What Is “Obeying the Gospel”?

Question:

“The Bible speaks of obeying the gospel. When someone asks you, ‘What is the gospel?’ how do you answer?”

Answer:

The word “gospel” is from a Greek word that literally means, “good news” or “glad tidings.” But as it is used in the Scriptures, it includes more than “news” or information. Things to be believed, commands to be obeyed and promises to be received are all included in the gospel of Christ. When one hears the gospel, he is led to faith in Christ as the Author. As a result, one is led to faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. When one has faith in Christ, he is then led to do what the Lord Jesus teaches. That is what “obeying the gospel” means. All of this is in anticipation of receiving the promises of the gospel.

Let me illustrate with a passage of Scripture. People on Pentecost heard the preaching of the gospel. . .

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself”

(Acts 2:36 – 39).

In this passage you have facts to be believed, commands to be obeyed and promises to be received. That is why the apostle Paul writes that when Jesus returns, it will be with “His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8). In other words, to “obey the gospel” simply means to trust the Lord Jesus enough to do what He says.

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