Apostasy in the Church Part 8
The True Gospel
By Jim Allen
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Continued from Page One
The true Gospel is a message of redemption found in the writings of the Bible, the inspired and infallible word of God written by human authors under inspiration from the Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; and 2 Peter 1:21). From Genesis to Revelation, the true Gospel is a message about the unfathomable grace and mercy of God poured out upon depraved humanity. The "true Gospel" message begins in Genesis 3 with the promise that the Savior would come at the appointed time to redeem humanity. The "true Gospel" message ends in Revelation when believers, redeemed from all nations and tribes, see their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 21:27).
The true Gospel reveals God to be Creator of all, one in being and yet revealed as three distinct persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; Colossians 1:16; and 2 Corinthians 13:14). While God is eternal, infinite, and sovereign, he is also omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. God is everlasting and unchanging. God is holy, just, and righteous and extends grace, mercy and goodness to all humanity. God lives in unapproachable light with unimaginable power. He is able to cast forth the universe with a single word and yet able to heal a broken heart with a single touch. While God is immeasurably good and graciously forgiving, he is also just and will pour out his wrath on the unrepentant (Romans 1: 18-23).
The true Gospel reveals Jesus as God personified in human form, the visual and spiritual image of the Father, who without ceasing to be God, came to save us (Matthew 1:21; John 1:18; Colossians 1:15). Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary, having the power to live a perfect and sinless life. Jesus' teachings are true (Isaiah 14; Matthew 1:23) and his ministry both anointed and divine. Jesus came to die a death like no other, to shed His blood on the cross for us as a substitutionary sacrifice (1 John 2:2; Isaiah 53:5-6). The true Gospel reveals that His death provides salvation for all who receive Him by faith as Savior (John 1:12; Acts 16:31); that our justification is grounded in the shedding of His blood (Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:17); that God resurrected Jesus "physically" from the dead (Matthew 28:6; 1 Peter 1:3); and, that he ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest and our Advocate (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).
The true Gospel reveals that God created man in the likeness of Himself (Genesis 1:26-27) and that our relationship with God was broken by sin. By Adam's unfaithfulness, spiritual death came upon all humankind with the exception of Jesus, who was born of a Virgin. The true Gospel reveals that sin is exceedingly offensive to God (Romans 6:23) and that humanity is utterly unable to undo their depraved, fallen state, making them helpless to save themselves (Ephesians 2:1-5, 12). As such, God gave His law to show you and me how sinful we are apart from Him (Romans 5:20)
The true Gospel reveals salvation is a gift from God given to those who, by faith, believe the true Gospel (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christ died in our place (Romans 5:8-9) and bore our sins in His own body (1 Peter 2:24). Christ's death fully accomplished justification through faith and redemption from sin. Moreover, the Gospel reveals the importance of persisting in truth until born again, being set free from the power of sin (John 8:31). A true believer reveals Christ "inwardly" by the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) and "outwardly" as gifts of the Spirit (Romans 12). Good works and obedience are results of salvation and never preconditions for salvation. In view of the greatness, adequacy, and perfection of Christ's sacrifice, all those who have truly received Christ as Savior are born again and eternally secure in salvation, kept by God's power, secured and sealed in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24). Just as salvation cannot be earned by good works, neither can good works maintain or sustain salvation. Changed lives, obedience to the Spirit, and good works are the natural outcomes from genuine salvations.
The reality and power of the true Gospel is evident in those who undergo transformation from sinner to saint, becoming living epistles to be read of all men (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). Ironically though, the only epistle most people will ever read in this world gone mad is the one that walks before them who is Christ, abiding in you and me (2 Corinthians 13:5). Indeed, this is the good news of the true Gospel!
Image Credit: Kersley Fitzgerald
Apostasy in the Church: The Series
Part 1: When Wolves Lead the Flock
Part 2: Under Cover Lies
Part 3: Their Greed, Your Seed
Part 4: A Time to Refrain from Embracing
Part 5: Angels of Light
Part 6: Miracles, Signs and Wonders
Part 7: The Partial Gospel
Part 8: The True Gospel
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