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                         "THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST"


INTRODUCTION

1. In Mk 16:15-16, Jesus makes reference to "the gospel"...
   a. Commanding His disciples to preach it to every creature
   b. Offering salvation to all who believe and are baptized

2. In Ro 1:16-17, Paul makes reference to "the gospel"...
   a. How he was not ashamed of it
   b. How it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe

3. What is this "gospel"...?
   a. That Jesus wanted everyone to hear?
   b. That is God's power to save mankind?

4. The word "gospel" (Gr., euaggelion) means "good news"...
   a. It pertains to the good news of salvation through Christ
   b. It involves the proclamation of God's grace offered through Jesus
   c. It requires a response involving obedience - cf. 1Pe 4:17; 2 Th
      1:7-8

5. A simple way to summarize the content of the "gospel" is that it
   contains...
   a. Facts to believe
   b. Commands to obey
   c. Promises to receive

[Let's take a closer look at "The Gospel Of Christ", starting with...]

I. FACTS TO BELIEVE

   A. CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED FOR OUR SINS...
      1. Fundamental to the gospel Paul preached - 1Co 15:1-3
      2. As foretold by the Old Testament scriptures - Isa 53:4-6
      3. Why did Jesus die for our sins?
         a. Because we are all sinners! - Ro 3:23
         b. Because the wages of sin is death! - Ro 6:23
      -- In love God offers His Son as a "propitiation" (sacrifice) for
         our sins! - 1Jn 4:9-10

   B. CHRIST WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD...
      1. Also fundamental to the gospel Paul preached - 1Co 15:4
      2. As proclaimed by Peter in the first gospel sermon - Ac 2:22-32
      3. As seen by many eyewitnesses - 1Co 15:5-8
      -- Raising Jesus verifies the justification offered on the cross!
         - Ro 4:25

   C. CHRIST IS EXALTED AS KING AND SAVIOR...
      1. He is now both Lord and Christ - Ac 2:33-36
      2. He is head over all things - Ep 1:20-23
      3. All authorities and powers are now subject to Him - 1Pe 3:22
      -- God has made Jesus ruler over the kings of the earth! - Re 1:5

   D. CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN...
      1. As promised when He ascended to heaven - Ac 1:9-11
      2. Coming to offer both rest and tribulation - 2Th 1:7-10
         a. Rest to those who responded to the call of the gospel - 2 Th
            2:13-14
         b. Tribulation to those who obeyed not the gospel - 2Th 1:8-9
      -- His coming will cause many to mourn, while others rejoice - Re
         1:7; 22:20

[Whether we are prepared for His coming depends upon our obedience to
the gospel (cf. 2Th 1:8).  This implies that "The Gospel Of Christ"
also contains...]

II. COMMANDS TO OBEY

   A. BELIEVE THE GOSPEL CONCERNING JESUS CHRIST...
      1. We must believe the gospel, or we are lost! - Mk 16:16
      2. The gospel is God's power for salvation to those who believe 
         - Ro 1:16
      3. E.g., we must believe that God raised Him from the dead - Ro
         10:9-10
      -- For those willing to believe, eternal life can be theirs! - Jn
         3:16; 20:30-31

   B. CONFESS YOUR FAITH IN JESUS...
      1. Confessing with our mouth the Lord Jesus leads to salvation 
         - Ro 10:9-10
      2. The Ethiopian eunuch provides an example of such a confession 
         - Ac 8:37
      -- Jesus will confess us before God if we confess Him before
         others! - Mt 10:32-33

   C. REPENT OF YOUR SINS...
      1. Jesus wanted repentance preached in His name to all nations 
         - Lk 24:46-47
      2. Peter therefore preached the need to repent to the Jews - Ac 2:
         37-38; 3:19
      3. Paul likewise preached the need to repent to the Gentiles - Ac
         17:30-31
      -- Unless we repent, we will perish in our sins! - Lk 13:3

   D. BE BAPTIZED FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS...
      1. Jesus expected people to be baptized in response to His gospel
         - Mk 16:15-16
      2. Peter proclaimed baptism for the remission of sins to those who
         believed - Ac 2:37-38
      3. Paul related the place baptism had in his salvation from sin 
         - Ac 22:16
      -- When we submit to baptism, God does His work in saving us! - Co
         2:11-13

   E. BE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH...
      1. Faithfulness is necessary if we desire to receive the crown of
         life - Re 2:10
      2. There is a real danger in losing our faith - He 3:12-14
      -- Rest assured, our faithful labors will not be in vain! - 1Co 
         15:58

[When one obeys the commands of the gospel, they receive wonderful
blessings.  These blessings are offered in the gospel as...]

III. PROMISES TO RECEIVE

   A. THE REMISSION OF SINS...
      1. We are promised the remission of sins! - Ac 2:38
      2. Our sins are "blotted out", "washed away" - Ac 3:19; 22:16
      3. Made possible by the precious blood of Christ - Ep 1:7
      -- An ongoing blessing whenever we confess our sins! - 1Jn 1:9

   B. THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT...
      1. Spoken of by Christ during His ministry - Jn 7:37-39
      2. Promised to those who repent and are baptized - Ac 2:38-39;
         5:32
      3. One aspect of this gift relates to His indwelling
         a. The Spirit indwells the Christ - 1Co 6:19; Ro 8:9-11
         b. The Spirit enables us to mortify the flesh - Ro 8:12-13
         c. The Spirit is God's instrumental agent to strengthen the
            Christ - Ep 3:16
         d. The Spirit can produce wonderful fruit in our life - Ga 5:
            22-23
      -- Because we are His children, God has given us this wonderful
         Gift! - Ga 4:6

   C. THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE...
      1. In the sense of our eternal reward
         a. Received at the end of a life bearing the fruit of holiness
            - Ro 6:22-23
         b. Received in the age to come - Mk 10:29-30
         c. Received at the time of judgment - Mt 25:46
      2. In the sense of our abundant life now
         a. Offered by Jesus - Jn 10:10
         b. A quality of life made possible by our relationship with God
            - Jn 17:2-3
         c. A life in Christ enjoyed even now - 1Jn 5:11-13
      -- Thus godly living has promise both in this life, and that which
         is come! - 1Ti 4:8

CONCLUSION

1. Can we understand why "The Gospel Of Christ" is "good news"...?
   a. The "facts to believe" contains the message of God's love and
      grace
   b. The "commands to obey" are not difficult works, done to earn
      salvation, but simple acts of faith whereby we receive God's grace
      - cf. 1Jn 5:3
   c. The "promises to receive" help us deal with the real problem of
      sin in our lives

2. What have you done with "The Gospel of Christ"...?
   a. You have now heard it, if not before
   b. You know as much as those who heard it on the day of Pentecost, if
      not even more

Together with the apostle Peter, we implore you...

         "...Be saved from this perverse generation." (Ac 2:40)

Respond as they did (in faith and baptism, Ac 2:41), and rest assured
that Jesus will save you and add you to His church! - cf. Ac 2:41,47
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