The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that mankind needs. It is a message that must be received and obeyed. Paul warned that the Loving Savior will return “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). The Lord will take vengeance on those who obey not the gospel, and He will reward those who do obey the gospel.
Paul stressed the fundamentals of the gospel, reminding the Corinthians what he had preached: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, 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” (1 Corinthians 15:3- 4). The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ were at the heart of his message. The rest of 1 Corinthians 15 is a discussion of the importance of the resurrection. He began the chapter by reminding the Corinthians that it was the gospel he had preached to them. “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” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2). Paul stressed that the gospel is a message to receive, and to stand in, and it is a message that brings salvation when kept in memory.
Paul asserts that we choose the master we serve. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16). The master we choose is the one we obey. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Paul commended the Romans for the choice they had made in obeying Christ and His gospel. “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18). They had obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine he had delivered to them. Doctrine refers to something taught, and Paul taught the same gospel wherever he went. Centered in the facts of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, his message was one of the necessity of obeying the will of God and becoming a servant of righteousness.
Earlier he stressed that they were buried with Christ in baptism to obey the gospel. “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” (Romans 6:3-4). Baptism parallels the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Man is dead in sin, and then buried with Christ in baptism. He rises from the waters of baptism in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection to walk in newness of life. He then has the forgiveness of sin, and the joy that comes from obeying the gospel.