The Bible says that it is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation. What exactly is the gospel? Gloriously, the Bible doesn’t leave us to wonder. Paul tells us exactly what the Gospel is in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: “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 [what did he receive? here it is], 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.”
God loves us so much he made the gospel plain. It is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who died FOR OUR SINS. What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! If baptism or any other religious ceremony were a part of the gospel, Paul would have included it here.
Not only did he NOT include baptism as part of the gospel but [WATCH THIS] he told the SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE in this VERY SAME BOOK of the Bible: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but TO PREACH THE GOSPEL [emphasis mine]: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” Hallelujah! Here Paul the Apostle made a clear distinction between the gospel and water baptism. It is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation.
But that’s not all. We are saved because of what CHRIST did, not because of our ability to walk into the water or because of someone’s ability to baptize us! Christ’s work is a FINISHED work. Jesus PAID IT ALL! He left nothing undone. When we are saved we obey him because we love him, but our salvation is not kept by our own continued obedience. We do not keep ourselves saved by what we do, we are kept by the hand of God. As a matter of fact, the Bible says in Romans 5 [PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THIS] in verse 19, “For as by one man’s disobedience [ADAM] many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Jesus Christ] shall many be made righteous.” Glory to God I’ve got glory tears welling up in my eyes!!!! It’s the obedience of one [Jesus Christ] that makes us righteous. My obedience is nothing without him. I can’t even be obedient without his the righteousness of Christ in me.
When we are saved the righteousness of Christ is imputed into us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21). Isaiah further lets us know that the very best we can do in these bodies will never be good enough to be saved or to keep ourselves saved when he said all of our righteousnesses are as FILTHY RAGS! I obey the Lord because I love him, but it’s not my obedience that keeps me saved. I was saved when I believed the gospel (death, burial, and resurrection), and my righteousness (which is HIS)…….. now and forever is because of the obedience of ONE……Jesus Christ! I love you church.