The Gospel Part 1

This is the first article based on the message "The Gospel" preached by Pastor Arthur Green April 5, 2020. To hear this message as it was presented, please visit us on Facebook @RiverALIVEchurch.

The gospel is so very important. Part of Jesus' end time prophecies include the gospel being preached in all the world and then the end shall come. This gospel has indeed been preached but no more so than in our current day. This is what Jesus said His followers would and should be doing like never before as we see the day of His return approaching. We are to be up and about the Father’s business and that business is the gospel. God didn’t send Jesus into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. The gospel must be preached.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. - Mark 16:15

Jesus told his disciples to preach it. Preach it to everyone everywhere without discrimination. What does it look like to you when you see someone preaching the gospel? Isaiah describes it as a beautiful thing. The apostle Paul later quoted Isaiah 52:7 in his statements on how important preaching the gospel is when it comes to salvation.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! - Romans 10:14-15

The bible says in Romans 10:8-17 when the word of faith is preached, it brings salvation and the forgiveness of sins. If we'll confess the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. God promises that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. The gospel is for everyone. When you ask for forgiveness you are on the road of salvation, and God will keep you on it and lead you into His perfect plan.

Opening your mouth and asking God for the forgiveness of your sins is an important part of that plan. God is faithful to all and promises to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness if we will. It doesn't matter who we are or what we’ve done. God's plan of salvation isn’t just a one time experience. It’s ongoing throughout our entire life. That's why the apostle Paul, speaking to believers in Philippians 2:12, told them to work out their salvation.

The Greek word for salvation is “soteria.” The word implies deliverance, preservation, soundness, prosperity, happiness, rescue, general well-being. Salvation is both physical and spiritual. It is a present tense possession with a fuller realization in the future. Paraphrasing Romans 5:9-11; we’re saved, we’re being saved, and we shall be saved in the future. The Greek word for saved is “sozo” and means to save, heal, cure, preserve, keep safe and sound, rescue from danger or destruction, to deliver. We are saved from physical death by healing and from spiritual death by being forgiven of sin and its effect. On the road of salvation, we're conformed more and more into the image of Jesus the farther we go.

Faith for salvation comes by hearing the word of God but sadly, not all who hear will believe. It sounds crazy to some, but it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching the gospel to save those who’ll believe. God has ordained that someone has to preach it if people are going to be saved. Preaching is part of God’s plan of salvation. You’re blessed if like Isaiah you can say, “How beautiful are those who preach the gospel and how ready I am to receive it.” That's the right attitude to have. To receive the preacher of the gospel is to receive Jesus. Jesus says He that receives you receives me, and he that receives me receives him that sent me. Matthew 10:40

Therefore, let’s take it seriously and preach the gospel so people can receive Jesus while the promise of salvation stands. The gospel is being preached to the whole world but it’s of no value to those who refuse to believe it. It’s important to believe Jesus came, died, rose again and ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven and will one day judge the living and the dead. It's important to believe the blood that Jesus shed on the cross has the power to cleanse us from all sin and it’s important to know how to respond to it. To believe without a response is not saving faith.

The gospel doesn't require a minimum standard of holiness in order to properly respond to it. Thankfully, we are not saved by how good we are or how good a life we live. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us its God’s grace that saves us through faith. Salvation is a gift. Take it or leave it. If you decide to take it, the only demand of the gospel is that you believe. Anyone can believe. A rich person, a poor person, male and female, old and young alike can believe. But what does it look like to really believe? To believe requires a change of mind, a change of heart, that results in a change in the direction of your life from sin towards God and faith in Christ. It takes a conscience effort to truly believe the gospel. To believe requires a response of the will not just a mental acknowledgment. Choosing to believe is a costly decision. A decision that gives up personal desires and ambitions in order to please the One who saves us. This isn’t double-talk. There’s a big difference between doing something trying to get something from God and responding to something God has already done.

Those who believe are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God foreordained before the foundation of the world. Life does have a purpose. 1 Corinthian 12 compares those who believe to different parts of a body. Just as our physical body has many parts, each having its own function, so is the body of Christ.  God gives each member a measure of grace to accomplish the good work for which He created them. These good works are the fruits that come from a relationship with God, not a means to a relationship with God.

Read The Gospel Part 2 for the conclusion of this article.