Two Face the Gospel

 In Christianity there are diffently two faces of the gospel presented to the lost.  And both of these personifications are at opposite extremes of the gospel, as if the gospel has more than one truth found in it.  On one had we have those who present grace and only grace as the guarantee of eternal life.  They profess that our behavior after being born again has nothing to do with our salvation.  Consequently, the logic is one can live as they want and still go to heaven.  Of course the champion of this is personified by Christ.  On the other hand we have those who present works as a prerequisite on top of grace in order to be saved.  The Law, give by Moses, is the one everyone thinks of when it comes to having to do works in order to be saved.  Both of these views can find no agreement with each other, as if there is two completely different gospels found in scripture.  The result is two versions of Christianity embodied in one gospel.  Let’s call this embodiment what it is, let’s call it “Two Face”. Continue reading

Who taught Paul his gospel?

st-paulI have come across people who think that Paul had a special revelation from God concerning the gospel we had passed on to us in the letters he wrote to the churches.  Does this mean that Paul had Jesus teach him the gospel?  I have heard some people talk about how wonderful for Paul to have Jesus come to him in a vision and teach him things never taught before.  But is this what Paul is trying to describe in his letter to the Galatian church?

Gal 1:11-12  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Does this mean that Jesus came to Paul on several occasions to give him special tutoring, or even to learn things never spoken before to men? Continue reading

Did the Law nullify the promise?

Hopefully I can better explain my position on the dispensation of the two covenants by addressing the comments that you have laid out. 

To begin with, I think Christianity as a whole, not every believer, looks at the Law with the wrong pair of glasses on.  When most consider the Law they think of the ordinances given at Mt. Sinai.  When I think of the Law, I see two divisions of the Law.  Not two divisions of what was given at Mt. Sinai.  But two divisions of what is written in the books of Moses.  I think this is where a lot of confusion comes from for those who wrestle to understand my position. 

I assume, when believers consider the Law as only those things spoken of at Mt. Sinai, they make incomplete connections of the doctrinal significance that our New Testament emphasizes concerning the covenant God gave Abraham. Continue reading

Changing the debate

Henry,

I do not know how much you read my blog, but I have been very desirous to converse specifically with you about things I see in scripture.  I wish to address your comments in a more formal manner than just another comment upon comment that sometimes gets overlooked.  Especially concerning such important fundamental truths about the hope held out to us in the gospel.  I hope my addresses to your comments will stir a lot of contemplation and a study of scripture by those who observe this conversation between brothers.

I wish to say, I like your summary of where the crux of the matter is for those who put their hope in Jesus Christ.  For this truly is the heart of the matter. 

“So of course where we are at is that those who desire to be sheep need to take heed that they are not complacent lest they become a instead goat – or they are living as a goat whilst assuming that they are a sheep. I think this is the crux of the matter.”

Ironically this is just one way scripture points to the truth of what you are saying.  In other cases it speaks of fruit and trees, again in other places it comes out and plainly speaks of believing in vain or falling from grace, etc.  Sadly though one half of Christianity believes these truths are not for them, the other half is completely unaware of these truths.  Leaving only a small minority who understand the truth you elaborated on and who strive to live by it. Continue reading

Gospel or not, that is the question

This post is written in response to those who say I do not preach the gospel.  But as you read, ask yourself, Is this the gospel?  Let me know what you think.

I can not imagine there is anybody who says they follow Christ who knowingly or deliberately follows a heresy.  Men become convinced of their beliefs with strong convictions based on what they have come to know.  Yet we know there are many false teachings in Christendom.  Even though there is a multitude of people chasing after these false teachings, they are convinced they are following a true teaching of scripture.  But alas convictions do not make truth.  Truth is truth because it is true, even when men by the multitudes reject it for that which is false, it is still true.

Paul say to those he preached the gospel to they are saved if they keep in memory his gospel.  If they do not keep to his gospel, if they some how stray from his teachings, they will have believed in vain.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.[1]

I in my heart of hearts believe I am in keeping with the gospel Paul preached on my web site The Gospel According to the Gospel.  Even though this is my conviction, it doesn’t make it true.  As I stated earlier, convictions do not make truth. 

I have watched as others have wrestled with my beliefs as I have communicated on my blog.  To be honest, I am not sure if it how I share these beliefs, the beliefs themselves or a combination of both.  I have been taken back by others insistence that I have somehow strayed from the gospel of Paul.  Such conclusions seem ironic to me, since it is the teachings of Paul that has persuaded me of my beliefs.

Most reactions to the gospel I advocate are strong indeed.  Strong not in a confirming manner but a condemning manner.  It is my desire to lay out for my detractors, who are concerned that I have separated myself from the gospel Paul preached, what it was that Paul preached.  I hope those who are close to me and those who are afar, who have been offended by my zeal by my insistence I have the true gospel of Paul, will take the time to read this lengthy abbreviated gospel of Paul to clear me of any accusations of being in a state of spiritual duress.  That I might once again gain the respect of those I love and not be seen as a tragedy and a thing to be pitied.  But rather rejoice with me in zeal and fervor for the one true gospel of scripture.  Click the below link for the rest of this post. Continue reading

Of whose seed is Jesus?

Here at The Gospel According to the Gospel I admittedly advocate a gospel that is different than what we have preached to us in churches.  I believe scripture teaches that we gentiles are grafted into a covenant of righteousness that did not start with Christ, but Abraham.  I have written extensively of how we gentiles are now included in this blessing through Christ who has become our minister of circumcision.  This sounds so offensive to many, but I have put scripture and verse on these beliefs of mine.

I believe that I defend the gospel that Paul was preaching in the last book of Acts towards the end of His life, when He finally made it to Rome.  In Rome he preached our New Testament gospel from the Law of Moses and the prophets.  I have written how his gospel preached in Rome from the books of Moses is found in his writings.  Even the above paragraph is part of this gospel.

I have marveled on page how this gospel that Paul preached from the books of Moses has been overlooked and offends us who say we put our hope in the gospel.  I have written how Abraham is used as our example of faith, our example of righteousness that comes from faith.  He was the one given the covenant with God that we gentiles now share in.  How God did not come to make gentiles believers in and of themselves, but believers through the promise and blessing given to Abraham.  This is why we are called the children of Abraham who are not the children of Abraham.

I could go on about how he is our example of hope in the promises of God.  How he did not even receive one square foot of ground from God but he did not wavier in his faith, because he his confidence was not in the fulfilled promise but the one who made the promise, yet to be fulfilled.  I believe this directly relates to us in our hope of salvation.  This of course sends people over the edge. 

They can not imagine that in our gospel God speaks things that are not as if they were.  They reject the idea that we have faith in the promise of salvation, they instead say we have faith in what we have, even though scripture teaches the opposite.  Scripture is clear faith is hope put in what we do not have, what is unseen, unfulfilled but promised by God.

It is for this gospel that not only I but my wife has been greatly abused by other believers.  I am called dangerous.  Because of this belief in what I read in scripture my family has been cut off from other believers.  And they do this justifying their positions by letting me know they don’t want to talk about it.  At all!  So we can not come together as believers to discus God’s word, for apparently I have gotten my information from a source other than scripture.

I doubt any believer goes to God more than I do concerning what they believe.  I go back and back and back to God asking Him if I have His one true gospel of scripture.  If I don’t I plead with Him to give it to me.  I with an open heart ask Him to change my understanding of scripture if I believe in something wrong.  But if He has me on the right track, I want Him to confirm it to me again.

I can not read scriptures without being unsuspectedly jumped by the word of God.  What I have given a brief summary of keeps popping off the pages when I read.  I can not escape it.  It is always there before my eyes.

I am reading in the book of Hebrews and I am reading about Jesus and how He is lower than the angels and made perfect through suffering.  How all things are subject to Him now but not all things are seen under subjection to Him yet.  Reading on I come across a description of Jesus.  It says that Jesus is the seed of man?  How about the seed of Adam?  Maybe it would be a seed of Noah, since all mankind comes from him too?  No, it was not to any of these that the writer of Hebrews says Jesus is a seed of.  Scripture teaches Jesus did not take on the nature of angles but He took on himself the seed of Abraham.

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.[1]

Jesus took on Himself the seed of him to whom the promise was given.  He took on Himself the seed of him whom Paul teaches was given a seal of righteousness called circumcision.  Jesus took on Himself the seed of him who we gentiles are now the seed of through Christ.  Jesus has ministered to us gentiles and the Jew as a minister of circumcision given to Abraham, when He took on the seed of Abraham.

And why the seed of Abraham?  Abraham and his offspring were given the covenant of righteousness in circumcision and his descendents the Law through Moses.  The Law being a shadow of Christ pointed to the day that Christ would be our high priest and make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  God was showing through the Law until the time of Christ, how God would fulfill the promise of imputed righteousness in circumcision for the sins of the people.  This is why Paul calls Him the minister of circumcision.

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.[2]

There is no other people group who has this promise, this covenant from God that Jesus could be the seed of.  God wouldn’t want His Son to be the seed of Adam or man because there is no covenant there.  This is why our gospel talks so much of Abraham, circumcision and faith in what is hoped in. 

This gospel will not let me escape its grasp.  Even when I time after time after time go before God in serious pray, asking Him to give me the true gospel if I have fallen astray.

Those who are so quick to be repulsed by my beliefs and understanding of the gospel, even though I present scripture upon scripture upon scripture to you, did not pray once to ask God to examine you or to give you His one true gospel.  But you sure are quick to rebuke me for a gospel that begins with Abraham.

Instead of defending what you know, why don’t you go to God with the scripture I present to you concerning what Paul preached from the Law of Moses and the prophets and ask Him if maybe you have not understood scripture.  Instead of immediate criticism why don’t you spend time before the Lord?  After all, is it not the goal to know the revelation of God through scripture?  Or to argue what we know and ignore scripture?


[1] Hebrews 2:16

[2] Hebrews 2:17

Where oh where is righteousness found?

When we read the book of Romans we come to a great passage of scripture.  Paul lets the reader know that the gospel is God’s power first to the Jews then the gentile for salvation.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.[1]

To be more specific it is the gospel of Christ and Christ alone that Paul is describing as the gospel that is the power of God to save men.  Speaking of this gospel of Christ, Paul lets us know that in this gospel a righteousness of God is revealed. 

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.[2]

We would tend to think of this gospel of Christ in context to our New Testament writings and conclude, of course.  Paul however would not have our perspective of the gospel.  He did not have a New Testament to preach from.  Scripture never records any writers of the New Testament as preaching the gospel from any document, parchment, scrap piece of paper or rough draft of our New Testament.  But instead we have recorded for us where oh where these men of God found a righteousness revealed apart from the Law that is the power of God to save men. 

Paul testifies to the truth when he says a righteousness apart from the Law is revealed in our Gospel.  But did you know that Paul preaches a righteousness apart from the Law from the Law.  Confusing?  Paul taught from the Law, the very thing we can not be counted righteous before God by following, a righteousness apart from the Law.  The Law testifies against itself in that it shows Jews and Gentiles a righteousness from God not found in observing the Law.

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;[3]

The gospel that Paul brags is the power of God unto salvation is the gospel the Law and prophets witness to.

We see this consistency when we compare the book of Romans, where we find this teaching, to what he preached when he finally made it to Rome.  In the last chapter of Acts we find Paul teaching not from the rough draft of our New Testament as his gospel, but the same old boring Law of Moses and the prophets.  Exactly where he told the Romans to find a righteousness apart from the Law, there he still preaches from when he late in his life preaches in Rome.

Paul considered the gospel revealed in the Law and the prophets the testimony of Jesus.  When he preached from these he was preaching Jesus.  Again we have no testimony that Paul or any other New Testament persons considered the gospel to be anything other than where we find a righteousness revealed that is apart from the Law.  This being the Law and the prophets.

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.[4]

Our New Testament is so consistent is this understanding that the Law of Moses and the prophets revealed a righteousness from God that the writer of Hebrews considered those at Mt. Sinai to have received the gospel he preaches in his letter.  In the context of those who received the Law, he lets the reader know that this gospel did them no good because they did not believe.

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.[5]

This is why Paul, speaking of the Jews, teaches they tried to do exactly the opposite of the gospel found in the Law of Moses and the prophets.  They rejected the righteousness of God apart from the Law, which was witnessed by the Law.  Instead they chose to find righteousness by observing the Law.

But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousnes  Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;[6]

They in their ignorance of the witness of the Law of Moses and the prophets concerning a righteousness apart from observing the Law, sought to establish their own.  They did not submit to the righteousness of God.

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.[7]

Next time you read, say or hear someone quote Romans 1:16 take note, Paul has no concept of any other gospel than what was witnessed by the Law of Moses and the prophets where a righteousness from God is revealed in the gospel of Christ.

This is why here at The Gospel According to the Gospel I spend time writing about this gospel found in the wittings of our New Testament and its impact on our understanding of our own gospel.  Reading through my post will reveal this gospel that Paul and others recognized and left for us in their writings.  The implications of this gospel they preached has become the gospel the church refuses to believe.


[1] Romans 1:16

[2] Romans 1:17

[3] Romans 3:21

[4] Acts 28:23

[5] Hebrews 4:2

[6] Romans 9:31-32

[7] Romans 10:3