In the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), which we call the Gospels, we learn of the life of Christ, the example given us to follow (1 Peter 2:21-23), His teaching, His death for our sins, and His resurrection from the dead. John said, “these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name” (John 21:31). Our faith in Christ is inclusive of all that is revealed in these four books. Upon the ascension of Christ into heaven, He gave to His apostles the Great Commission, saying, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16). This commission the apostles were to fulfill. The Book of Acts records the events of the apostles as they went forth fulfilling this mission, preaching the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and then unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). In this book, we not only have revealed the history of the apostles and the early church, but we have numerous examples of conversion. A study of these examples will reveal that in each case each individual hat to believe in Christ, repent of his sins, and be baptized for the remission of sins. In our previous lessons we have seen that this is what God required of men in that day, and it is what God requires of men today in order to be saved.
The book of Acts is followed by twenty-one (21) epistles (letters), fourteen (14) of which were written by the apostle Paul. As the Gospels serve to teach us of the life of Christ and the book of Acts to teach us how to become Christians, so the epistles teach us how to live as Christians. It not only is important that we know how to be saved, but that we know how to remain saved. The purpose of this lesson is to call attention to what the Bible has to say about the Christian life.