The greatest message the human ear can hear and the human tongue can tell is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Eve heard a hint of it as she was being rebuked and punished for her sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). Abraham’s ears were thrilled by the whisper of it at the age of 75 (Gal. 3:8). The prophets of old inquired and searched carefully to try to determine the exact fulfillment of their predictions of the gospel’s salvation (1 Peter 1:10-12). Shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem were bedazzled by an angelic chorus of praise when the Savior of the gospel was born (Luke 2:8-14). Sadly, many today have not heard this gloriously good news. And, just as tragic, there are many who do not understand accurately the three essential components of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Jesus Christ has facts to be believed. In a nutshell, the foundational facts of the gospel are that the Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Because of these historical events Jesus of Nazareth was declared to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4). This fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God is the bedrock foundation upon which Jesus built His church (Matthew 16:16-18).
Facts are stubborn things. They do not bend and twist at our fancy. They do not change just because someone does not like them. They do not vanish should a person choose to not believe them. Even the devil himself cannot alter in any way the facts of the gospel. Belief or unbelief are the only options one has.
The gospel of Jesus Christ has promises to trust. Abundant blessings are promised in the gospel. Peace (Romans 10:15), grace (Acts 20:24), and salvation (Ephesians 1:13) are each wonderfully linked specifically to the gospel. Yet, this does not begin to tell the whole story. Every spiritual blessing that God has for man is made available in Christ through His gospel (Ephesians 1:3). Such spiritual riches as forgiveness, redemption, justification, sanctification, reconciliation, fellowship, regeneration, sonship, mercy, love, hope, and joy are among the priceless treasures promised in the gospel.
Being spiritual in nature, these promises cannot be bought or sold with money nor can they be obtained by anything other than a child-like trust in the truthfulness of the God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2). God and His perfect word can and must be taken at face value. The promises of the gospel must be trusted.
The gospel of Jesus Christ has commands to be obeyed. Not once, not twice, but three times the New Testament talks about obeying the gospel (Romans 10:16; 2nd Thes. 1:8; 1st Peter 4:17). Obedience implies that there are commands to be obeyed. In addition to believing the facts, the gospel has commands that must be obeyed for the promises to be enjoyed. In Acts 2, Peter gives two commands of the gospel when he declared: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (verse 38). Paul told the Corinthians that the gospel which he had preached to them, which they had received, in which they stood, and by which they were saved would only continue if they held fast the word preached by Paul to them. If they did not hold fast, their faith in the facts of the gospel would be in vain (1st Cor. 15:1-2).
Legion are the number of false teachers who either deny that there are commands of the gospel that must be obeyed or who misinform others as to what these commandments are. Let no one deceive you, to obey the gospel you must repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and you must hold fast the apostles’ doctrine through obedience to its commands. A failure to obey the gospel and/or a failure to hold fast the apostles’ doctrine after being baptized result in everlasting destruction (2nd Thes. 1:8-9).