Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 8, 1964

Bible Answers

Gene Frost. 1900 Jenny Lind, Fort Smith, Arkansas

QUESTION: What is the gospel? What is meant by obeying it?

ANSWER: Gospel means "good tidings." The message of the salvation which is in Christ as contained in the new covenant, upon the basis of His death, burial, and resurrection, is good. Paul preached these basic facts as constituting the gospel. "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 you 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" (I Cor. 15:1-4) And all that is predicated upon the fact through death He destroyed "him that had the power of death, that is the devil," and made possible redemption, constitutes the gospel. (Heb. 2:14-16, Col. 1:14, Heb. 10:9-10, etc.) The good merge includes: salvation (Eph. 1:13) peace (Eph. 6:15), the kingdom (Matt. 4:23, Col. 1:13). grace (Acts 20:24), etc.

What is meant by obeying it? To obey the gospel is to do all that God requires to receive the blessings that are in Christ. In the "good tidings" is revealed the righteousness of God, i.e., the sum total of God's requirements whereby man may be right before Him. The gospel, then, is His power unto man's salvation. (Rom. 1:16-17.) To obey the gospel is to do what God requires of us as it is revealed in the gospel.

The gospel is designed to instill faith. (Rom. 10:17). Faith is the motivating spirit that prompts obedience. (Heb.11). And so Jesus instructed His disciple to preach it: "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16). Baptism is an act of obedience that acknowledges the very basis of the gospel. Paul says that the gospel he preached was first of all the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. (I Cor. 15:1-4). In being baptized, the Romans "obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered " even as described in preceding verses: "we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:17-18, 3-7). One has not obeyed the gospel until through faith (arising from the fact that he does believe) he is baptized. Of course, there are other requirements as well, e.g., repentance (Acts 17:30, 2 Pet. 3:9, Luke 13:3) and confession of one's faith. (Rom. 10:10, Matt. 10:32-33). It is when the penitent believer repents, confesses his faith and is baptized, that he receives the blessings of the gospel. (Acts 2:38, 41, 47, I Cor. 12:13, Acts 22:16, Gal. 3:26-27, I Pet. 3:21, Rom. 10:13-14, etc.) The soul is purified in obeying the truth. (I Pet. 1:22-23). Every example of obedience in the Acts demonstrates this truth. (On Pentecost: Acts 2:37-41; Samaritans: 8:13; Simon: 8:13; Ethiopian: 8:36-38; Cornelius: 11:14 10:48; Lydia: 16:14-15; Philippian jailer: 16:30-33; Corinthians: 18:8; Ephesians: 19:5; Saul: 22:16.)

As a Christian, one raised to walk in newness of life, his life must conform to all that is required in worship, in morality, in service,, as set forth in the gospel. (Phil. 1:27).

To fail to obey the gospel is to be without Christ, and therefore a subject of divine wrath. (2 Thess. 1:7-9, II John 9). It is imperative that every one obey the gospel of Christ.