The Gospel of Jesus Christ
By David J. Stewart
Christ Died, was Buried, and Rose Again
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you THE GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how 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” (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).
This is the Gospel according to the Scriptures: Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He was buried and rose from the dead three days later. There are NO other gospels which can save! The word “Gospel” means “glad tidings” or “good news” ... “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isaiah 52:7). The Gospel is the Good News of Jesus Christ. He has paid the price for our redemption.
The Gospel Without Faith is Dead
Many of the Israelites heard the Gospel but did not believe it, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his REST, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the GOSPEL PREACHED, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with FAITH in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into REST, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my REST: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 4:1-3). Many of the Israelites died and went to Hell for their stubborn unbelief. However, all believers have entered into God’s rest or “God’s Sabbath.” The Bible here is warning all people to enter into God’s rest before it is too late. If you die without Christ, it is too late!
Jesus Is Our Sabbath!
Jesus is our Rest, our Sabbath! The Sabbath Day was first given to Moses to give to Israel on Mt. Sinai. It was a Day picturing the Lord Jesus Christ. The Sabbath pictured man ceasing from his own works (the six day work week) and resting in Christ alone on the seventh day (the Sabbath). As far as a ceremonial law to be observed, the Sabbath was given ONLY to Israel and NOT to any other people. God does NOT expect us to observe the Sabbath day today. If He did, we couldn’t light a fire, couldn’t leave our homes, couldn’t cook, etc.
The Sabbath was given to a specific people (the Jews) living in a specific region (Israel) during a specific time period (the Old Testament). The ceremonial laws were exclusive to the Jews: the Sabbath, circumcision, the feasts and sacrifices, dietary and clothing laws, etc. Each of these earthly laws for the Jew reminded him of a Heavenly divine law. For example: circumcision was a constant reminder that the Jews were God’s people and were to separate from the gentile world (thus picturing God’s Children being separate from the heathen world). “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written FOR OUR LEARNING, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). God has given us principles to live by through the experiences of the Jewish people. Hence, the Sabbath was a ceremonial law (only for the Jews) which was a lesson to the world that we are to cease from our own efforts and instead rest upon Christ alone for salvation. Isn’t that a beautiful truth! You still have some religions today (such as Seventh-Day Adventists) which teach that you MUST keep the Sabbath to be saved, which is untrue. You do NOT need to keep anything to be saved, just rest in Jesus. Have you entered into God’s rest by believing upon Christ to save you from your sins? Hell awaits those who are NOT resting in Christ. Only Jesus can forgive sin, because only Jesus has the nail-scarred hands and feet. No one else does!
The Power of Salvation is in the Gospel, Not Our Eloquent Words
“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” (Romans 1:16). The best way to win ANYONE to the Lord is to just give them the plain good news (Gospel) of Jesus Christ. If a person won't obey the simple Gospel, then no amount of debate or arguing is going to change their heart's condition of unbelief. The word “power” means “dynamite.” The Gospel is God’s dynamite to those who turn in repentance from their unbelief and to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
Notice that God had chosen Israel as His People to propagate the Gospel throughout the earth. The Old Testament high priest would make atonement once a year for Israel’s sins. The Israelites were saved by putting their faith in Who was represented by the blood sacrifice—the coming Savior. People in foreign nations could also be saved if they put their faith in the God of Israel. Salvation has always been by grace through faith!
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