Death not only ends this short earthly life, it separates sinful rebels from God forever. In His infinite foreknowledge, wisdom, and love, however, God had already planned how He would restore life and reunite mankind with Himself. Without ceasing to be God, He would become a man through a virgin birth. Only God could be the Savior (Isaiah:43:11; 45:21); thus the Messiah had to be God (Isaiah:9:6; 45:15; Titus:1:3,4). He would die for our sins to pay the penalty demanded by His own perfect justice: “’Tis mystery all, the Immortal dies!” hymn writer Charles Wesley declared. Then He would rise from the dead to live in those who would believe in and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. Forgiveness of sins and eternal life would be theirs as a free gift of His grace—the only way man could receive it.
Centuries before His incarnation as the perfect man, Christ Jesus, God inspired the Old Testament prophets to declare His eternal and unchangeable plan of salvation. Definitive criteria were provided by which the coming Savior would be identified. Jesus and His apostles did not invent a “new religion.” Christianity fulfills scores of specific prophecies and is therefore provable from Old Testament Hebrew Scripture!
So it was not a new gospel that Paul the apostle preached. It was “the gospel of God (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures) concerning his Son Jesus Christ” (Romans:1:1-3). Thus, the Bereans could check Paul’s message against the Old Testament (Acts:17:11); and he could use the Hebrew prophets, which were read in the synagogue each Sabbath, to prove that Jesus was the promised Messiah (verses 2-3). Not Buddha, not Muhammad, not anyone else—only Jesus Christ has the required credentials. The fulfillment of scores of specific prophecies in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth provides absolute proof that He is the true and only Savior.