There have been many “gospels” through time. Some are true gospels given by God; many are false gospels and the products of hell. We’re concerned here with the current true gospel. Which gospel is this, and what does it mean to me and you?
In a thorough perusal of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, you will find several references to “gospel.” If you are diligent in that perusal, you will note that the content mentioned in context with each is different. If you then took time to compare the “gospels” of many religions of the world, you would find that the content of those gospels would differ from those found in the Bible.
Part of the content of each true gospel might be: who it applies to, when it applies, its features, and its requirements. We are concerned with the current gospel preached by the apostle Paul.
Paul writes about this gospel in several books the Holy Spirit inspired him to pen (or to dictate as he wasn’t physically able to pen them himself). The portion that I want to open with reads:
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:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
I Corinthians 15:1-6
- Key points:
- “the gospel which I preached”
- “Christ died for our sins”
- “he was buried”
- “he rose again”
- “according to the scriptures”
The gospel which I preached – in another place, Paul refers to this gospel as a “dispensing” or “dispensation” – that is a giving out of a thing. This was the gospel that was given out: to the who, for the when, with its features, and requirements (see red portion above). Paul was differentiating what he was now preaching from what was just before God’s “dispensing” of “the gospel which I preached.” Just prior to this, God was offering the Jewish Nation a Messiah and a Christ; they, as a whole, rejected that offer. With Paul, God was offering the entire world a Christ. Paul’s gospel was NOT the gospel offered under the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles.
Christ died for our sins – the first detail of this current gospel. The Lord Jesus Christ was sacrificed (killed) to make a payment for sins (all sins that ever were, are, or will be committed). He paid for the sins of this author as well as the sins of any other pesron one could name as well as the sins of you the reader. Christ died to pay for your sins.
He was buried – not figurative buried but literally, a dead body prepared as they did then and placed in the normal grave that they used then. This detail’s importance is detailed in old testament prophesies, which we’ll not cover now.
This is where the mechanics of the payment for sin were accomplished – in the grave and in hell. The payment for sin is physical death as well as spiritual death. Physical death is the end of our existence in our human body. Spiritual death is not an end of existence but the beginning of a separation. This separation is everlasting, excruciating, and permanent. It is a separation from God himself and from all of the good He intends for those who dwell in eternity, and from every other person. There will be no “I am gonna be with my friends in hell,” if you go there, you will be alone.
He rose again – the significance of this is detailed in both old testament prophesies as well as new testament doctrine. Simply put, this is the final seal of approval by God the Father that the payment for our sins is complete and accepted.
According to the scriptures – there are over 300 prophesies about Jesus Christ. For God to provide for individual salvation, He had to set things up so that a complete and acceptable payment could be made for all sins.
Everything that set up the life of Christ, His crucifixion and death, and His resurrection were completed “according to the scriptures.” Jesus Christ is the complete, acceptable, and ONLY payment that God will accept for sins. Unless you have His payment applied to your sins, you will suffer eternally as the spiritual payment for your sins.
Shall be saved…
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.