COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL MESSAGE OF CHRIST

Jesus said...... "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11: 25)

The Lord is asking you the ultimate & most important question to be found in all of the bible.......
“Do you believe this?

Nothing outside of the Holy Spirit & the gospel of Christ has the power to lead you to repentance and ultimate salvation from the penalty of sin which is only available through Him, as the way, the truth, and the life, and we stand with the apostle Paul and declare :

….I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, ….for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes..... (Rom 1: 16)

The Holy scriptures of the bible predominantly focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, God's chosen people Israel, and His church. It is therefore unsurprising that the gospel message is not only brought to us by Him, but that it is all about Him and the hope He brings to man, including God's people Israel through His plan of redemption through the atoning death of His Son, and the part played by His church, (the Body of Christ).
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As we have already dealt elsewhere with sin and clearly established that God has revealed man is a sinner and in desperate need of a Savior, we won't go over that ground again here, except for a quick reminder:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
(1 John 1: 8-10)

“.....The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1: 15)

Although some overlapping is inevitable we thought this additional commentary would compliment the ground already covered, so that Gods' plan of salvation is clearly understood, and that few, if any, questions remain unanswered in your search for truth and understanding.

The coming of their Messiah forms part of recorded Jewish prophetic teaching from around 1450 years BC.
The first mention concerning Messiah is found in Gen 3: 15 when God laid His curse upon Adam for his sin, and the serpent(Satan) for his part in causing Adam's fall by disobeying God's instruction: not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel (Gen 3: 15)

Some brief extracts from Mathew Henry's bible commentary to help you understand the above quote from Genesis:

Notice is here given them, of three things concerning Christ:—
(1)His incarnation, that he should be the seed of the woman, the seed of that woman; He was likewise to be the seed of a woman only, of a virgin, that he might not be tainted with the corruption of our nature; he was sent forth, made of a woman (Gal 4:4), that this promise might be fulfilled. It is a great encouragement to sinners that their Savior is the seed of the woman, bone of our bone, (Heb 2: 11,14). Man is therefore sinful and unclean, because he is born of a woman (Job 25:4), and therefore his days are full of trouble, (Job 14:1). But the seed of the woman was made sin and a curse for us, so saving us from both.
(2)His sufferings and death, pointed at in Satan’s bruising his heel, that is, his human nature.

Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness, to draw him into sin; and some think it was Satan that terrified Christ in His agony, to drive Him to despair. It was the devil that put it into the heart of Judas to betray Christ, of Peter to deny Him, of the chief priests to prosecute Him, of the false witnesses to accuse Him, and of Pilate to condemn Him, aiming in all this, by destroying the Savior, to ruin the salvation; but, on the contrary, it was by death that Christ destroyed him that had the power of death, (Heb 2:14) . Christ’s heel was bruised when His feet were pierced and nailed to the cross, and Christ’s sufferings are continued in the sufferings of the saints for His name. The devil tempts them, casts them into prison, persecutes and slays them, and so bruises the heel of Christ, who is afflicted in their afflictions. But, while the heel is bruised on earth, it is well that the head is safe in heaven.

(3)His victory over Satan thereby. Satan had now trampled upon the woman, and insulted over her; but the seed of the woman should be raised up in the fullness of time to avenge her quarrel, and to trample upon him, to spoil him, to lead him captive, and to triumph over him, (Col 2:14). He shall bruise his head, that is, he shall destroy all his politics and all his powers, and give a total overthrow to his kingdom and interest. Christ baffled Satan’s temptations, rescued souls out of his hands, cast him out of the bodies of people, dispossessed the strong man armed, and divided his spoil: by His death, He gave a fatal and incurable blow to the devil’s kingdom, a wound to the head of this beast, that can never be healed. As His gospel gets ground, Satan falls (Luke 10:18) and is bound, (Rev20:2) By His grace, He treads Satan under his people’s feet (Rom 16:20) and will shortly cast him into the lake of fire, (Rev 20: 10).
And the devil’s perpetual overthrow will be the complete and everlasting joy and glory of the chosen remnant.

Our Commentary continues.......
We have encountered many people over the years, who, when asked: “are you a Christian?”, have responded with an answer similar to this:
“I think so. I'm a good person, always helping others and never do anyone any harm”
Sadly, like millions of others around the world, it is likely you are also deceived into believing the lie, “that good works and right living”, will qualify you for heaven. But the truth is, outside of the 'born again' experience, as Jesus told Nicodemus in: (John 3: 3-7) there is no other way man is acceptable to God because He sets the rule of entry into the kingdom.

Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)
In desperation, the Philippian jailer cried, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul’s reply was simple: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts:16:31).

The great apostle said nothing about baptism or sacraments, candles, incense, church attendance, reforming one’s life, or anything else being necessary or even helpful for salvation. The Apostle Paul also makes it clear that there is nothing a sinner can do, much less must do, to pay the infinite penalty required by God’s justice. You need only believe through faith in Christ, who paid the penalty in full, and declared finally from the cross of calvary: “It is finished” (Jn:19:30)!

Scripture could not be clearer: “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, ” (Rom:4:5); “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph:2:8-9)

To attempt to do anything for your salvation beyond believing “on the Lord Jesus Christ”, is to deny that Christ paid the full penalty for sin on the cross and to reject God’s offer on that basis of forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift of His grace. Clearly, you can be saved only by faith in Christ—but exactly what does that mean?

What exactly must one believe?

Paul declares: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.....” (Rom 1:16). So believing “the gospel of Christ” brings salvation.

No answer is given to the question, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation...” (Heb 2:3)?

There is no escape except in Christ: “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn 14:6). There is no ambiguity, nor can there be any misunderstanding in this statement.

Christ warned a group of Jews, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come." if you do not believe that I am He, " (Jn 8:21; 24). “I AM” is the name of God that He revealed to Moses at the burning bush (Ex 3:14) and that Christ clearly claims for Himself: “I and my Father are one” (Jn 10:30). Isaiah declared prophetically that the Messiah who would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14) would be “The mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of peace” (Isa 9:6). Christ’s language is precise. He doesn’t tell the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I was.” He says, “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jn 8:58).
He is the self-existent One without beginning or end, “the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev 1:8, Rev 1:11; Rev 21:6; Rev 22:13).

No One But God Could Be Our Savior

So you have it from Christ himself that in order to be saved, you must believe that He is God come as a man through the promised virgin birth. Of course, that makes sense. No one but God could be our Savior. Repeatedly, Yahweh, the “God of Israel” (203 times from Exo:5:1 to Luke:1:68) declares that He is the only Savior (Isa 43:11; Hos 13:4, etc.). Thus, to be saved, one must primarily believe that Jesus Christ is God Almighty, as the scriptures declare.
Believing in Christ resurrected is also essential for salvation “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom:10:9).

And here we face another essential of the gospel that must be believed for you to be saved: “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, ” (1 Cor:15:3). The point you need to understand here, is that Christ was not killed for your sins......He volunteered to die for the propitiation of your sins.
His being scourged, abused, beaten, or mistreated by man—or even crucified, as one guilty of a crime, though in fulfillment of prophecy—could not pay the penalty for sin and would not save you. Christ voluntarily laid down His life for your sins, which He bore in your stead. “The soul who sins shall die. ” (Eze:18:4; Eze:18:20); “the wages of sin is death” (Rom:6:23).

Salvation comes through the shed blood of Christ. Death is the penalty for sin, and Christ chose to pay that penalty for all mankind in full. In full? Isn’t death just death? Could it be worse than we imagine? Indeed, it is!

That Christ’s suffering for sin was not just physical but spiritual is clear: “when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin...he shall see of the travail of his soul...he hath poured out his soul unto death” (Isa:53:10-12); “Christ...through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God” (Heb:9:14).
Christ’s offering of Himself to the Father for sin took place on the cross: “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree,” (1 Pet:2:24). So, again, it was not in being scourged that Christ bore your sins. He endured something far worse than physical suffering. In the garden, in dread anticipation of that horror, “Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. ” (Luke:22:44).

And here again you see the vital importance of distinguishing between the physical suffering our Savior endured at the hands of men, and the punishment He endured from God: “....And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all....it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. ....” (Isa:53:6; Isa:53:10).
Christ said, “I lay down My life....No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.” (Jn:10:17-18).
Thus the soldiers could not and did not kill Him. But Christ died for our sins—so again, nothing the soldiers were responsible for could have provided atonement for our sins.

I hope you are starting to grasp the enormity of the divine mercy which drove Christ to the point of such guiltless suffering, out of pure love for you and all of God's creation.

No person (except Christ) has yet experienced the utter horror of death in its fullness. That will only occur after the final judgment: “Death and Hades..... And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”(Rev:20:14-15).

Christ became a man so that He “by the grace of God, might taste death for all mankind. (Heb:2:9). Thus His death on the cross had to include the “second death.” Christ endured on the cross the eternal suffering that all mankind faces in the lake of fire! This could only have been at the hands of God, not at the hands of man.
“The wages of sin is death” (Rom:6:23)—not merely temporary physical separation of soul and spirit from the body, but eternal separation from God. Therefore, in suffering for sin, Christ must have experienced the horror of the eternal separation from God that was due to all mankind. No wonder He cried out in agony, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me” (Ps:22:1; Mat:27:45; Mark:15:34)?!

No physical suffering, especially at the hands of sinful men, could mete out that awful penalty. Sin is a moral, spiritual problem involving God’s law and man’s rebellion against God. Both the punishment and the solution can only be spiritual......Which is the very reason why Science, has no answers for the seeker of truth regarding sin or anything pertaining to matters of spirit & faith.

"Assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"
Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again" (John 3:3-7)

The gospel of Christ is easy to understand, but full comprehension requires the help of God's Holy Spirit.

The question often arises: just what does it mean to have faith in Christ?
This can best be answered by use of an example:
Suppose someone claims to be a “Christian,” believes in Christ as a historical person who was honest, and a great teacher. He admires and seeks to follow Christ’s selfless example in doing good, is emotional about Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, and regularly attends church every week, where he is a deacon. Yet he thinks it unimportant whether or not Christ was born of a virgin, or whether He is God come as a man to offer His life in full payment for our sins upon the cross, or whether He rose from the dead.

Is such a person saved? Does he really “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”? Or is he believing in “another Jesus...another spirit...another gospel” (2 Cor:11:3,4)? Does it really matter, or are we just “splitting hairs”?
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Heb 11: 6)

In (1 Cor 15: 3-23) we are privy to the apostle Paul admonishing his followers for their lack of faith in the gospel, and in so doing reiterates for the benefit of all, the foundation of the gospel message:
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

So believing “the gospel of Christ” brings salvation. But is believing the gospel the only way to be saved, and if so, what is the gospel? The definition of 'gospel' is 'Good News' and it is instructive to note that the scriptures use the term 'gospel' in many different contexts, but in each instance it means good news.
Some examples are:

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation (Eph 1:13)
…...lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.....(2 Cor 4: 4)
But the 'gospel of Christ' the “good news” of salvation is: according to the scriptures that through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the 'Lamb of God' on Calvary's cross, the penalty due for man's sin was settled once for all, and His resurrection saw death defeated and provided all who would believe in Him, including you, the promise of eternal life.
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts:4:12).
It should be instructive to point out that this particular truth features the main difference between Christianity and so many other faith systems, especially Islam which claims that God and Al'lah are one and the same, which doesn't stand up to scrutiny for a whole host of reasons. But Let me suggest that Islam's claim falls at the first hurdle: The Gospel of Christ as portrayed in John 3:16, which reveals that "God so Loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son...... "  Now the muslim has a probelm with this, as the Koran states clearly that Al'lah has no son and is in fact not a father at all.

It is astonishing that there are Pastors, cult leaders and seminary professors who believe neither in Christ’s deity nor in His resurrection. They teach “another gospel” that cannot save—but millions seem willing to believe such false teachers instead of the infallible Word of God. The impending doom of both teachers and followers is on their own heads because they have rejected the truth pertaining to the gospel of Christ, according to the scriptures.

“when You make His soul an offering for sin...... He shall see the labor of His soul......He poured out His soul unto death” (Isa 53: 10-12)
…...Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God....(Heb 9: 14)
Just before Judas betrayed Him, Christ …”took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you”. (Lk 22:19-20)
Most Christians periodically take the bread and cup as Christ commanded. Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches teach that the bread and cup are Christ’s literal body and blood offered at their altars and that He is continually suffering for sin. The Bible teaches different; that Christ:

“ once,.... He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself …..was once offered to bear the sins of many...after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever , sat down on the right hand of God...by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified...there is no more offering for sin (Heb:9:26, 28; 10:12, 14, 18); Christ... once suffered for sins (1 Pt 3:18).
If Christ, as Peter says, “is gone into heaven,” where Steven saw Him when he was stoned to death (Acts:7:55,56), how can He continue to be offered (immolated) on Roman Catholic altars?

What of Catholics, who profess to love Christ, believe that He died for their sins, but have believed Catholic doctrine that the wafer becomes the body and blood of Christ and that He continues to be offered? Could they be saved in spite of such ignorance or misunderstanding? What are the limits of the error that can be held within the gospel, and does it matter? Would it matter if they believe that Christ died for our sins yet participate in the “sacrifice of the Mass,” imagining that Christ is still being offered for our sins and that they are ingesting Him into their stomachs when they take that wafer and cup?

Yes, Scripture says Christ “suffered once ” for our sins—but is it so serious an error to believe that He continues to be offered? YES, it is!
Christ’s offering of Himself to the Father for sin took place on the cross: “who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Pt 2:24). So, again, it was not in being scourged that Christ bore our sins. He endured something far worse than physical suffering. In the garden, in dread anticipation of that horror:
“......his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Lk 22:44).

When we take the bread and cup as Christ commanded, we do so not to receive forgiveness of sins (as Catholics and Orthodox imagine), or nourishment for the soul (as Luther and Calvin taught), but in grateful humble obedience, in remembrance of Christ and the sacrifice of Himself upon the cross, that we should not have to suffer.
It is so easy to imagine that in the physical participation of eating and drinking we have done our “duty” to the Lord once again in commemoration of His physical suffering, but fail to take adequate time to meditate upon what He spiritually “once suffered for sins, [He] the just for [us] the unjust, that he might reconcile us to God” (1 Pt 3:18).
And here again we see the vital importance of distinguishing between the physical suffering our Savior endured at the hands of men, and the punishment He endured from God:
“...the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all...it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; he has put him to grief...” (Isa:53:6, 10).
It would be absurd to imagine that sinful rebels against God were His servants in executing His justice upon Christ. How would they know just how hard to strike and how many blows to give Him? And how could physical suffering pay the spiritual price of eternal separation from God that sin merits? Christ said:
“I lay down my life...no man takes it from me” (John:10:17,18) Friend, He did this for you.

Death, as a result of sin is first of all spiritual separation from God—which ultimately causes the separation of the soul and spirit from the body in physical death. Adam was warned, “for the day you eat of it [of the forbidden fruit] you will surely die” (Gen:2:17). He did not die physically that very day but nearly 1,000 years later. Adam and Eve must therefore have died spiritually on that very day. They suddenly realized that they were aliens in the garden of Eden, separated from God by their sin, and they tried to hide from Him among the trees (Gen:3:8) - dead to God in their spirits.

All of the descendants of Adam and Eve inherit this spiritual death. We are born “dead in trespasses and sins”(Eph:2:1). Hence the need to be “Born Again”
It is significant that God did not say to Adam, “For the day that you eat of the forbidden fruit, I will kill you” No! He said “you will surely die” It's a matter of God instituting a spiritual law to deal with sin and rebellion. It's automatic and the warning notice of it's promulgation is written in the scriptures, for all to see and heed, or suffer the consequences.

Physical death began its process in Adam and Eve the very day they sinned, and because of this, we are born sinners. Thus our bodies begin to die from the moment of birth—a fact for which medical science has no explanation.

.The Roman Catholic Church teaches that in addition to Christ’s suffering the eternal penalty, we must suffer the “temporal” punishment for sins, either in this life or in purgatory—and few Catholics expect to escape the latter. Supposedly, the flames of purgatory are the means of purging our sins. Here again we have confusion over spiritual and physical suffering, a denial of Christ’s finishing the work of our redemption, and the attempt to earn in part one’s salvation, effectively throwing God's grace back in His face, which can only amount to scandellous blasphemy.

Scripture unequivocally declares: “[Christ] purged our sins [then] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb:1:3); “without shedding of blood there is no remission [of sins]” (Heb:9:22); “[Christ] washed us from our sins in his own blood (Rev:1:5) 

Recognition that what Christ suffered for our sins was far beyond any physical suffering, should increase our gratitude toward Him. The deeper our understanding, the greater will be our appreciation for what Christ suffered in our place.

May the Lord awaken in our hearts an overflowing river of praise and gratitude so that we continually express our love to the Father for giving His Son, and to Christ for enduring the punishment that we deserved on our own account.
Fundamentally, on so many levels, our Lord's message was Himself:-

He did not come merely to preach a Gospel; He Himself is that Gospel.

He did not come merely to give bread; He said, "I am the bread."
He did not come merely to shed light; He said, "I am the light."
He did not come merely to show the door; He said, "I am the door."
He did not come merely to name a shepherd; He said, "I am the shepherd."
He did not come merely to point the way; He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
J.Sidlow Baxter (1903-1999, Australian born pastor and theologian)

We trust this commentary on the deeper aspects of Christ's gospel, has provided a clearer appreciation of the Lord's sacrificial atonement for your sins, in order that you might be redeemed without having to suffer the penalty due, and thus provide opportunity to enter into God's rest forever.
Are you prepared to let this opportunity pass you by and suffer God's judgment as a result?

OUR AWSOME GRACIOUS GOD OF LOVE & MERCY AWAITS YOUR RESPONSE
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About Beyond-Armageddon

This is a End Time ministry focused on the individual..To take you by the hand and lovingly lead you down God's pathway to salvation.....so that along the way He can reveal to you His heart full of love, grace, and mercy, which He promises to pour out for you personally, while time still remains. Provided of course that in return, you put trust in  and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ