The Gospel of Christ

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16).

Paul said “we were called in one hope of our calling” (Eph 4:4). This obviously refers to something done to us since it is a passive verb. But we must be careful not to read into this the idea of “irresistible grace.” God never interferes with our free will. We still must make the choice to accept God’s call or not.

Paul clears this up for us. “It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Th. 2:14). If God calls precious souls to Him by the Gospel, we must make sure it is unadulterated (Gal. 1:8-9).

I believe preacher Walter Scott presented a succinct statement about the gospel. There are facts to be believed, commands to obeyed and promises to be enjoyed. I heard this over forty years ago, and I still believe it summarizes the gospel.

In the first place, the gospel has facts to be believed. Paul declared the gospel is the death burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:3-4). These are facts that must be believed. But believing mere facts is not obeying the gospel.

When Paul said people will be condemned for not obeying the gospel (2 Th. 1:8) he implies there are commands to be obeyed. One cannot obey facts; they are believed. To obey the gospel must include the conditions of the gospel for our salvation. These are simple but clear. In addition to believing in the Lord Jesus, and in His sacrifice for our sins, we must repent of our sins (Acts 2:38). This leads to a reformation of our lives. We also must confess Jesus as Lord, called the good confession (1 Tim. 6:13). Next, we must be baptized. Paul stated, “But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed (Rom 6:17). That form or pattern of teaching is the likeness of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. In Romans 6, the believer reenacts this death, burial and resurrection in baptism when he submits to immersion, a burial in water, and a rising from the water, a resurrection, that results in newness of life. One must live a faithful live, heeding the commands of the Lord.

Finally, there are promises to be enjoyed. We have the promise of forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), and the promise of eternal life (1 Jn. 5:11). The world is “without hope,” but the Christian has a hope that is both sure and steadfast (Heb. 6:19).

Again, the gospel has facts to be believed, commands to be obeyed and promises to be enjoyed.

Song: “The Glory-Land Way”

Our loving Father, the good news, the gospel, is Your gift to us giving us a way back to You. Help us to examine ourselves and ask, “Have I really obeyed the gospel” and help me to humble myself to honor You with obedience to a pure gospel. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Rob Redden, Arroyo Grande, CA