Dear Child of God,
After the apostle Paul spent years opposing My followers and My message, I revealed Myself to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19)
, and he was changed forever. He took the good news message of My death, burial, and resurrection all over the Roman empire. Thousands upon thousands of people were transformed as a result of Paul's conversion and influence, and his influence continues through his writings in the Bible.
Paul could plumb the depths of theology. He could connect My coming to the promises of God in the Old Testament. This great teacher could also make things very simple and clear. Paul summarized "what was most important"
about the gospel into three clear truths (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NLT)
- Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.
- He was buried...
- [H]e was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
Paul also tied this saving faith to baptism, which he connected to these three truths (Romans 6:3-4 NLT)
- [W]hen we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death.
- [W]e died and were buried with Christ by baptism.
- [J]ust as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
At the heart of your new life in Me is what I did on the cross, in the tomb, and in My resurrection from the dead. My victory opened the way for you to share in My saving grace and also eventually in My glory:
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, Who raised Christ from the dead. ...
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
(Colossians 2:12 NLT; Colossians 3:1-3 NLT)
What happened with My death, burial, and resurrection is the essential core of salvation.
Do you believe these truths?
Have you shared in these saving events with Me through your baptism?
I want your life to be fresh and new. I want your faith to be full of hope!
Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone — and see — a new life has begun.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
Notice all the ways Paul emphasizes that this saving faith is essential, what is most important, and what are the essential truths necessary for you to believe if you are going to be saved!
Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I preached to you when we first met. It's the essential message that you have taken to heart, the central story you now base your life on; and through this gospel, you are liberated — unless, of course, your faith has come to nothing. For I passed down to you the crux of it all which I had also received from others, that the Anointed One, the Liberating King, died for our sins and was buried and raised from the dead on the third day. All this happened to fulfill the Scriptures; it was the perfect climax to God's covenant story. Afterward He appeared alive to Cephas (you may know him as Simon Peter), then to the rest of the twelve. If that were not amazing enough, on one occasion, He appeared to more than 500 believers at one time. Many of those brothers and sisters are still around to tell the story, though some have fallen asleep in Jesus. Soon He appeared to James, His brother and the leader of the Jerusalem church, and then to all the rest of the emissaries He Himself commissioned. Last of all, He appeared to me...
(1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
Father, thank You for the future glory promised me as one who has trusted Jesus and shared with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection. In His name, I pray. Amen.