The gospel is ‘ good news’ for sinners, it is eternal salvation available to everyone. In the New Testament we find the rest of the instructions that we need to learn in order to know God better & to do His will, which in reality its the best for us (to benefit & protect us). For example, in book of Corinthians we find the following verse, which it’s called the ‘Gospel in a nutshell’. It is the only true gospel that the apostles preached:
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. . .
And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 1 Cor. 15: 1-4 & 13-17.
Some today that call themselves ‘Christians’ don’t believe that Christ rose bodily from the dead, but this is a very important part of the gospel. Many others believe Jesus resurrected as a spirit, but that’s not a resurrection at all.
The Watchtower for example teaches body recreation & not resurrection. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God pulverized the body of Jesus and recreated it a new & different one. But Jesus and his apostles resurrected dead people, e.g Lazarus, Dorcas, etc. & it were the same bodies raised from the dead. See John 11:44, Acts 9:40, etc. Resurrection = Anatasis (in Greek), means ‘rising again’; and it is used in the original text for all these miracles as well as for Jesus resurrection, why wasn’t a different word used, if they were different events? Why wasn’t the word ‘recreate’ used instead of resurrected?
Luke 24: 36-43, But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.“
Jesus even ate with them. Was Jesus deceiving them trying to make them believe that he was not a spirit, but in reality He was? Of course not, “God forbid! Let God be true, and every man a liar. ” Rom.3:4
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and He raised us up and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, 9 not of works, so that no one should boast. Eph.2:4-9
Listen to what the apostle Paul says in Romans 10:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you
confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus
and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
In order to be save we need to believe the entire gospel, which includes Jesus bodily resurrection (if we don’t, then our faith is futile; & we are still in our sins!).
Vs.11 is also found in Rom.9:33 : “As it is written: “Look! I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes in Him will not be ashamed” & found in 1 Peter 2:6-8 as well.
The Scripture the apostles Paul & Peter are referring here about Jesus is from Isaiah 28:16 “Therefore, thus says the Lord God: See, I lay in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, firmly placed; he who believes shall not act hastily“.
That stumbling stone & rock of offense for Israel is Jesus. But we also find it in Isaiah 8:13-14: “Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. He shall become a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, and a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.“
Isaiah is saying here the Lord of Host Himself (Jesus) is the stone of stumbling! There is no doubt the apostles believed Jesus to be God.
Some verses above that we just read, like 1 Cor.15:15 & Rom. 10:9 say that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Numerous times we are told that “God” raised up the Lord Jesus from the dead, but the Scripture declares all three persons of the Trinity (God) were involved in the resurrection of Jesus.
John 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.
Acts 5:30 “The God of our Fathers raised up Jesus“. Also Acts 2:24, 2:32, 3:15, 4:10, etc.
In John 2: 19-21, Jesus says: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” … But he spoke of the temple of his body “
Rom. 11:8 “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit that lives in you.“
Things we learned in this study of Born Again -John 3:
1/ We all need to be born again, or born of the Spirit to enter into the kingdom of God! (Jn.3:3-6)
2/ Nobody is a child of God unless they receive & believe Jesus Christ.
3/ We need to know that Jesus isn’t just a good teacher or a great man. But that He is God! Jn 8:23-28, 58, 1 Jn.4:3, etc. Jesus is God & the son of God. (Jn.1:1-14). Jesus is not the Father, but He has the same Divine nature & same attributes as His Father.
4/ Nobody is elected unto salvation. Salvation is for whosoever believe, is by FAITH that Jesus Christ paid for our sins on the cross. (Eph. 1:13. etc). Salvation is not by works. Ephe. 2:8, Phil.3:8-9
5/ To be converted we need to repent from our sins and go to God. He sent His son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3: 12-15. Acts 3:19
6/ God loves us, Jn 3: 16. He wants also that we love Him & love one another 1 Jn 4:11. The ‘agape’ love is the fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22
7/ God desires all men to be saved, He doesn’t want to condemn the world. He who believes in Jesus is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already. Jn 3: 17-18
8/ Jesus is the light of the world! Whoever follows Him (not men) shall not walk in darkness anymore. John 8:12
9/ Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Rom. 10:17.
10/ We need to hold fast to the true gospel & the Word of God. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, was buried but raised bodily from the dead. We Christians take our cross daily (Luke 9:23) to die to our own plans and ambitions, & live by faith in Him and FOR HIM!
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal.2:20. That’s what the baptism in water symbolizes, we died to our old life, are buried (under water) & have risen up as a new creature in Christ.
To be a Christian is to deny ourself daily to follow Him, it’s not a title you get one day, but is a life style. Are you willing? You wont do this alone or on your own strength, His Holy Spirit will be with you, to help you & guide you every day.
“Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:67-68
Are you born again?
If you want to be born again, then you need to truly repent from your sins (we all are sinners) and go to God in prayer, choose to turn away from your life style and choose God’s ways. The Greek word for repentance is ‘Metanoia‘ & means a change of mind (change of heart), just come as you are, but surrendered & He will clean you. With your own words ask Him to forgive you, (He knows your heart) tell Him that you receive & believe Jesus Christ His son. Let Him know that you believe His only son Jesus, die on the cross to pay for your sins & that He raised from the death according to the Scriptures.
Ask Jesus to take His rightful place in your life as your Saviour & your Lord. If you believe this then thank Him for what He has done, is doing & will do in your life. If you repented & talked to God from the bottom of your heart, then heavens rejoice for your decision (Luke 15:7), you just passed from darkness into light! So now walk as a children of light (Eph.5:8). Reading a Bible with help you to do that. As a baby that is learning to walk, you might stumble a few times, but repent & get up, you are not alone! You have now become a member of the family of God! (1 Jn.3:2). When you have an opportunity confess to others the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom.10:8-11). I pray that the Lord will guide you through His Word & help you find a good church (or a house group)- avoid Mega churches- were you can grow & mature in God. May our loving God bless you & keep you!!
– If you recently accepted the Lord Jesus, or accepted Him long time ago but have not study Christian doctrine in a deeper way, and find a little complicated to study the meanings of word, etc. Then don’t worry and start learning & understanding the words that our Lord Jesus spoke, this words are there for us, all of His followers, it would be a good idea to start reading the entire gospel of John first, then other books on the New Testament & when you know all these 27 books & understand who you are in Christ, then read the Old Testament. Sound doctrine is important to grow healthy.
1 Tim. 4:16 “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine (G1319=teachings, precepts); continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
Check all that others teach you, comparing everything with the Word of God (Acts 17:11). Use a good bible translation like these versions. Keep yourself away from churches or teachers than contradict His Words. Remember we follow Jesus Christ, not men or their interpretations.