By Leonard Lauriault: Religion columnist
Jesus spent 40 after his resurrection continuing to teach his disciples (Acts 1: 1-14).
During that time, he appeared to several people, proving he was who he said he was because he’d foretold his death, burial, and resurrection to the detail of the timeframe (Matthew 16: 21; 27: 62-66; 28: 1-11).
Once, he appeared to over 500 men and many women and children were likely also in the company (1 Corinthians 15: 1-8; Matthew 14: 21; 15: 38). This is one of the largest groups of known size to have eye-witnessed any account in history.
Consequently, there’s more documented proof of the resurrection than virtually any other historical event occurring before cameras.
Paul calls these men “brethren (Christians),” but Jesus appeared to them even before the church began on the Pentecost after his resurrection. They might’ve been among Jesus’ followers before his crucifixion, but the resurrection was certainly convincing proof to anyone that he was the Messiah and to be obeyed such that they became Christians when the terms of the new covenant were presented on that first Pentecost (John 14: 15; Hebrews 5: 7-9; Acts 6: 7; 1 Peter 1: 22).
Obedience unto salvation is a package deal under the new covenant. Romans 10: 8-17 specifically mentions four things we must do. Salvation begins with hearing (Luke 8: 15) and believing the truth about Jesus (John 6: 28, 29) such that we call on his name and confess him as Lord (Matthew 10: 32, 33).
In Roman 10: 8-17, repentance (Acts 17: 30, 31) is implied because belief (Acts 19: 1-5) calls one to do something they otherwise would not have done — leave their past life, confess Jesus as Lord and call on his name.
For those becoming Christians, repentance of their past is necessary to gain salvation (Luke 13: 3). The acknowledgment of sin leads to godly sorrow and repentance, leaving no regret (2 Corinthians 7: 10) because forgiveness is acquired. God has provided the atonement, but we must do some things to bring about our forgiveness. That’s why Paul pleads with us to be reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5: 17-21).
Calling on the name of the Lord isn’t well-defined in Romans 10; however, Acts 22:16 explains it simply. First Peter 3: 21 also gives some details about appealing (the correct translation) to God for a clean conscience (Hebrews 10: 22; Colossians 2: 11, 12).
Those convicted by Peter’s preaching on the first Pentecost celebration after Jesus’ resurrection were told to be baptized when they asked what they must do (Acts 2: 1-9, 36-39).
Having done these things, the blood of Jesus continues to forgive us as we continue to seek forgiveness (1 John 1: 5-9). God has done his part; we must do our part for Jesus to be the author of our salvation personally.
Have you done what’s necessary to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3: 13-17; Romans 3: 22, 23; Galatians 3: 26, 27)?