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Why The Gospel?

Why The Gospel?

 In the religious world today, and for many years past there have been those who teach the “direct operation” of God on the heart of a sinner so that the sinner can be saved!   If such is true, there are a number of questions that need to be answered.   Why is the gospel necessary? What is the purpose of the commands given in the New Testament?   Why was Jesus given authority? And, why did He have to die on Calvary’s cross?   There are many more questions that come to mind, but if these could be answered perhaps much confusion in religion today could be cleared up.

   The word “gospel” appears nowhere in the Old Testament” yet when Jesus came we see in Matthew chapter four that Jesus set about gathering men to follow and learn of Him and in vs 23 we see: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” 

   Then in Matthew chapter 17 we read of the transfiguration of Jesus and the event that took place on a high mountain. As this occurred, the three apostles elect, Peter, James and John were in awe and afraid, having heard the voice of God as He spoke out of a cloud in vs 5 saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”   Then we see in Matthew 28:18 that Jesus, having come forth from the grave as He had declared that He would, reminding the apostles of the authority given to Him.   And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Then in vs 19 and in the first part of vs 20 we have the command given by the one in authority as to how people were to be saved. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:

   This is known as the “Great Commission” and covers the scope of the entire New Testament from the cross to the end of time. The great commission represents the constitution of the church. The law of pardon, or terms of admission into it, are clearly and unmistakably set forth. As time continues from the cross onward, we must be aware that God has a Will. In 2Peter 3:9 we are told what that Will is. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentanceThe gospel is the means by which this is to be accomplished.

     We have already touched on the authority given to Christ.   There are only three branches of authority – legislative, executive, and judicial. Christ is all of these. He is the lawgiver (legislative); the king (executive) and the judge (judicial) and so, has all authority.   Therefore He has the authority to issue the law, exercise rule over it, and reward or punish those subject to that law based on their observance or lack thereof.

     His law (the gospel) requires teaching, indicates that baptism is to be taught and that those taught and baptized be further taught to “observe all things” that have been commanded by Christ to His apostles. Also, we know what the Spirit had Paul write in Romans 1:16 in regard to the gospel.   He wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”    If the gospel is the “power of God unto salvation” (and it is),why do some hold to doctrines such as “the direct operation”?   It must be that they do not respect the authority of Christ.   Those who hold to and practice any doctrine not specifically taught in the gospel are not doing what God would have done and therefore will not and cannot be saved.  

     Many think that because they are good morally, or just because they have been baptized at some point in their lives that they have a “reservation” in heaven.   Regardless of how good one is, unless they are obedient to the gospel and the commands given therein, they have not complied with the law given by the authority of Christ and thus cannot rightfully lay claim to the promises of God.    We have alluded to the fact that the gospel requires baptism, but we must ask, is any baptism acceptable?   Does God allow any to be “baptized” for any reason or by any means and count it for obedience to the gospel?   If so, then the folks in Acts 19 should not have been taught that the baptism in which they had participated, (John’s baptism) was not sufficient to save them from their sins.   What was missing in their baptism was the blood of Christ, the same thing that is missing in these “good moral persons” who have been “baptized” in some denomination sometime in the past. It is the gospel that delivers that “form of doctrine” we read of in Romans 6:17.    That form of doctrine is the “death, burial, and resurrection of Christ” per Romans 6:3-4. and in that death Christ shed His blood.     According to Revelation 1:5 it is that blood and only that blood that washes us from sin. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,  It looks to me that THE GOSPEL is pretty important.   Won’t you obey it today?  Your soul’s eternity depends upon it.

                                                            Dennis Strickland – Mooresville  

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