1 Corinthians 15 defines the "gospel" as the good news about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His sinless existence, His sacrifice and resurrection all stand as proof of His true position as the Son of God.
But, how do we appropriately respond to this great news? In Romans 1, Paul writes that he and the other apostles were given authority "to bring about obedience of the faith" (Romans 1:5). Later in Romans he expresses relief as the Christians he was writing to had "become obedient to the standard of teaching" to which they'd been committed (Romans 6:17). In this we see that salvation, while certainly an act of grace on God's part, is not wholly obtained in a passive manner.
1. HEAR the GOOD NEWS
Romans 10:13 shows us that we must hear the gospel so that we know how to obey. We must first receive the good news through the teaching of God's word.
A personal belief in the gospel is essential to God's plan: "So faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of God" (Romans 10:17). We must believe Jesus is the Son of the one true God and He was sent from Heaven as a once for all sacrifice for the sins of the world (Hebrews 11:6; John 20:31).
The Bible teaches that the Christian must confess his sins. Romans 10:9 states that "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Many teach a confession of sins prior to the point of salvation. However, the Bible teaches that we are to confess Jesus as the Lord of our lives.
The Christian walk requires a complete 180-turn, away from a life of sin to a life of righteousness. The Bible calls this act repentance. (Acts 17:30)
5. BE BAPTIZED
The Bible is very clear regarding the necessity and role of water baptism in the plan of salvation. We are told : "repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness (remission) of your sins" (Acts 2:38).
6. RISE TO WALK A NEW LIFE
We accept Jesus Christ as Lord and respect His authority. Jesus said, "And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46). Adding to or taking away from the simple instruction of Jesus is to fail to honor Him as Lord. We have no conferences, headquarters or creeds because they are not authorized for the New Testament church. Christ is the Head of the church (Colossians 1:18). We believe that qualified Elders and Deacons are necessary for the well-being of the local church. Paul appointed elders in each local church on his first missionary journey. At this point in time, we do not have Elders and Deacons. Our hope is that as we continue to grow spiritually and as God provides the increase numerically, qualified men will step up and have the desire to fulfill the role of Elder in the church. We have several Christian men who lead in the administration of the worship service in the Lord's church.
If you died tonight, are you sure heaven will be your home?
Desert Church of Christ
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