Paul wrote about being saved by the gospel. In Romans 1:16, he said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
Seeing how important the gospel is may help us to see just why Jesus desired that the gospel be carried to all the world.
In what has been called the Great Commission, Jesus said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen," (Matt. 28:18-20).
If man can go to heaven by obeying the gospel, then one must learn how to obey the gospel. There are three things that are needed in order to obey the gospel: knowledge, understanding and an obedient heart.
First, look at knowledge. Knowledge is defined as awareness of facts, truths or principles. In order to gain knowledge about the gospel of Christ, one must be taught about him and what he has done for man. Isaiah 53 shows what Christ has done, he gave himself to die for all.
Having knowledge about the gospel is good, but something more is needed – understanding. To gain understanding study is needed. It is the same with obeying the gospel. One must continue studying the Bible to find out how to obey the gospel.
In the book of Acts there are several accounts of how people did just that. Acts 2 tells of how Peter preached to the multitudes in Jerusalem on Pentecost and told them of the "good news" of Jesus. By his teaching they received knowledge about Jesus and their need for him.
Verse 37 tells that they wanted to know what to do. Peter told them, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (v38).
They had knowledge and understanding, but one more thing was needed – an obedient heart. Luke tells that about 3,000 had such a heart. They were willing to obey the gospel in order to be saved.
What happens when one is baptized? Physically, they are immersed in water.
Paul described this process in Roman 6: 3-5: "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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."
Spiritually, sins are forgiven (Eph.1:7). The sins of the individual are remitted (Acts 2:38). Sins are washed away (Acts 22:16). And one is added to the Church (Acts 2:47).
Paul tells that is how the people at Corinth had become children of God. "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" (1Cor. 15:1, 2).
God loves everyone, but all must obey.