Monday, June 14, 2010
Another gospel? There are two...or three...or more?
The phrase "another gospel" is used to create a perception that is immediately addressed in the first few words of the following verse, "Which is not another;" The perception is created in order to dismantle it. There is only one gospel! It is the gospel of grace (vs:6), the gospel of Christ (vs:7), an exclusive gospel (vs:8,9), and it is not a gospel of man's making (vs:11).
The gospel of Christ is clearly identified in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. It is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the message is altered in the slightest degree it is perverted and ceases to be the gospel of Christ. If baptism is added it is perverted. If speaking in "tongues" is added it is perverted. If any human effort is added, no matter how slight, it is perverted and is a "gospel" of men and not of Christ and grace.
It is by the gospel that men are delivered from the power and penalty of sin. Romans 1:16 clearly states that it is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation. Don't be duped by "another" gospel that is in reality a perverted gospel.
When a sinner believes the gospel of Jesus Christ he is immediately brought into a covenant relationship (John 1:12) wherein God accepts Christ's payment for the sinner's transgressions (1 Peter 3:18) and imputes the righteousness of Christ to the sinner (Romans 4:5). By this transaction the sinner is made accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6) and the sinner is, by the judge of the universe declared righteous before the law, he is justified (Romans 5:1). All of this is done for the sinner when he believes that it might be by grace (Romans 4:16).
The message of the gospel is primary truth. To be wrong on the gospel is to be wrong about how to get to heaven. It is not as we hear so much talk about today, unessential truth. It is the most essential truth! A man can be wrong about many, many things and go to heaven. But he cannot be wrong about the gospel and expect to go to heaven.
In fact before we get to the end of the first chapter of Galatians the Holy Spirit has doubly emphasised just how important the gospel is by pronouncing a curse on all those who would pervert it.
Galatians 1:8,9 - But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Have you believed the gospel? Not a perverted gospel but the gospel of grace and of Christ!