New Life Through the Gospel

As has often been stated, the gospel is the death, life, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which brings salvation to those who believe in him and repent of their sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Mark 1:14-15). This gospel has incredible benefits and blessings regarding our salvation and the Christian life as well. The gospel is not for non-Christians alone. All Christians need to be reminded of the gospel even after many years of being in the faith. 

By the power of the Holy Spirit, the gospel brings new life to those saved by it. Colossians 2:13-14 describes how we acquire new life through the gospel; we were dead in our sins, but through the death of Jesus on the cross, our sins were forgiven. Also, through the resurrection of Jesus, we were raised with him to new life (Colossians 2:13-14, Ephesians 2:1-6). This being raised to new life through Christ is also called regeneration (Titus 3:4-6), being born again (John 3:3-6), or being washed (1 Corinthians 6:11). We were once walking in the darkness of sin (Colossians 2:13), but now in Christ, we are empowered to obey God and live out his commands (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Before, we used to follow the ways of the world and the evil one (Ephesians 2:1-3), but by God’s mercy through Jesus Christ’s death, we’ve been given new life and the ability to do good works (Ephesians 2:4-10). 

Changed Desires and Devotions

In the Bible, we see the outworkings of the gospel’s transforming power through changes in the lives of the first Christians in the book of Acts (Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-37, 5:12-16). First, the disciples received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), and then Peter began preaching the gospel to men and women from all over, and then three thousand of them believed in the gospel and were baptised, starting a new church (Acts 2:5-41). The impact of the gospel brought new life to all those present. Afterwards, they became devoted to the apostles’ teachings, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer (Acts 2:42). They had a lot in common to the point that they began selling their possessions and distributing them to those who were needy amongst them (Acts 2:44-45). They met daily to attend church, eat, and praise God (Acts 2:46-47). We also get the impression that they were constantly evangelising together because the Lord was adding to their number daily (Acts 2:47). 

As shown in Acts, believing the gospel leads to a new life, devotions and company changes (Acts 2:42, 44, 4:32). Desires become more inclined to godliness, the Word, prayer, and evangelism (Acts 2:42, 47, 5:14). There was also radical generosity to the point that people even sold land (Acts 4:34-37). We also see that there was trust amongst the Christians such that they gave their money to the apostles to distribute to the needy (Acts 4:34-35). Where unity amongst different groups would have been complex in the past, it now was shared amongst the Christian brethren (Acts 2:44, 4:32, 5:12). When we believe the gospel, our changed lives will be evident to the watching world. 

Boldness and Endurance

The gospel also brings new life as it manifests the life of Jesus in the believer (2 Corinthians 4:10-12). In context, through gospel truths about what Christ endured for our redemption, we are encouraged not to lose heart even when we are going through suffering (2 Corinthians 4:16). Although we may be afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down (2 Corinthians 4:8-9), we have the power to endure such hardship. This is so because, through the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4,6), we receive the resurrection power of God to give us the endurance to continue preaching the gospel no matter what. Where self-preservation used to dominate, now, the gospel brings a new focus on the good news being preached even amidst suffering. 

The members of the early church again show us endurance in their preaching of the gospel with boldness despite threats of arrest and persecution in Acts 4:23-31. One main thing that might have fostered the early church’s endurance to preach the gospel boldly was believing in God’s sovereignty; we see this in their prayer in Acts 4:23-31. They assert that God is sovereign over creation (Acts 4:24), sovereign over hostile people (Acts 4:25-26), sovereign over the conspiracy against Christ and his crucifixion (Acts 4:27-28), covering over believers’ supernatural courage and power to heal, and lastly sovereignly filling them with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31-25). Where fear and timidity were evident, boldness and endurance now reign in those who believe in the gospel. 

More Love and Forgiveness

Lastly, we see that believing in the gospel will cause us to learn kindness, have tender hearts, forgive, and love others, as in Ephesians 4:32-5:2. Paul explains how since God gave Jesus up to forgive the believers, we are also to forgive others just like God did (Ephesians 4:32-5:1). The gospel teaches us what forgiveness looks like and that we’re to forgive those who’ve done evil things to us (Romans 5:8). We also are to look at the example of the gospel through Jesus showing love to us who were undeserving (Ephesians 5:1-2). Love may seem impossible in some situations, yet the gospel shows us how to live for God even in challenging situations (2 Corinthians 5:15). As a people, we are not naturally kind, tenderhearted, forgiving or loving to our enemies. Still, due to the regenerating power of or new life in the gospel, we can love others, even go further and consider them better (Philippians 2:3). Therefore, lean into the power of the gospel to love the unlovable and forgive the unforgivable. 

We become the salt and light of the world when we boldly live out our faith. We must readily allow the evidence of our belief in the gospel to show, even when it gets uncomfortable, especially for our old friends. May our Lord Jesus give us the grace and courage to endure suffering, devote ourselves to good things, love the unlovable and forgive the unforgivable through the power of the gospel. And all this may we do joyfully, to the glory and honour of our Father in heaven. 



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