GOSPEL AND THE CROSS
Moreover, brethren, 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—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that CHRIST DIED FOR UR SINS according to the Scriptures, and that HE WAS BURIED, and that HE ROSE AGAIN the third day according to the Scriptures.
[1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NKJV]
DEATH – WE MUST LIKE JESUS CHRIST “DIE TO SELF”. DIE TO SIN, DENY SELF THROUGH -> (REPENTANCE)
BURIAL – WE MUST CRUCIFY AND BURY OUR OLD LIFE, OUR SIN, BROKEN MAN AND GET UP IN JESUS CHRIST THROUGH -> (WATER BAPTISM)
RESURRECTION – RISING TO A NEW LIFE LEADED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (see BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT)
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
1. God created the world and the first people in his image. People had a relationship with God, walked with Him, talked with Him, everything was fine!
2. God has established certain rules. He forbade people to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God wanted people to have a choice and want to be with Him of their own free will, not because they were created that way.
3. People have sinned, and sin has entered the world and destroyed their nature. Sin changed man. The law of sin began to rule the world. Whoever sins must die!
4. God threw people out of paradise. He didn’t want them to eat from the tree of life because the problem with sin would be forever. People have lost their close relationship with God.
5. Children began to be born in the image of their parents. Murders, thefts, hatred, depressions, wars, deaths began. Now we live in a world where people live in sin, far from God, from relationship with Him. The present world is completely different from the one created by God because of sin.
-> Sin is the problem! We can’t compare ourselves to the people around us who make us look good. Everyone looks bad by God’s standards, has sinned against God, and is guilty of punishment. Today you can go to jail for a small lie, but what if you lie to God? If we sin, we sin against God, we lie to Him, we insult Him, etc.
-> The Lord Jesus said: if you hate someone, you are a murderer; if you call someone a fool, you will go to hell; If you look lustfully at a woman, it’s like committing adultery. These are examples of God’s standards by which he will judge people. A just God can therefore throw all people into hell (because they deserve it) and still be a good God. Just like a good judge throws criminals into prison. But..
6. God sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, without the corrupt nature of the first people. He never sinned, he was obedient to the Father.
7. Jesus Christ received the Holy Spirit and began to preach about the Kingdom of God, the need to repent of sins, as well as heal the sick and cast out evil spirits from people.
8. The Lord Jesus died on the cross. It was not a defeat, but a victory – the culmination of a perfect plan and a voluntary sacrifice.
9. Jesus Christ is risen as he said! Since no fault was found in Him (he was conceived by the Holy Spirit free from the corrupt nature of the flesh and had never sinned), death could not have dominion over Him.
10. The Lord Jesus initiated with his sacrifice a new covenant for us people with the Lord God (he annulled the old covenant). He sealed them with the perfect sacrifice of his Blood and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. With his sacrifice, he opened the way of salvation for us people – this is very good news (gospel).
11. From then on, his disciples preached to everyone the need to repent of their sins, to be baptized in water in the Name of the Lord Jesus and to submit to the Holy Spirit.
12. Today, in order to become His disciple, receive New Life and forgiveness of sins, you also need to repent of your sins against the Lord God, be baptized in water into the Lord Jesus on the basis of your own faith and decision, and persist in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL
Believing in the gospel, God, Jesus Christ in the Bible, (for Jews) was tantamount to obedience. To believe someone in biblical language meant to follow that person’s advice, to do what he persuaded us to do. If the Lord God through Peter told the Jews: repent and be baptized, and you will receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) – believing it meant that someone repented and was baptized.
To sum up: faith in the Lord Jesus that saves is obedience to Him, His counsels and commands expressed in obedience, decision and deed. First, listening to Him about repentance from sins, being born again of water and the Spirit (water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism). Then, to remain obedient to the Lord Jesus until the end of life.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.
[John 3:36 (literal translation)]
And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him
[Hebrews 5:9 NKJV]
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
[1 John 2:17 NKJV]