In Genesis 3, the news of who God is and what God is like was experienced first-hand by Satan. The news also came to Adam and Eve. Indeed, all of Genesis is the revelation of God to His creatures. For us readers, and for those who directly experienced His activities — Satan included — the News was breaking into their lives as God was revealing himself.
I. Biblical Revelation is Heavenly News about God, Even to Angels
The historical and the inscripturated disclosures of God always come as news to those who find out about him. And, calling it news encompasses what we mean by revelation.
Revelation includes the revelation of what was not known (or, at best, what was suspected but not experientally known in history). And that gets us back to Genesis 3. The first judgment day was a new experience and a revelation of God. It was a revelation even to Satan. Despite being a creature from another realm, Satan did not have full operational information. In fact, to this day, angels long to look into the news of God (1 Peter 1:12).
“News” is the right word to describe the revelation of God. Prophets proclaim revelation just as heralds proclaim news. Heralds of Christ deliver the news of what God has done and who he is (indeed: what he does and who he is are inseparable as he is not a mere philosophical construct, but he is the real actor who speaks and acts, revealing himself historically and actually). This news about God often goes by the name of Gospel. To herald the Gospel is not to share something that is independent of or outside of God, but it is to share the very news of God. By his Spirit (that is, by himself!), God has designed it so that us sharing news about him is how he shares himself. To that end, Gospel need not be reduced to a small set of facts about God, but it is large — so large, that it is not an it, but a who — and we can rightly say that Jesus is the Gospel: Jesus is the News of God in flesh (Mark 1:1).
A. Sharing News of God is Sharing God
When we accurately relay any news of God, we are offering more than useful headline facts, we are offering God. Is is in this way (by these means) that God has chosen to make himself known and to come to his creatures. That is, the news of God is used by God to give himself to people. Through words — through news — God comes to his image bearers.
B. The Word in Flesh and Word in Text is News
God gave himself to us as the incarnated Word (Jesus), and he makes us partakers of the Word in the inscripturated words of the Bible.
The Bible is news. It is the news of God. It is not mere news, but it is the way that God, by his Spirit (who is God), comes to us. To some, the news is an aroma of death, but to others it is the aroma of life. To some, that God would share himself in this way is an aroma of death. To Satan, the news of God aggravated his disgust of God. That is, when God came in judgment and proved to be who he said he is, the news was as an aroma of death and a Death-sentence.
C. Words from Heaven are Words that Judge
Unsuspecting rebels will discover who God is in their flesh, and they will be caught off guard and will revile in disgust when they hear (for themselves) the words of God. To them, the personal experience of the revelation of God will be news that will echo in their perfectly resurrected ears. The righteous and the wicked will all be raised, but for the damned, their resurrection bodies will serve a different purpose. Their bodies will make them fit for unending condemnation. And that judgment is the yet unexplored revelation of God that has already been shown in Christ, on the cross, where the wrath of God was revealed from heaven.
II. God is Infinite News: Infinite Gospel
The Gospel is the News of God. Any time we speak about Jesus, we share the News of God. We share the Gospel of God as we accurately herald who he is.
For example, here is news: God is the creator of all things.
Oddly, that is news to many — to those who deny or don’t know that God is the one who spoke the world into existence. But it is news. So, you see, news about God is large. It is as large as God! There is infinite Gospel news, as the news of God is more than a few points we might put on a tract. The news of God is God himself, and God is without end.
A. Infinite News is Large News, Not Narrow.
These distinctions may be helpful in identifying a certain tendency to reductionism. It has become a common practice to be so specific with our use of the word “Gospel” and the news of God, that the impression is that the news of God is far from infinite, and is instead rather narrow. In this way, it may be that Gospel is mistakenly taken to mean the parts of the Gospel most familiar to us (particularly the benefits that sinners have when God is merciful). What must be avoided, then, is the reduction of the Gospel to some aspects of God, and the tendency of conceiving of the Gospel narrowly in terms of the climactic and especially conclusive activities (namely — especially! — the death and resurrection of Jesus).
B. Pinnacle and Climactic Events DO Specially Make Known the News of God
Such pinnacle events do summarily capture all of the Gospel, just as God is always God in all of his activities. We are free to look at the entire life of Jesus as the Gospel — e.g., his virgin birth, walking on water, the Inner-Trinitarian pact before his incarnation (John 17:1-3), etc. — while at the same time, we know that his pinnacle activities are simultaneously decisive for how we know him. In this way, when we speak of the Gospel as his death and resurrection, we are not categorizing everything else about him as non-Gospel. Far from it, we are just using the climactic events as chiefly representative of the whole life of God. Language works this way (we sometimes call it pars pro toto), and we are right to use ultimate moments as a short-hand for all of God (all of the Gospel) even as we are free to examine seemingly lesser events as explorations of the same Gospel. For example, when God filled up Solomon’s temple by his Spirit (1 Kings 8:10), we are discovering the news of God — first revealed when he did it, then when we read about it and its meaning. It is the news of God and his activities.
III. God is the Gospel
If everything is carefully articulated, you can see how one can conclude that God is the Gospel. And to that, we can equally say, Jesus is the Gospel. The Holy Spirit is the Gospel. The Trinity is the Gospel. The news of the Trinity is news to many. How many are unaware of who the Trinity is or what the Triune-God has done in the world?
Any fact about God is news to men and angels. Any fact about Jesus is news.
A. This News is not from the Invented or “Discovered” Philosophy of Men
This is not concocted news, but it is news from above: facts about God come from God. Such words about God are not to be confused with the invented theories or philosophies of men, but they are the those things which he has said about himself in his Scriptures. As you discourse about the revelation of God (i.e., the Bible), you are truly discoursing about the Gospel. The Bible is the only repository of the heavenly News!
B. Summary Example of How All This Works
An infinite God is infinitely News to all of his creation. And he has chosen words — real Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic words — as that which heralds him. As you yourself join in that heralding, you testify to heavenly realities. To that end, every idle word you speak will be judged. Jesus told us so. It is in his Bible. In Matthew 12:36-37 he told the shocking news of the judging activities of God:
But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
These words were new. And, 2000 years later, they still come as news. They catch the guilty by surprise. Satan was caught off guard in the Garden of Eden, for the God who comes to judge is surprisingly unexpected and unanticipated. That God is really like this — the kind of God who judges even idle words — is stunning. It is News. And the News is that it will be Jesus who comes to judge (Acts 17:31).
There is a man in heaven with a body (Jesus) who is coming to Judge the world as a full revelation of his divinity. Jesus is the divine God-Man and Judge. He is the News just as he is the Gospel.