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Monday, April 8, 2013

What Gospel Do You Want to Hear Today?

Galatians 1:6 (ESV)
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—

A few years ago I heard a seminary professor (not one of my professors. I heard this man in a different denominational meeting.) tell the story of "winning" a muslim young man to Christ. He told the young man that he needed to be a good Christian before he could be a good muslim. I admit I can't understand that "gospel." Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. How can they remain muslims if they change their identification from Mohammed to Jesus?

Many people do not think the gospel of Jesus Christ is preferable for them. They change it to fit the culture.  It is much easier to get along if you go along. However, this always perverts the gospel. It changes it from a gospel of grace which has been brought to us by God Himself to a gospel of imagination and adaptation brought to us by mankind. 

How does this happen? People want a gospel that is palpable to the culture. They like one that means there will be very little change to the beliefs and actions of the followers. They like being able to be like the world around themselves.. It feels much better to be in vogue so that you can look down on those who won't join you than to go against the culture and suffer its castigation. 

But the perversion of the gospel results in no gospel at all. It brings people who say that they believe but what they believe is contrary to the true gospel. The followers are left with a false sense of security. They believe they have salvation but will have the ultimate surprise when they stand before the Lord and He says, "I never knew you."

This is why we must be careful with something that is so valuable that it requires that we sell all that we have in order to have it. It is the Pearl of Great Price. It is the treasure found in a field which causes the discoverer to sell all that he has to own that field. To change the gospel, however so slightly, is to hold back some of what we have to purchase the field or the pearl. The full price is demanded. God will not take less.

So, I am very aware of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot add to it nor can I take anything away. I must understand it not as I desire but as it is fully presented in the Bible. I cannot make it adapt to the culture nor make it less offensive to those who want it to be a different gospel.

It is a gospel of grace. Why should that be so repulsive?


Deb Willbefree said...

It was by Grace that i was drawn, it was by Grace that I was saved, it is by Grace that I am kept. said...

At entry into salvation, we are forgiven and cleansed of our PAST sins, NOT future sins, as well.  

It is a gospel of grace, alright, but not some "final gospel of grace, by Paul", purportedly saying that we are forgiven and cleansed of all our sins, including the future ones, so that we, believers, need to do nothing, whatsoever, not even seeking anymore, His righteousness (fully righteous, already, purportedly), not even repenting, confessing and asking God for forgiveness, ever (as in 1 John1:9.  Purportedly, that would be profaning the name and blood of Jesus, and belittling His works on the Cross), not even to effort in doing any good (purportedly, that would make one fall from grace, being works), and not even to keep the commandments of God (purportedly, that would be works of law, and that too, would make one fall of grace).  This kind of gospel is in the vogue.  So tempting - for its motto is just bask in grace; the means and end, is to just bask in grace; if you sin, just tell the Devil off (instead of getting right with God again); and simply believe that where Scripture talked about righteousness, repentance, and forgiveness, they were targeting at non-believers, purportedly, you, as a believer, is already perfect and righteous, always, and having the full mind of Christ (purportedly, you are not to let any persuasion like "you should or ought" get to you); and you go to church to listen to, not anything, but just the grace of God, and more grace of God and the grace of God, and nothing but the grace of God.

They maybe rich, and they may be mega, in congregation, don't go there!  Here is why - their core theology is wrong; Scripture does not say, at entry into salvation, we are forgiven and cleansed of all our sins, with the definition of all being including future sins.

Romans 3:21-25 - 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former {PAST} sins.
2 Pet 1:9 -  For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former {PAST} sins.

{} bracket emphasis, mine.

We are cleansed each time of PAST sins, never future, uncommitted sins, for the latter, that the future sins are forgiven beforehand, implies you will never change, from the point of salvation forward.  Life is not a completed movie being screened, where you and I are purportedly actors in it, and so, there is just nothing we can do, because it all done, and as a movie, it is being played out.  Wrong; life is NOT whatever will be, will be, or a completed movie being screened.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions