How does a person obey the Gospel?
How does a person obey the gospel?

In 1 Corinthians 15 the apostle Paul reminds us of what the gospel or Good News message is- that Jesus Christ came, died on the cross, paid the penalty for our sins, that He was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead-

"Christ died for our sins...that He was buried...that He was raised on the third day...this is what we preach...and this is what you believed." 1 Cor. 15:3-11

This is the gospel.

However biblically speaking, how does a person respond to or 'obey' the gospel?

Here the Church of Christ will assert that obeying the gospel means being obedient to the necessary requirements of the New Testament, or 'obeying those commands one must do in order to be saved.' And the difference between the saved and the unsaved according to the Churches of Christ is whether or not a person has obeyed the necessary commands.

However, when one looks into the Scripture and looks into the context of 1 Cor. 15 and what it means to 'obey the gospel,' we find that a person obeys the gospel when they believe the gospel message:

"This is what we preached, and this is what you believed" 1 Cor. 15:11

Consider the following 'obey the gospel' passages:

"But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” Romans 10:16 (Note, they have not all obeyed because not all have believed)

"You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?" Galatians 5:7 (Please note, the context of 'being hindered from obeying the truth' is that they had believed the teaching that keeping the law was an additional requirment to the gospel of Christ)

"...Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth (i.e. by believing the message) love one another deeply, from the heart." 1 Peter 1:21-22
"Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient..." 1 Peter 2:27 (Please note, the contrast is being made between those who believe and those who are disobedient- i.e. those who refuse to believe)

So while we will see those in the Church of Christ go from one obey verse to another to prove we obey the gospel by being obedient to the necessary requirements of the New Testament, if we look at the context of these verses to see what it means to 'obey the gospel,' we find that we obey the gospel by believing the gospel message.
So what is the gospel?

Jesus Christ came to this earth, died on the cross, paid the full penalty for our sin, was buried, and God raised Him from the dead.

This is the gospel.

God's promise is that every person who believes in Jesus Christ, trusting Him as their Savior, will not perish but has everlasting life.

So have you obeyed the gospel?

That is, have you trusted in Jesus Christ to save you?

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"...If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that He has borne concerning His Son...And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son...Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life...I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:9-12