Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Why You Need to Know the Fifth Gospel, Paul’s Gospel

Have you heard of the fifth gospel, Paul's gospel?

If you’re a believer in Christ, you’ve probably read or heard of the four gospels–Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are the first four books of the New Testament.

But have you ever heard that there is a fifth gospel–Paul’s gospel?

It’s not something new. It is already in your Bible. It is especially found in the book of Romans. This fifth gospel includes the points found in the first four, but also includes a number of crucial points not included in them. So it is also the completion of what has gone before.

Let’s consider what makes Paul’s gospel distinct from the first four and why you need to know and experience this fifth gospel in order to enjoy the normal Christian life God intends for you.

The four gospels present the most wonderful Person of Jesus Christ in four aspects

Matthew is the gospel of the kingdom revealing Christ as the King-Savior who came to establish God’s kingdom on earth–Matt. 5:3

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens” (Matt. 5:3).

We need to see that the Lord is the real King and invite Him to establish His kingdom within us so that we can live in its reality today for a normal Christian life and church life.

Mark is the gospel of service presenting Christ as the Slave-Savior who came to serve us with God’s salvation–Mark 10:45

In the gospel of Mark, Jesus says,

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Mark’s gospel shows the diligence of the Lord’s service in caring for sinners. As such, it uses the word immediately forty-two times.

Such a diligent Slave-Savior came to serve us with God’s full salvation. Then He desires  to reproduce His serving life in us so that He can serve many more with such a complete salvation.

Luke is the gospel of forgiveness of sins unveiling Christ as the compassionate Man-Savior who came to bring us the forgiveness of our sins–Luke 24:46-47

In the gospel of Luke, Jesus says,

“Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise up from the dead on the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).

When you read Luke’s gospel you can’t help but be touched with the Man-Savior’s compassionate care  for sinners and His eagerness to reach them and bring them into the full enjoyment of such a rich salvation.

We need to appreciate that such a Man-Savior wants to not only save us but also fill us with His loving heart for the many lost souls in need of His forgiveness.

John is the gospel of life revealing Christ as God the Savior who came to bring  us into the full realization of the divine life–John 10:10b

In the gospel of John, Jesus says,

“I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly” (John 10:10b).

This word for life refers to the eternal, divine life.

Not only did Jesus come to give us life, He Himself is the eternal life (John 14:6). This means that when we come to Him hungry and thirsty, He fills all our hunger and quenches all our thirst with Himself as the divine life (John 6:35; 7:37-39).

Paul’s gospel, the fifth gospel, is the gospel of completion revealing the indwelling Christ, the Head with the Body

 Christ as the life-giving Spirit

We need to see that the wonderful Person presented in the four gospels passed through the process of incarnation, death and resurrection to become a life-giving Spirit to impart Himself into us as life.

In 1 Corinthians 15:45b, Paul says,

“The last Adam [Christ] became a life-giving Spirit.

As such a life-giving Spirit, He imparts into us that wonderful life that He lived in the four gospels.

The indwelling Christ–Christ living in us

The four gospels show us mainly who Christ is and what He has done for us, objectively.

But Paul’s gospel, the fifth gospel shows us much more concerning who Christ is and what He is doing within us, subjectively. We need Him both as our outward pattern and as our inward life, living within us that life that He set forth as the normal for every Christian.

In Galatians 2:20a, Paul says,

“I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”

The Spirit with our spirit

Paul’s gospel also reveals our human spirit as His receiver and container and Christ as the life-giving Spirit as our content and reality that we might enjoy Him and live Him in an enlarged, corporate way.

Now these two spirits–the Spirit with our spirit–becomes the secret to experiencing the complete salvation of God spoken of in Paul’s gospel. In Romans 8:16 Paul says,

“The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.”

We can experience these two spirits day by day, even moment by moment, by calling on the Lord and living in one spirit with the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 6:17 Paul says,

“But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”

Christ as the Head with the church as His Body

In Himself, Christ is the ascended Head and living within us, His members, He is the body, making us one great, universal person,  the corporate Christ (1 Cor. 12:12).

When we live in one spirit with Him, we experience Christ both as the Head and the church as His body. It this universal new man that fulfills God’s purpose.

The entire book of Romans

This salvation makes sinners such as us, not only redeemed ones, but regenerated, transformed sons of God, built up to be the Body of Christ, expressed as many local churches in localities all over this earth to be His testimony.

This is the book of Romans and this is Paul’s gospel for us to realize and experience.

This is the gospel of completion, the fifth gospel!

If you’ve enjoyed something from this post, please take a moment to share the benefit you’ve received in a brief comment.

References and Further reading:

  • This post was inspired by the fourth message from a conference on The Gospel held in Anaheim, California. The outline for this message is available for free download on the Living Stream Ministry site under Conferences/Trainings–2016.
  • For more appreciation for the fifth gospel, Paul’s gospel you may enjoy reading  the Life-study of Galatians, Message 2 and the Life-study of Romans, Message 2, both by Witness Lee. You can find both online at: ministrybooks.org.

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

8 Replies

  1. I enjoyed this crystallization of the gospels, especially the 5th gospel. How important it is for the completion of the revelation of the Bible!

    1. Tom Smith

      So true. We need Paul’s gospel for the completion of the revelation of the Bible. How much we need to appreciate Christ as the life-giving Spirit, living in us, even being one spirit with us so that we may live Him (Phil 1:21). Only by such a subjective experience of Christ like Paul had, can enable us to live as members of Christ’s Body, growing and being built together so God can have the expression that He is seeking (Eph. 3:19-21). Thanks again for a confirming comment.

  2. Considering Romans as the fifth gospel is not a new idea. In the very first verse Paul tells us he is a slave and apostle “separated unto the gospel of God.” Verse 2 begins “which” referring to “the gospel”.
    In verse 1 and 9 Paul tells us he is serving God in the gospel and starting from verse 2 his first words after introducing himself are about the gospel. Paul was clearly writing a gospel focused on Christ beginning from the resurrection in contrast to the first four gospels focused on Jesus from incarnation to resurrection.

  3. Shelly

    I enjoy this very much. Thank you and God bless you beloved.

  4. Efua Acquah

    Very simple language and helpful

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you found the post helpful. May the simple knowing of Christ Himself as the Spirit with our spirit become the vital secret to living a normal Christian life that fulfills God’s purpose! Thank you for your comment.

  5. Great post! Thank you!

    Would you agree that all Scripture points to Jesus? If so, would you say that the whole Bible is one Gospel?

    1. Tom Smith

      Very true. If we have a full view of God’s plan from Genesis to Revelation, we can find the message of the gospel in each book. In the Old Testament the gospel can be found in types, figures and shadows. Christ is the tree of life, the manna, the Rock that was cleft for us, and the good land into which we must enter and live. The gospel is also to be found in the psalms and prophesies. He is both our Shepherd (Psalm 23) and the Lamb led to the slaughter to bear all our sins (Isa. 53).

      The Lord Jesus told us in Luke 24:44, 

      “And He said to them, These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and Psalms concerning Me must be fulfilled.”

      May we learn to appreciate the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in every book of the Bible and share its riches to meet the need of all kinds of people.

      Thanks for the comment.

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