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Published monthly by the West Side Church of Christ God’s Love - The Gospel

God’s love was placed on display for all to see.  “God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NKJV).  The word rendered “commendeth” in the King James version, means “to put together with a view of showing, proving, or establishing” (Vincent’s Word Studies, vol. 3, page 33). Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity” (Titus 2: 14).  He gave Himself for our sins (Galatians 1:4).  He “died for all” (Romans 5: 15) that through His blood all may have “the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1: 7).

This “good news” of salvation was termed the Gospel.  The apostle Paul referred to it as “the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation” in Ephesians 1: 13.  Again, it is the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1: 16).  Christ had commanded His followers to “preach the Gospel to every creature” that they might be saved (Matthew 28: 15).

But what is the Gospel of salvation?  Let us listen as Paul explains in his letter to the church at Corinth:

“I declare to you the GOSPEL which I preached  to you, which also you received and in which  you stand, by which also you are saved, if you  hold fast that word which I preached to you” (I Corinthians 15: 1-2).

Notice that the Gospel message which Paul preached was “not after man,” but was taught him “by revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1: 11-12).  Paul then outlines the points of truth contained in the Gospel message:

•  Christ died for our sins.  “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53: 6).

•  Christ was buried.  Joseph of Arimathaea  requested of Pilate that he might bury Jesus  in a new tomb (John 19: 38-42).

•  Christ arose on the third day.  The apostles were witnesses of His resurrection (Acts 2: 32) as  were hundreds of others (I Corinthians 15:6).

These facts of the Gospel message were to be received as truth.  Belief in these events was crucial to salvation.  But what was to be done with historical facts?  How did believers in the first century “receive” (I Corinthians 15: 1) or “obey the Gospel” (Romans 10: 16)?

It is crucial that individuals obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Consider these warnings:

Peter suggests in I Peter 4: 17 that those who obey not the Gospel will not be saved in the day of judgment.  Those who obey not the Gospel are here distinguished from the “house of God” (“the church”  I Timothy 3: 15)!

Again, how does one Obey the Gospel?  Let’s allow divine inspiration to answer.  Remember, how Paul first stated in the Roman epistle that the Gospel is God’s power to Save (Romans 1: 16).  In Romans 10: 16 he described those who “Obeyed not the Gospel.”  In Romans 6 Paul outlines the obedient actions of the Gospel.

  1.   We were “crucified with Christ that the body of    sin might be destroyed” (verse 6).
  2.   We were baptized into Christ’s death (verse 3).
  3.   We were raised with Christ to “walk in newness of life” (verse 4).

There you have it, the death (“old man crucified”), burial (baptism), and resurrection (to eternal life)!

We can Obey the Gospel!

Larry Albritton, March 2017