According to the Bible, the gospel—the good news of salvation, is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:3-4). His death on the cross reveals that humankind willfully sinned against God and is lost without hope apart from Jesus Christ (Isa. 53:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:23). That salvation, the forgiveness of sins, is only by grace through faith in the blood of the God-Man, Jesus Christ (Matt. 26:28; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7). His death pays for our penalty and his obedient life gives us perfect righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21).
This gospel of salvation is received freely by putting faith in Christ (Eph. 2:8-9), repenting of sin through the prompting of the Holy Spirit (1 John 1:9), and being baptized by immersion into His death, burial, and resurrection. This external mode of baptism manifests the inward spiritual reality of the death of our sinful nature (Col. 2:11-13), protection from God’s wrath—being hidden in Christ (1 Pet. 3:21), the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38), union between God and man (Rom. 6:5), the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), membership into His Church (Acts 2:41), the joy of our assurance of salvation (Acts 8:39; Titus 3:4-5), and the promise of our resurrection from the dead to eternal life seated in heavenly places (1 Cor. 15:42-57; Eph. 2:6).
Those who receive this salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ are adopted into the family of God, sent into the world to proclaim the good news, and commissioned to love and serve the world just as Jesus Himself did (Matt. 28:18-20; Jn. 20:21; Eph. 2:10; 2 Cor. 5:11-21). This love for the church and the gospel gives believers confidence that God, who began a good work in you (John 15:1-8), will carry it on to completion until the day when Jesus returns (Phil. 1:6).
Now that’s what I call preaching the gospel of Christ! I was just preparing to do a similar post but I believe the Lord would have me re-blog this and work on another project. ☺
Thank you Sheldon. God bless you and your ministry.
Reblogged this on Spirit Writer and commented:
The Lord was prompting me to do a similar post on the gospel message, but I’m just so busy… So I believe He provided this post for me to re-blog, until I expound the gospel in my own words, which is coming soon. ☺
faith, if you’re going to use scripture, is pistis. it is a gift of god. it is not belief (episteme) in something about jesus; it is being pursuaded (pistis) by the goodness (ie god, god’s active presence in the world, grace), toward it, to like christ, the full revelation of humanity (alethea); which has always been god’s intent for humanity (logos); to be as christ was (hodos) which is the way of life (zoe).
jesus is not a gatekeeper, nor are beliefs about god or jesus requirements for salvation, and one cannot in any case choose what to believe. it is incoherent to suggest at any rate “there’s nothing you can do to be saved…but what you can do to be saved is believe.” it is to say god owes you something in return for your action; belief.
the gospel is the good news that there is a way to be in the world that leads to a full life and jesus exemplifies it; that it is to be atoned with god in response to the good, and in participation with it, there is salvation, a transforming experience of life.
Steven, you said the following statement: “It is incoherent to suggest at any rate there’s nothing you can do to be saved, but what you can do to be saved is believe.”
What I am saying is that salvation is a free gift. It is given to us by God. In that sense, there is nothing we can do to “earn our salvation” since all of our righteousness comes from the atoning work of Christ. Even our belief has no salvific merit since our righteousness doesn’t come from our belief in God, but from God Himself.
However, there are certain conditions God has placed in order for us to receive that free gift. First, we must believe the free gift is true. This requires us to have faith. Second, in order to demonstrate our faith, we repent or change our mind about who Christ is. We also change our will and attitude from serving idols to the living God. James says, “what good is it my brothers if someone says he has faith, but has not works. Can that faith save him?” His point is that whoever believes in God by faith will really live a changed life just like someone who believes there is a cliff at the end of the road will stop the car and turn around.
Finally, to actualize our faith we get baptized into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. This tells the world that we are “trusting in the power of Jesus alone” to save us from our sins. By getting baptized, we are dying to our old self, identifying ourselves with Christ, and coming out of the waters as a new creation in Christ Jesus. I would call baptism our “union” or marriage into Christ. This physical display manifests the spiritual reality in that moment in time.
God always connects the spiritual reality with the physical world. For instance, the second person of the Trinity, the eternal spirit, took on human flesh in time and space. The local church is a physical manifestation of the invisible church. Heaven is not just a platonic “spiritual world” only, but God says in His word He will create a literal heaven and earth with physical dimensions. Finally, water baptism transcends the symbol to unite it to the spiritual reality of a person’s death, burial, and resurrection into the Savior Jesus Christ.
Thus, salvation does indeed transform one’s life experience. Faith and belief, which are oftentimes immaterial truths, manifest themselves through the physical universe.
There is more I can say concerning this topic. Please feel free to ask further questions. Thanks for your comments!