In March of 2015, it came to me that the New Testament message is comprised of 10 Essential Elements. Each is absolutely necessary. Take any one away, and the message collapses in upon itself into utter meaninglessness. There are only 10 Essential Elements. They are as 2 bookends, with 4 couplets in between them. It starts and ends with Righteousness and the Kingdom as each bookend, with the couplets alternating between man and God. It looks like this:
The real issue or matter with God is 1.) Righteousness. No righteousness, no entrance into God’s Kingdom. Period.
The first couplet has to do with man. His real problem with God is his 2.) Sin. For that, man faces the certainty of severe 3.) Judgment in eternal fiery torment in hell!
The second couplet has to do with God. It is His response to mans’ impossible condition and its consequence. Out of His magnificent grace, love and mercy on us poor, helpless, hopeless and pitiable creatures, He sent the 4.) Savior, Who would bring about for us 5.) the Gospel, which in 10 words is; Christ died for our sins, and rose from the dead! God did all that was needed to be done that any person might be cleansed and forgiven of his sins, delivered from the judgment of hell, and accepted of God.
The third couplet comes back to man now. Since God already did all that was necessary, He only requires of man 2 specific responses. The first is that each person turn to God in 6.) Repentance with empty hands. And, the second response is that he 7.) Believe the Gospel and on the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior.
For all that, a person is still not saved, but will be. The fourth couplet comes right back to God. With the twin human responses of repentance and belief, God then responds to the truly penitent believer with 8.) the New Birth, by means of the Holy Spirit, which comes down from above; and He also provides, in that same instant, the impetus within a person to commence to live a 9.) New Life in Christ here on earth for all the rest of his days.
Finally, as the last point and other bookend, the saved individual, upon their death is immediately received of God and Christ into their 10.) Kingdom forever and ever! This has clearly been the message of Matthew, Mark and Luke since I commenced this study on 5/26. Now, what does John say? It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell