Message of the Week: Modern or the biblical gospel?
September 9, 2006 - The Apostle Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel, which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-7).
The English of the King James Version uses the word “another” two times in these two verses, but they are two different words in the original Greek language.
The first word “another” is heteros, which expresses a qualitative difference and denotes “another” of a different sort.
The second word “another” is allos which expresses a numerical difference and denotes “another” of the same sort.
The import of the Greek gives the meaning, “I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel of a different kind, which is not another gospel of the same kind.”
What are you hearing from pulpits today, the so-called modern gospel or the biblical gospel? If you are not sure which is which, please note the following six contrasts.
Modern gospel: Human beings, especially children, ought to view themselves as objects of God's love and be filled with self-esteem.
Biblical gospel: Every human being apart from Christ is a fallen, sinful creature, under divine wrath and condemnation (Ps 5:5; 7:11; John 3:36).
Contrast No. 2
Modern gospel: Children are covered by the universal atonement of Christ and are “safe” until they reach the “age of accountability.”
Biblical gospel: Human beings are sinners by imputation (or original sin), by an inherited nature and by personal transgression. (Rom. 3:23)
Contrast No. 3
Modern gospel: Either man's will was not affected by the fall, or God in his sovereignty decreed that man would have a free will. His will is thus completely free to decide in all matters, including spiritual realities.
Biblical gospel: Man's will has been adversely affected by the fall. It is the free expression of his fallen, sinful nature, but not “free” in the sense that he possesses the power of contrary choice. (Rom. 8:5-8)
Contrast No. 4
Modern gospel: God calls everyone to salvation through the gospel, but the ultimate choice is left to the sinner. The holy spirit woos everyone by moral suasion, but his efforts may be successfully rejected.
Biblical gospel: The spirit of God personally and effectually calls or draws particular individuals to salvation and regenerates them, enabling them to believe and repent. (John 6:37, 44; 1Cor. 2:14)
Contrast No. 5
Modern gospel: The sinner may make a one-time religious “decision” and be truly “saved” but continue on as a “carnal Christian” living under the dominating power of sin in his life. Union with Christ has absolutely no relationship to Christian experience or daily life.
Biblical gospel: Every believer is effectually brought into union with Christ, which necessarily means that the reigning power of sin is broken in the life and a converted life is a necessity through the presence and dynamic of the Holy Spirit. (Col 3:1-4)
Contrast No. 6
Modern gospel: The gospel is “shared” in a non authoritative way, which is geared to be inoffensive to sinners.
Biblical gospel: The gospel is to be authoritatively declared in the context of the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-27).
From these examples, it is clearly seen that the “modern gospel” is a departure from the gospel message of our Lord and the inspired apostles. It is also a departure from the biblical and historic faith of God's people from ancient times to the present.
Where is the strong, biblical, doctrinal preaching of yesterday? Where are individual Christians who sacrifice time and energy to study the word of God and strive to make a difference for the glory of God? Where are the families who are rearing their children on the biblical gospel? Where are those who ought to grieve at the present state of affairs to the extent that they seek the face of God and intercede fervently and constantly for this wicked evangelical generation of professing Christians?
Do you embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and savior? Are you resting by faith in his imputed righteousness? Is your Christianity or your hope of salvation and reconciliation aligned to the modern gospel or to the biblical gospel?
Churches today need to take heed to the warning Paul gave to the Galatians, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Where does that leave those today who are preaching a perverted gospel?
Michael A. Carling is pastor of the Free Grace Baptist Church which meets at 1558 Starr Drive, Yuba City. The Message of the Week is an overview of the topic a faith leader is speaking on at this week's services. To include your faith group in our Message of the Week column, contact Faith & Family coordinator Larry Badger at 741-2400 or email@example.com