To Tell the Truth
There used to be a television game show called ‘To Tell the Truth’. I remember watching it when I was younger. The point of the program was to trick the contestants into believing a lie. They did this by having three participants try to persuade the contestants of their occupation. However, only one of the participants actually held that occupation. The other two participants were lying through their teeth to make themselves seem more credible than the one who actually held the job. The contestants were each allowed to ask the participants questions to get to the truth. But of course, the fun of the show was to see the contestants put their votes on the one whom they thought was telling the truth only to see them select a liar.
In today’s post we are having our own game show of ‘To Tell the Truth’.
Today we are going to present three different gospels and all three will look like the one true gospel. However, there is only one true gospel. All three can not be right for they will contradict each other. Here is the testimony of the first gospel.
This gospel teaches that we are saved by the grace of God for the glory of God by the nailing of our sins on the cross. It is their conviction that we are not tied to the Law of Moses anymore by any obligation to secure our salvation. They site those many scriptures concerning salvation by grace only. Calvinism teaches that salvation is not something that God does in us, but something God does for us.
The next gospel teaches that we are saved by the grace of God by the nailing of our sins to the cross, but in order to be saved we need to live a righteous holy life, that our salvation is dependent upon our behavior. That the sacrificial law is dead but not the moral law of Moses and believers are still accountable to live according to that Law or they are not saved. They use those many scriptures concerning remaining steadfast, not falling away, not living in sin as justification for their position. Arminian teach a salvation that God does for us but we need to walk in holiness to keep this hope.
The last gospel teaches that we are saved by the grace of God but this grace is not consummated simply by having our sins nailed to the cross. This gospel teaches that in order to experience the true grace of God found in the gospels the believer will not only have their sins nailed to the cross, but their old sin nature too will be crucified with Christ. This gospel teaches, by the grace of God alone, our old sin nature which died with Christ on the cross is now buried with Christ. This gospel teaches, by the grace of God alone, believers are raised as a new creature in creation with the nature of the new Adam, no longer slaves to sin. This gospel teaches, by the grace of God alone, we are saved by the renewing of the Holy Spirit by which we are transformed into His image to walk in the Spirit by which we fulfill all righteousness. If we do not walk in this Spirit of Christ and experience more grace than just having our sins nailed to the cross we are not His. The Gospel According to the Gospel teaches that salvation is something God does in us as His act of doing it for us.
Calvinism and the Arminian way of thinking both exclude huge biblical truths when they discount each other as a heresy. Calvinism has no place for those scriptures that teach about the need to be holy because they do not understand The Gospel According to the Gospel. They assume the only way to be holy is to accept what the Arminian teach. That is, holiness is achieved only by obedience to the Law. Arminian who teach we have to obey the Law in order to be saved forget the most important teaching in scripture. Our salvation is by grace. They do understand however that a life without fruit is just as lost as the life that does not confess Christ, which goes against the Calvinist mindset that our behavior has nothing to do with our salvation.
The Gospel According to the Gospel teaches that salvation is the act of changing the sinner man, not just doing something on his behalf. By changing the sinner man, which is something we can not do on our own, testifies to a true complete act of God’s grace upon the sinner. It wasn’t for folly that Christ tells us to be perfect as His Heavenly Father is perfect. By the grace of God, Christ has done something in the sinner man to redeem him from the curse of sin and death. According to The Gospel According to the Gospel there is no conflict in scripture when it says by the grace of God through faith we are saved and needing to have fruit in our salvation or there is no salvation. Our being touched by the grace of God is the new man who walks according to the Spirit and not the flesh, having both his sin and his sin nature are nailed to the cross. This is why there is no contradiction in scripture.
Back to my ‘To Tell the Truth’ analogy, will the true gospel please stand up. Is it the gospel where God does something for us, but not in us? Or is it the gospel where God does something for us, but we in our own effort need to keep the Law to make it complete. Or is the last gospel? The one true gospel is the one where God does something in His people which we could not do on our own and this act of God’s grace is something He does in us, for us! By which we can live the fruitful life in Christ through the Holy Spirit and not according to the effort of the flesh, the sin nature or the Law of Moses.
Will the real gospel please stand in in your people.