(This is the second part of a column that began in the March 24 edition of the Bryan County News.)
Do you love Jesus? Most everyone will answer, “Yes, I love Jesus.”
How do you show this love? Jesus tells us how we can show that we love him. Look at John 14:15. He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” If our love to God is shown by keeping his commandments, then it is a must that we understand what the commandments are. Remember: We can go to heaven, and Jesus is the way.
The way that Jesus has set forth for us to follow in order to go to heaven is by obeying the gospel. Seeing how important the gospel is may help us to see just why Jesus desired that the gospel be carried to all the world (Matthew 28:18; Mark 16:15,16).
If we can get to heaven by obeying the gospel, then we must learn how to obey the gospel. There are three things that are needed in order to obey the gospel. We must have knowledge, understanding and an obedient heart.
First of all, let’s look at knowledge. Knowledge is defined as awareness of facts, truths or principles. In order to gain knowledge about the gospel of Christ, we must be taught about him, and what He has done for us. Isaiah 53 shows us what Christ has done for us. From that we can know he gave himself to die for us.
Having knowledge about the gospel is good, but something more is needed — understanding. You might think of it this way, when one of your teachers at school introduces you to a new subject, you have the facts about the subject, but not the understanding. To gain understanding, more study is needed.
It is the same with obeying the gospel. We must continue studying the Bible to find out how to obey the gospel. In the book of Acts, we have several accounts of how people did just that. Acts 2 tells us of how Peter preached to the multitudes in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost and told them of the “good news” of Jesus.
By his teaching they received knowledge about Jesus and their need for him.
Verse 37 tells us that they wanted to know what to do. “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’” (verse 38). So we see they had knowledge and understanding, but one more thing was needed: an obedient heart. Luke tells us that about 3,000 had such a heart. They were willing to obey the gospel in order to be saved.
What happens when we are baptized? Physically, we are immersed in water. Paul described this process in Roman 6: 3-5: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”
Spiritually our sins are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). We receive the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). Our sins are washed away (Acts 22:16). And we are added to the church (Acts 2:47).
Yes, Jesus loves us, but the real question is do we love him enough to obey him?