|Vol. 1, No. 7||Page 20||July 1999|
The Gospel of Christ
I know that the Gospel of Christ is important for the Lord himself told his apostles right before he ascended into heaven in Mark 16:15-16,
“Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.”The word Gospel means “good news,” that is, the good news of Christ. Without a doubt, everything about Christ is good news, but this special good news deals with a special part of his life that we must obey. The apostle Paul tells us exactly what part of Christ’s life that we obey when we obey the Gospel. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 we read,
“Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”As we can now see, Paul makes it clear that the Gospel of Christ is his death, burial and resurrection. The Christians that were at Corinth had the Gospel preached to them; they had received it by obeying it and were saved by it. Without Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, man would still be in his sins without hope. The Lord has placed the Gospel in earthen vessels to be preached to the whole world. This can be found in 2 Corinthians 4:1-7.
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 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. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 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. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 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. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”The apostle Paul also tells us that if we don’t obey the Gospel of the Lord, that we will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. This can be found in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”May I point out at this time that there is only one Gospel that is found in the Bible and Paul makes this very clear as he writes in Galatians 1:6-9.
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”Paul very clearly points out that man, or even angels from heaven would be accursed if they preached any other Gospel. Since the Gospel has been placed in earthen vessels (man), we must conclude that nobody has the right to preach any other Gospel than what is found in the Bible.
In Romans 1:16, Paul points out that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” And then he says in verse 17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
Thus far we have found out that the Gospel is the good news of Christ, his death, burial and his resurrection from the grave. Also that if we do not obey that Gospel that we will lose our souls and be lost eternally, and that there is one Gospel to be obeyed. That leaves but one question left to answer, just how can we obey the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ? When we find the answer then we will fulfill the command of Jesus himself stated in Mark 16:16 and be saved from our sins.
Again the apostle Paul helps to answer our question in the Romans 6:3-10.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.”Now in Romans 6:17-18, Paul concludes his point of obeying the Gospel.
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”Now, look at it again. When did Paul say that they were free from sin? It was after they obeyed that form of doctrine. A form is a pattern to follow to get the desired results. Dear friends, baptism is that pattern of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which will save us.
In 1 Peter 3:21 the apostle Peter wrote, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Again, Peter wold preach on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38 when he was asked what they must do to be saved. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” It tells us in Acts 2:41 that about 3000 souls were baptized that day and in verse 47, "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
Dear friends, just as baptism washed away Paul’s
sins in Acts 22:16, it will also wash away our sins as we obey that form
of doctrine, the Gospel. If you are willing to repent (Luke 13:3,
5), confess your faith that Jesus is Christ (Matthew 10:32) and truly believe
(Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:17), then the Lord will add you to his church
which he purchased with his blood (Acts 20:28) when you are baptized.