The sacrifice that Jesus gave of His own body upon the cross of Calvary, so that all the world would have access to God's saving power (Romans 1:16) against sin (Romans 3:23), is, no doubt, the number one focal point of all history. No other event, before or after, has affected more people in so many ways as Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection from the dead. The event of Jesus' death (Matthew 16:21), burial (Matthew 12:40), and resurrection (John 2:19), is commonly known as the gospel of Christ. Jesus, during His ministry on earth, spoke of the gospel many times (John 3:14; 12:32-33).
Three Necessary Elements of The Gospel
There are three basic elements that compose the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus was put to death by crucifixion.
Jesus was buried.
Jesus triumphantly arose, or resurrected, from the dead.
These three basic elements, above, compose the gospel of Jesus Christ. If any of these three elements were to be left out, the gospel, as a result, would be incomplete.
Requirements Of The Gospel
Jesus lovingly and willingly fulfilled His requirement of the gospel by suffering a cruel and agonizing death on the cross. He then was buried and three days later, resurrected from the dead. He did this so that we would not have to experience what we so justly deserve.
In addition to fulfilling His requirements, Jesus also left requirements of the gospel that we must fulfill in order to please Him.
These two requirements are (1.) preaching the gospel and (2.) obeying the gospel. In each of these, the three elements, Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection, must be involved.
1. Preaching (or teaching) the Gospel.
The first gospel sermon ever preached by the Apostle Peter contained all of these elements (Acts 2:21-32).
The Death of Christ Acts 2:23
The Burial of Christ Acts 2:27,31
The Resurrection of Christ Acts 2:24,32
2. Obeying the Gospel
Obeying the gospel, just like preaching it, requires a death, burial, and resurrection. All three of these elements of the gospel are found in Romans 6:3-6. Here, Paul is describing what happens when one is baptized into Christ.
Death: Baptized into His death. Romans 6:3-4
Burial: Buried with Him by baptism. Romans 6:4
Resurrection: The likeness of His resurrection. Romans 6:5
If any of the above elements were to be left out, our obedience to the gospel, as a result, would be incomplete.
Of all the commands connected with salvation, only baptism involves the three necessary elements of the gospel. Belief, repentance, and confession, although necessary steps in the salvation process, cannot provide the means by which one unites with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. A key part of the passage in Romans 6 reveals exactly when our sins are destroyed by God. Please observe the following:
Romans 6:6....that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed. Paul indicates very clearly that the crucifixion one undergoes in baptism is for the destruction of the body of sin, not that the body of sin has already been destroyed prior to baptism.
Obeying The Gospel, &
Calling On The Name Of The Lord...
Could They All Be One And The Same?
We have already seen the identical characteristics of baptism and the gospel (death, burial, and resurrection). If we can successfully match calling on the Name of The Lord to either of them, we can safely surmise that they are all the same.
In Peter's gospel sermon in Acts 2, he, like Paul, used the term, call upon the Name of The Lord. In verse 21, Peter declares, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." In that sermon, Peter preached of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. When the people asked, "What shall we do?" Peter responded, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,...(Acts 2:37-38)"
Paul, in Acts 22:16, repeated the instruction of the Lord, which was originally given by Ananias. "...arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Being baptized was how Paul was instructed to "call upon the name of the Lord". Since calling on the Lord involves baptism, we can be sure that it also involves the three necessary elements of the gospel: the death, burial, and resurrection.
Do the contents of this page seem reasonable to you? Do you have a question? Many times, much can be learned through correspondence.
We encourage discussion of these biblical topics. If you have a question or comment, please email us at:
Copyright 2005 haveyoucalled.com