The core message of the bible is focused on God’s Redemption of man through Jesus His Son. The bible can be divided into three major sections: the Old Testament, the Gospels and the New Testament. The theme of the Old Testament (Genesis – Malachi) is Jesus is Coming; the theme of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is Jesus is Here; the theme of the New Testament (Acts – Revelation) is Jesus is Coming Again.
Redemption or “to redeem” means to purchase or buy back. All of mankind was sold into the bondage of sin and God’s plan was to rescue them from a fate worse than death. To some, death signifies an eventual end but sin brings a death that has no end. The bible refers to it as eternal punishment, always dying yet never dead (Matthew 25:46). God wants to take mankind into His loving care and make them His people, granting them an eternal life in heaven.
The book of Genesis records the fall of man, as Adam and Eve sinned and severed their relationship with God. Sin separates man from God. The word Holy means to be “separated from” and because God is “Holy” he had to separate Himself from Adam and Eve. We find ourselves in the same situation with God because all have sinned and fallen short of His Glory (Romans 3:23). Our sin has rightfully earned us punishment, “…for the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). If I have to die for my sins, where will that leave me? See the problem? We all need to be forgiven of the penalty of our sins, we need Mercy. Mercy is the idea of not getting what you do deserve. We also need someone (a savior) to pay the debt for our sins, we need Grace. Grace is the idea of getting something you do not deserve, i.e., a gift.
Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. God in his great mercy and grace, sent His Son Jesus to die for the sins of the world that whoever believes in Him might have life (John 3:16). Jesus left the glories of heaven, emptied Himself, taking on the form of man and servant, dying on the cross (tortured to death) for the sins of the world (Philippians 2:5-11).
The Gospel or “Good News” tells about Jesus’ life on earth, the signs, wonders and miracles He performed proving He was the Son of God. It tells of His message of love, sacrifice, worship, obedience, reward for the righteous and punishment for the disobedient. It reveals the gruesome, cruel and harsh circumstances of His death for sin and the triumph seen in His resurrection from the dead. All of this is recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The victory of His resurrection from the dead, gives hope to those who would follow Him that they too could be resurrected from the dead. Jesus’ death was God’s means to call all mankind to Himself (John 12:32-33) and His resurrection was to confirm the eternal life that was in Him.
The Response to The Gospel is the same for everyone. It requires Faith or Belief of the Gospel/” Good News”. The message of the gospel calls for a change in the life of those that would follow Christ. That initial change starts with repentance, which is a total change of heart (Luke 13:3). Sin becomes the thing a person believes they must stop and avoid. They are convinced that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and are prepared to confess their faith in Him as Lord (Romans 10:9&10), as the Christ, the Son of God (Acts 8). Upon this confession, a person completes their obedience to the Gospel by obeying the command to be baptized for the remission or removal of sins (Acts 2:38). In baptism we die, are buried with Christ and rise to walk in a new life (Romans 6:1-7). Baptism is the completing act of faith in salvation (I Peter 3:18-21).
To Remain Faithful involves studying the word of God, engaging in prayer, fellowship, and sharing in the Lord’s Supper (breaking of bread). Those in the bible, who obeyed the gospel, did these same things (Acts 2:41-47). They would become part of the local church where these teachings could be found and were practiced. Assembling on the first day of the week (Sunday) and serving as part of Christ’s local church was seen as required, by those who obeyed. (Acts 20:7, Hebrews 10:23 &24).
Have you obeyed the Gospel? Are you assembling with the church that looks like what you can read in the New Testament? If you would like to know more, please contact us.