To share together in the life of Christ requires that we believe the Gospel. Jesus proclaimed this Gospel throughout his earthly ministry, and he was the very embodiment of its message. It is the news of a King and his Kingdom, through whom the entire world is being saved from the judgement that is to come. It is the news spoken of in Isaiah 52:7 that “your God shall reign”, and finally through the person and work of Christ, God is reigning over all of creation.
The apostle Paul “reminds” the church in Corinth of this Gospel: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared to me” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
This is the substance of Paul’s Gospel:
- Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one, the King.
- He died for our sins
- He was buried
- He was raised on the third day
- He appeared, proving to the world that he is in fact the awaited King of the Old Testament Scriptures.
The Scriptures teach us that the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is the means by which humanity is being saved from the penalty of their sins. Paul goes int further detail in his letter to the Ephesians, stating that “we were by nature children of wrath…But God being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved…For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:3-9).
It is our faith and trust in the person and work of King Jesus that brings us into union with Christ, where we receive our adoption as sons and daughters of God, where we are justified, sanctified, and glorified with Christ. And it is through this union that we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, that we might walk in the good works “which God prepared beforehand” (Eph. 2:19).
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31) is the good news of the Kingdom, and we have confidence in this message because our God reigns, and not even death was able to defeat him.
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