverance!
Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
In John 10:10 Jesus gives us a basic summation; that He (Jesus) came to deliver us from the evil one, delivering us from being bound by the one that took Adam and Eve captive when they choose to sin against their Creator.
The first couple set the path of sin and rebellion for the rest of their children that would come from them, and they (all humanity) have been held in bondage to sin and death ever since.
How thankful we can be that we have such a great and loving Savior who came to fight against Satan and who came to deliver us from Satan’s diabolical plan to keep us out of God’s Kingdom and destroy us with eternal death.
Our God is a Mighty God and He is the only one that can open the doors of the prison gates that will free us from this evil one and his demons whose total intent is to destroy all of mankind.
Revelation 19:6 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great, And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of mighty peals of thunder, saying, Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him; And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads [minds and hearts]. And there shall be no night there; and they need no lamp, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reign forever and ever.
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord
James Malm and Constance Belanger
Note- Constance submitted the original rough draft of this article in 2015, which I then completed for posting.