This lesson will show how people in the New Testament obeyed the gospel and thus were saved and became members of the church that we learn of in the New Testament. It is very important to obey the gospel because we read in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 after when the Lord comes with His mighty angels. He is going to take vengeance on the ones who do not know God and who have not obeyed the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If we use the New Testament as a rule book today and do exactly as the people did in the Bible then we will obey the same gospel they did and we will be members of the church in the Bible. Now let us see how people obeyed the gospel.
The gospel or good news, is  that Christ died [2[ was buried and  rose from the dead. [1 Corinthians 15:1-4] How can the death of Christ be “good news”? This is good news because Christ died for us, for our sins. Other words He suffered and died so that God would forgive us of our sins.
There are two parts of the gospel, Christ’s part and man’s part. Christ has done His part by dying on the cross. But what is man’s part? We noticed in 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 that we are to obey the gospel. How do we obey the gospel?
Paul told the Roman Christians that they had obeyed a form of the teaching or doctrine. [Romans 6:17] In the first four verses of Romans chapter six we read what the form of the teaching is that they obeyed or how they obeyed the gospel.  They died to sin [death is a separation] therefore if we die to sin we separate ourselves from sin or in other words we stop sinning. When one dies to sin he is then  buried in baptism,  he rises to walk a new life. [Romans 6:1-4] So we can see that in obeying the gospel we do in a symbol what Christ did in real life. Now let us compare 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 6:1-4.
|1.||Christ died||We die to sin [stop sinning]|
|2.||Christ was buried||We are buried [put under water] by baptism|
|3.||Christ rose again||We rise out of the water of baptism to live a new live|
Therefore when we obey the gospel we are saved from our past sins.
In Acts chapters we read of thousands of people who were gathered in Jerusalem shortly after Christ’s death. Peter preached to them and they believed because they were pricked in their hearts. They asked Peter and the others what they should do. Peter told them to repent [or die to their sins] and be baptized [to be buried in water] for the remission [forgiveness] of their sins. Acts 2:41 teaches that they did as Peter commanded and Acts 2:42 teaches that they began to live a new life.
Another example is found in Acts chapter 8, Philip baptized a man from Ethiopia. The man riding along in a chariot and reading in the book of Isaiah, a book from the Old Testament. Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The man said that he needed someone to teach him. Then Philip began at the scripture the man was reading and taught him about Jesus. After Philip had taught him they came to some water and the Ethiopian asked Philip if he could be baptized. Philip told him if he believed he should be baptized. The man told Philip that he believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Then they both went down into the water and Philip baptized the man from Ethiopia. Then they came up out of the water and the Ethiopian went on his way a very happy man. We see from this example that the Ethiopian  heard the word  believed the word  confessed that Jesus was God’s Son [Matthew 10:32 teaches us that if we confess Christ before man that He will confess us before His Father in heaven.]  and that he was baptized.
They are many more examples in the book of Acts of people obeying the gospel and being saved. Read those scriptures: Acts chapters 8, 9 10 and 16. These are only a few examples but notice in each example of a person being saved that they were baptized. All those who were baptized were old enough to believe what they were taught, therefore babies and young children were not baptized in New Testament time.
When we are baptized [remember this is a part of man obeying the gospel], we are saved [Mark 16:16] and when we are saved the Lord adds us to His church. [Acts 2:47] We do not have to pick a church of our choice for Christ adds us to His church.
There are so many false churches, false faiths, false gods, false baptisms etc, but we are taught in Ephesians 4:4-5 that there is only one church, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God. Let us make sure that we are members of that one church [Christ’s church] that we believe in the one Lord and one God that we are of the one faith and that we are baptized with the one baptism.
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