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How Can One Obey The Gospel?

May 1, 2011

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In 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 Paul writes:
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Here Paul speaks of obeying the gospel. Two other passages speak of obeying the gospel (Romans 10:15-17; 1 Peter 4:16-18). All three of these passages speak of the seriousness of not obeying the gospel. Peter writes, 1 Peter 4:17-18:
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
As we have seen before, the gospel is the good news of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for our sins (Please read 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). So, the gospel is the account of a set of historical events. How can one obey a set of historical events?
Please read Romans 6:3-6. Paul writes:
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (All emphases mine, L.J.B.).
Paul says that when we are baptized we are baptized into Jesus' death. We are buried with Him , and raised with Him. Our old man of sin is crucified as He was crucified, and we are raised, as He was raised, to walk a new life, no longer serving sin. Now read verses 17 and 18. "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." Paul says that we were servants of sin, but we are no longer servants of sin. When did we stop being servants of sin? When we "obeyed that form of doctrine that was delivered" to us! Remember, Paul had written a few verses earlier (3-6) that we stoped being servants of sin when we were baptized into Jesus Christ and were raised to walk a new life. So we "obeyed that form of doctrine which was delivered" to us when we were baptized! When did we obey the gospel? We obeyed the gospel when we were baptized! So, how can one obey the gospel? By being baptized into Jesus Christ!
It is important to realize that the only way one can get into Jesus is to be be baptized into Him. We have just seen that Paul writes, "....so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death" Rom. 6:3). In Galatians 3:27, he writes, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." So, one gets into Jesus Christ by obeying the gospel by being baptized into him.
Have you obeyed the gospel? If so are you walking that new life, freed from sin? If not, why not do so today? Contact a member of the church of Christ near you, and he will be happy to assist you in your obedience to the gospel. Don't let the Lord's coming catch you outside of Him!
We at the Strasburg Church of Christ would like an opportunity to assist you in your study of God's Word, the Bible. We offer a free Bible Correspondence that you may study in your home. Write us at PO Box 321 Strasburg, VA 22657, or email us.
L. John Bost

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