Growing up in church I had the privilege of hearing the story of Jesus dozens of times per month. I recall thinking, as a young person, of how fortunate I was to hear the Gospel over and over again. Especially when so many had never heard it one time.
Even though I heard the good news of Jesus, no-one ever seemed to relay the key information I am going to share with you here as it related to the reason Jesus did what He did.
Multitudes of Christians think that the gospel is just the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
It would, in fact, be correct to assert that the Gospel is the death, the burial and the resurrection of Jesus. But there was also another death, burial and the resurrection that hardly anyone seems to talk about.
Pay close attention to these powerful verses:
"In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. -Colossians 2:11-14
Colossians chapter two starts off with Paul telling everybody how how much he wants people to know Jesus, and in that same chapter, he clarifies what the Gospel is in one verse: that we died with Christ, that we were buried with Christ and that we raised in newness of life with Christ.
As a side note, this is what water baptism symbolizes. God lays it out in visual form for us by putting someone under the water and bringing them back up.
Paul makes a great statement in this same passage. He says, "Don't get cheated from Christ." In other words, don't let somebody take away from you the truths of the fullness of the gospel in the person of Jesus.
Christianity is not a collection guidelines to follow from the law of Moses that your pastor picks and chooses for you to follow. That's not Christianity at all. That's Pseudo-Judaism. Judaism was put to an end with Jesus' death, and your death in him. This is how you are free from the law!
"So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God." -Romans 7:4
What we find when Jesus rose again, is that we have something totally new. The New Covenant in Hebrews Chapter eight and Chapter ten explains to us that Jesus initiated a New Covenant, and it's with God, the Father, concerning us as beneficiaries.
Well, the Gospel occurs like this: you are dead in trespasses and sins. Now we have a big problem: how are you going to do anything about that with rules and regulations? We were dead. A dead man really can't do much to fix their condition.
Spiritually, there is nothing we could have done to clean up the carcass, or the dead spirit that was on the inside. So what needed to happen? We needed to be given life. When Jesus rose, he gave us just what we needed -- His life. We received eternal life, and that eternal life was given when you received a person, not a set of rules, or principles. Really, when you put your faith in, or invested trust in the fact that Jesus, his death, burial and resurrection was enough to give you spiritual life.
My friend, if you have trusted Jesus then God has already inserted you into his death. You are no longer who you once were. You also took part in His burial and His resurrection. And according to Romans, chapter four, it was his death that forgives you since His blood atoned for your sins and it's His resurrection that makes you right with God.
"He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." -Romans 4:25
Isn't that amazing? It's amazing that we are right with God because of what Jesus did and not because of what we do!
To say that we have to do something to be right with God is to dilute the Gospel.
The message of Jesus being preached in so many gatherings is only half the message. So many people think you have to do certain rules, principles, or guidelines to be ok with God when it's very clear from Romans 5:1 that we are already made right with God.
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" Romans 5:1
We are already justified because of Jesus. We too, died and we too, have been buried and we also rose again. So, just as Jesus is, that's who you are now. You are in Him. God isn't going to judge his own son.
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. -I John 4:17
So if we're sealed up in Christ, don't let anybody cheat you by saying that you have to do anything other than rest in the fact that you are a new creature, in a new covenant and in a Christ who will never let you go.