***THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL***
Here is a brief overview of the Bible for those who might not be as grounded as others. There is an Old Testament and a New Testament (“Testament” meaning covenant or agreement between God and man).
The Old Testament is a collection of 39 Books. Within these books, we are given History, Wisdom, Laws, and Prophecies pointing everyone to the coming Savior.
The New Testament has 27 Books and is the new agreement that was made after the Savior came and unexpectedly left, saying that He would return again.
The New Testament can be divided into 4 sections:
THE GOSPELS - 4 perspectives of the life of Jesus Christ, the long awaited Savior, while here in this World.
THE BOOK OF ACTS - A book that tells of the actions of those men (the Apostles) that followed the long awaited Savior for over 3 years. It tells of what they did and preached after He left.
LETTERS TO THE CHURCHES - These letters, from the Book of Romans to Jude, were written to the Churches that were already established by the Apostles.
THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS - A Book of Prophecies for the time to come.
This study stems from a command of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In the Book of Mark, Chapter 16, verse 15, we are told to preach the Gospel to everyone.
In his second letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul said that the Lord is coming back in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that obey not the Gospel. (II Thess. 1:7-9)
From this we know that the Gospel is to be obeyed.
What exactly is this Gospel that is to be obeyed?
The word Gospel means “GOOD NEWS”, but what is the “GOOD NEWS” that is to be obeyed?
Paul reemphasized the Gospel to the Corinthian church, which had already obeyed it. (I Cor. 15:1-4)
The Gospel is mentioned toward the end of these four verses: how that Jesus DIED, was BURIED, and ROSE AGAIN.
The Gospel, then, is known as the DEATH, BURIAL, and RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ.
Once again the Gospel is to be obeyed in order to escape the fiery vengeance of the Lord.
How then do we obey the DEATH, BURIAL, and RESURRECTION?
· The Word says that to obey His DEATH is to die to our sins and REPENT.
· We are BURIED with Him in BAPTISM, so to be BAPTIZED is to obey the BURIAL. (Romans 6:4 & Colossians 2:12)
· God gives the HOLY GHOST to them that obey Him (Acts 5:32), so to obey the RESURRECTION, we should yield ourselves to the Spirit of the Lord.
This is the true Gospel message, which should have been preached by the Apostles after Jesus left them.
Lets go to the Book of Acts to see what they preached…
In Acts 1:4 - 5, the Lord Jesus told the Apostles to go and wait in Jerusalem for a few more days, for the promise of the HOLY GHOST, and then He left. (Acts 1:9)
In Chapter 2, the HOLY GHOST was poured out…
Then Peter, who was said to have the keys to the kingdom, preached the first sermon of the church. (Acts 2:17-36) He told all of the Jewish people in Jerusalem that day that this HOLY GHOST was a promise from GOD to them that believe on His name. *(Note that in verse 33 he had pointed out that the Holy Ghost is something that is seen and heard, he was drawing attention to what happened earlier in the Chapter.)
He then declared to them that they were the murderers of the long awaited Messiah. They were “pricked in their heart” with conviction. They knew by the demonstration of the Spirit of God that what Peter had said was true.
In fear they asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” They saw that the wrath of GOD was upon them. (Acts 2:37)
What they were really asking was, “How do we escape the fiery vengeance of the LORD for what we have done?”
According to II Thessalonians 1:8, what Peter should have told them was to obey the Gospel to escape the wrath of GOD…
So he did!
· and be BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins,
· and you shall receive the gift of the HOLY GHOST.
That is the Gospel:
· DEATH - To REPENT from our ungodly ways.
· BURIAL - To be BAPTIZED in Jesus name, the only name given among men whereby we must be saved.
(Acts 4:12 ; Acts 19:5, Acts 8:16)
(Acts 10:48 ; I Cor. 1:13, I Peter 3:21)
· RESURRECTION - Yielding to the SPIRIT of GOD to receive the gift of the HOLY GHOST, evidenced by speaking in other tongues, (GOD does the speaking.)
( Acts 8:17; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:6 )
NOTE: When Paul met some followers of John the Baptist, he asked them if they had received the HOLY GHOST since they had believed. That question alone shows that receiving the HOLY GHOST is not the same thing as believing. Then Paul re-baptized them to apply the name of JESUS upon their souls. (Acts 19:2, Acts 19:5)
Paul later told the church that if he, or even an angel from heaven, would preach any other Gospel unto them than that which was preached unto them, he should be accursed. (Galatians 1: 8 & 9)
Now let’s take a look at some false gospels;
· “If I am a good person and do not mean to hurt anyone, I will go to Heaven.” If you being good is enough, then Christ didn’t need to die for you.
(Romans 3:23) All have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.
· “If I don’t break the Ten Commandments, GOD will let me in.” Once again your good works are not going to make you holy enough to go into the presence of the LORD. (Ephesians 2:8 & 9)
· “If I say that I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, I will be saved.” While the scriptures do emphasize a strong need to believe on the Lord, they also stress the importance of acting upon that which you believe by obeying the word of GOD. Therefore, to" obey " the Gospel as it is preached so clearly in Acts 2:38, shows that you truly believe from the heart.
Believing is not obeying….... only obeying is obeying!
HAVE YOU OBEYED THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST?
( more to come...)