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. Continue reading

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

Hatred of Scripture

 American Christianity claims to embrace the truth of the gospel found in the written word of God.  It claims to walk in the light and teachings of the scriptures and boast of a love of the scripture and the author of the scriptures.  However, it is been my experience that Christians only love certain verses of scripture that support their doctrine of liking.  They do not embrace the whole counsel of God as they claim.

The word of God clearly teaches that though Jesus Christ we have forgiveness of sin.  This I can agree with my Christian brothers on.  But scripture also teaches that being justified by the blood of Christ we must live in the newness of the life in the Spirit or we have not been transformed by the Spirit.  This is where my Christian brothers and I part company. 

They do not want to understand the following truths found in our scriptures. Continue reading

Most quoted books in the Bible… I & II Opinions

 Being a blogger, I like to go to other Christian blogs and check out what they are saying.  As in the church so is the World Wide Web.  The church loves to talk about the grace of God, which is good.  We all have to start with the grace of God in order to be born of the Spirit.  What I find troubling is the kind of grace that the church is advocating. 

The bloggers following the church say grace is grace sufficient to save everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.  They actually teach that Christians can not be like Christ.  That we really never do become new creations in Christ Jesus.  Instead they teach, that we still living in the flesh according to the sin nature, are covered by the grace of God, and for this reason we need to have passion to please God because we can never walk perfectly before the Lord.

I have tried to get others to discus scripture that says differently but I can not get anyone to talk of those verses.  They will tell me to get saved, that I am spiritually blind therefore can not understand the truths of scriptures.  I get references on good books to study, get told to go study this chapter or that chapter in the Bible, yet no one of them will address the verses I put forth. 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

Accountability to what gospel?

What gospel are we as believers accountable to?  Are we accountable to a gospel that teaches we, as those on the narrow path, are forever in God’s grace and are bound to forever be in the presence of Christ?  Which is not a teaching of Christ, for Christ Himself said that not all who have left the wide path will find themselves going through the narrow gate.  In fact, Christ tells those on the narrow path to make every effort to make it through the narrow gate.  Of course the words “strive” or “make every effort” will throw many into confusions or fits, because our salvation is not of any effort of our own. 

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.[1]

Now I am with those who say our salvation has nothing to with us.  But only in this sense, God has done what we could not do to provide a way of salvation for mankind. Continue reading

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