The gospel is the good news from God that people need to hear. 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 “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 our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.” The essence of the gospel is that Christ died for our sins, He was buried and He was resurrected from the dead. We must believe and obey the gospel, for Jesus will return “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:8).” Being immersed in water, or baptism, is a wonderful picture of obeying the gospel; baptism is a death, burial and resurrection. Romans 6:3-6 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Every one of us must believe what God and Jesus Christ have done for us. We must die to our old sinful life, be buried in baptism, and then rise to walk in newness of life. God has given us a great gift by saving us through His grace.
Another expression of the gospel is given in Titus 3:3-7 “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
We ourselves were once foolish – unwise in how we lived our lives in that we followed foolish paths. We were disobedient – not obeying God but violating His commandments and His principles. We were deceived – thinking that our choices were good when they were wrong. We were serving various lusts and pleasures – our desires for the things of this world dominated our lives. We lived in malice – our way was filled with depravity and wickedness. We lived in envy – we coveted what others had. We were hateful and hating one another – through our selfishness we hated any who opposed us. This describes any person of the world who does not have Jesus Christ. To some extent, it describes each one of us.
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared.” Through the gospel we understand the grace of God demonstrated in His kindness and love for us. John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” What great love God has for us that He sent His son so that we through Him might be saved!
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” God didn’t save us because we were righteous. There is no amount of good deeds that we can do that merits salvation. We are all unrighteous before God. Of necessity, God had to save us through His grace and mercy. Ephesians 2:4-9 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” He saved us through the washing of regeneration; this is baptism where we are born again. He also gave us the Holy Spirit to live within us and lead us in the paths of righteousness.
“That having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Since we have been made right or justified before God through his unmerited favor, his grace, we now will inherit eternal life. God’s grace and our hope should motivate each one of us to live holy lives in the sight of our loving, merciful Father in heaven.
Praise God for His wonderful grace! Don’t ever be ashamed of the gospel. Romans 1:16a “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” Proclaim the gospel to any of your associates who do not know about God’s amazing grace because the gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.