November 21, 2017

The Gospel In A Nutshell

By Johnie Edwards

The apostle Paul put the gospel of Christ in a nutshell when he wrote, “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 ye 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” (1 Cor. 15:4). Paul affirmed to the Romans that their confession must include the fact, “. . . that God hath raised him from the dead” (Rom. 10:9).

The Power Of God To Save

The gospel of Christ is the power of God to save sinners. Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation . . .” (Rom. 1:16). This gospel contains facts to be believed, commands to obey, and promises to enjoy. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Believing that Jesus is the Son of God and believing the gospel are the facts to be believed, repenting of past sins (Acts 2:38) and being baptized are commands to be obeyed. Salvation from past sins and eternal salvation, if faithful (Rev. 2:10), are the promises to be enjoyed. No wonder Paul could tell the Corinthians, “I declare unto you the gospel, by which also ye are saved” (1 Cor. 15:12).

The Ascension Of Christ

The great thing about Christ, his life, his death, and his resurrection is his ascension back to his Father. In fact, the coming of Christ into the world would have meant nothing more than any other man coming into the world, had he not died on the cross. Yet, the death of Christ on the cross would have meant no more than the death of any other, had God not raised him from the dead; the resurrection would not been as it now is, had Jesus not ascended to heaven to occupy his throne. It takes it all!

1. It was at his ascension that Christ was given a great position. A careful reading of Ephesians 1:19-23 will teach us that when Christ ascended, he was set at his own right hand in the heavenly places, given a name above all names, and made the head of the church.

2. At his ascension, Christ was made High Priest. You know that Christ could not have been priest if he were on the earth (Heb. 8:4; 7:14). At his ascension, he became and is now High Priest (Heb. 4:15). Thus, Christ is our mediator (1 Tim. 2:5).

3.Christ was made king of his kingdom at his ascension. Daniel said that Christ would be given “a kingdom,” when he “. . . came to the Ancient of days” (Dan. 7:13-14). Christ went to God as he ascended in a cloud (Acts 1:9-10). At this time Christ was given a kingdom over which he was to reign as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 17:14).

4. All things were made full at his ascension. In writing the Ephesians, Paul penned, “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things” (Eph. 4:10). We can now be “complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Col. 2:10). As a result, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).

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