Minister Speaks: The Gospel
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the “good news” that salvation is now available because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
Paul reminds the Corinthians and us, of what that gospel is —“…that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” (I Corinthians 15:1-4). What makes that gospel so valuable?
Paul explains in Romans: He said “…I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation…” (Romans 1:16). We read in II Thessalonians 2:14 that folks are called to God through the gospel. How does the gospel call people? Paul explains in Romans 10:14 – people are called to God through the preaching of that soul-saving gospel. People hear it preached, are attracted to it by the promise of forgiveness of sins, salvation, a home in heaven.
But in Romans 10:16, Paul says that not all have obeyed the gospel. How does one obey the gospel?
Paul explains this in Romans 6:3-7. He tells us there that when we re-enact the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ in baptism we are raised from that watery grave (yes, baptism is immersion in water) to walk in newness of life.
Christ shed His blood in His death and we contact the blood of Christ spiritually in baptism. Ephesians 1:7 tells us that we are redeemed — bought back — by the blood of Christ.
For baptism to be more than just getting wet, it must be preceded by faith in Christ as the Son of God. Jesus tells us in John 8:24 that without this faith in Him we will not be saved.
What will produce that faith? Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes by hearing the word of God. We must make a conscience decision to follow Jesus Christ — Luke 13:3-5. In this life, we are following Christ or we are following Satan — these are the only two alternatives. Christ does not want those not willing to tell the world of their faith in Him. Matthew 10:32.
And finally, Jesus Himself tells us in Mark 16:16 that baptism is necessary to be saved. It is not the water that makes baptism valid, it is the willingness to do what Christ says to do. He tells us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments. John 14:15. Do you love Him?
I John 5:13 says we can know we have eternal life — no guessing. Baptism is that dividing line between being lost and being saved. Don’t take my word for it — check your own Bible.