Monday, May 27, 2024 1661 visits to this site
The Gospel

The gospel is the "good news" of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), which gives us the hope of Heaven.  It is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes" (Romans 1:16).  As the "power of God" it is more than just a set of facts regarding historical events.  God expects us to "obey the gospel" (2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17).

Here is the gospel in Jesus' own words:

Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. —Matthew 28:19-20
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. —Mark 16:15-16
In short, Jesus expects people to believe, be baptized, and observe all his teachings.  The Bible gives more attention to baptism than any other part of obeying the gospel.  (See "God's Emphasis on Baptism.")  Baptism literally means immersion under water, but it it must be done in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (i.e. by their authority).  Thus, one must understand that he is "putting on Christ" (Galatians 3:27) by being "buried with him" and "raised" (Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:3-5).  It is the point at which one's sins are "washed away" (Acts 22:16).  Baptism for the wrong reasons is invalid (Acts 19:3-5).  This implies there are prerequisites.

How People Became Christians in the Bible
Jews in JerusalemActs 2:37-41
City of SamariaActs 8:5-13
Ethiopian EunuchActs 8:27-39
Saul of Tarsus (Apostle Paul)Acts 9:3-18; 22:6-16; 26:12-18
Cornelius and his householdActs 10:44-48
Lydia of ThyatiraActs 16:13-15
Jailer at PhilippiActs 16:26-34
City of CorinthActs 18:1-8

One common element in every passage below is that they became Christians by being baptized.  Not one of them was instructed to say the "sinner's prayer."  In fact, the "sinner's prayer" is a man-made invention found nowhere in the Bible.  Here is the general pattern to obeying the gospel:

Hear Romans 10:14-17; John 6:45; Acts 2:37
Believe Hebrews 11:6; John 3:16; Acts 16:31
Repent 2 Corinthians 7:10; Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30
Confess Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:37
Be Baptized Acts 10:48; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21
Live for Christ Hebrews 3:5-6; Luke 8:5-15; Revelation 2:10