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During Jesus’ three and a half-year ministry, He gave powerful witness that He was the Son of God. During one of His resurrection appearances, He commissioned His disciples to preach the Gospel to all nations. Jesus assured them they would minister in like manner with the same Spirit and power. The disciples and other followers were baptized in the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues a few days after His ascension. This birthed the New Testament Church and gave continued witness of Jesus’ death, resurrection and lordship. We have the same commission to declare the name of Jesus Christ to our generation by His Spirit.

Daryl Cox/May 10, 2013

encounter

The Gospel author Mark reveals that while Jesus’ followers felt fear and hopelessness after His crucifixion, their encounter with the resurrected Christ forever changed them. Commissioned and then empowered with the Holy Ghost, they went out and boldly preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:20). The Lord confirmed their message that Jesus was alive, working powerful manifestations through them.

What does the Gospel of Jesus Christ mean? It is the power of God to obtain salvation (Rom1:16). Jesus’ death and resurrection bridged the gulf between God and humanity giving access to the Almighty by faith and obedience to His word. Regardless of spiritual and moral condition, Jesus assured that no one would be cast out (John 6:37). The Gospel message concerns His death, burial and resurrection according to Old Testament prophecy (1 Cor 15:3-4; cf., 1 Pet 1:19-20). Jesus shed His blood to remit or remove our sins (Heb 9:23). His death and resurrection provides the ability to stand before a just and Holy God without sin (Acts 13:39; Rev 7:13-15). The good news announces forgiveness and cleansing from sin because of the risen Savior, with the New Testament experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit for those who believe and obey its message.

Jesus’ rising from death allows us to embrace the new faith. This new faith is Jesus as Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). His resurrection shows Him as both the one God and one mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim 2:5). The Gospel stands above all religions of the world for no one rose from death and continues to exist today except Jesus who lives and stands victorious over darkness’ power. Furthermore, the outpouring of the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues remains the greatest phenomenon in world history. A consistent event since the days of the apostles, it confirms the reality of Christ’s resurrection. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is a literal encounter with Jesus Christ, giving us boldness and life in our world. God continually makes it available to everyone.

Prior to His ascension to the right hand of God, Jesus commissioned His followers to teach all nations. We are to learn of Him (Matt 11:28-29), thereby bringing change to our lives. Next, they were to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. This Jesus’ disciples did. Beginning on the Day of Pentecost they baptized all nations who received their message in Jesus’ name (Acts 2:38). Jesus is the name of God.─ Father, Son and Holy Ghost are titles that reveal God in creation and redemption, but the name of Jesus embodies their fulness. As Son of God, He is God in flesh. We must base our confession of faith and baptismal formula on His name. Finally, Jesus commands that all nations repent and turn from sin to God. Upon this act of faith, a person will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

As Jesus said, “Peace be unto you: As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21a KJV). God desires to do miraculous things in people’s lives before an unbelieving world. We have the unchanging responsibility to speak for Him, sharing our love and testimony of what Jesus has done for us with others.