The Competing Word of God
In my last post ‘Two Face the Gospel’ we looked at the two different gospels coming from scripture. One gospel says our salvation is by grace only and has nothing to do with our behavior, before or after conversion. The other side of this two faced gospel is the opposite extreme. It says that our behavior after being saved does matter. This side of the Two Face Gospel says if we do not obey God we will not be saved. These two opposing doctrines, each presented as the truth of the gospel, are completely supported by scripture. Paul is used as the champion of the grace only crowd and James as the champion of the works crowd. Those who have Paul as their champion say that the gospel has evolved during the first century church. Concluding that James’ gospel is a lesser gospel based on works than Paul’s that came latter through special revelation of Jesus Christ. In ‘Two Face the Gospel’ I debunk this unbiblical idea of Paul’s special revelation. I show through the testimony of scripture that Paul’s revelation was a new revelation of the gospel found in the Law of Moses and the Prophets. Not some new extra-biblical revelation that many use to support the evolution of the gospel. So where does this leave this ‘Competing Word of God’? Is it as some say, James gospel is lesser revelation so we can ignore the works gospel? Even if the evolution of the gospel were true, which it is not, we would still have a problem. Not all of the works gospel is found in the book of James. Sad to say for the grace only crowd, Paul speaks a lot about works and how it is those who do, as apposed to those who do not do what the word of God says, will be saved. Many who have fallen into the grace only crowd have no idea that Paul spoke in this way when he wrote his gospel so full of the grace of God. They are content to let others tell them that works in a believers life is only found in the so called “lesser gospel” of James. Who said in scripture that God will not be mocked. Each one of us will be reap what we sow. If we live righteously we will reap eternal life. If we live unrighteously we will reap death? The Law of Moses or Paul? This is Paul’s words. Gal 6:7-8 KJV Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Who said in scripture that only those who do righteousness are righteous as He is righteous? This goes against the teaching of the church which teaches that we have the righteousness of Christ apart from our behavior, so does this come from the James or Paul? Neither, it comes from John. 1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. John even gives a warning to the church. Do not be deceived. What deception? That we can are righteous apart from doing righteousness. Who said that by our obedience, Christ has become the author of eternal salvation to us who obey? Wow! Was this James or Paul. Again this type of speech is not isolated in the book of James. This is found in Hebrews. Heb 5:9 KJV And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; These are only some of those so called verses concerning the importance of works found not in the book of James, but rather in other parts of the gospel. This doesn’t include those many verses that warn believers not to fall away. So what can we conclude, there are two competing gospels found in the scriptures and we get to chose the one we like? There does appear on the surfice to be two contridictory gospels. Until I do my next post, what do you think is the answer to the competing gospel syndrome? What gospel do you follow? Which gospel do you put more emphasis on?