The Gospel of Christ
Roy Blizzard III © 2015
Texts: Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
I Corinthians 15:1-4 – “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Galatians 1:8 – “But 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. 9) As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
False Idea: It doesn’t make any difference what church you belong to, just as long as you are sincere with your beliefs.
We learn from the study of the New Testament that the Gospel of Jesus was a distinct and definite message. It was not simply a eulogy upon Jesus as a good man as some would like you to believe today; nor was it a scholarly lecture upon natural religion or an eloquent discourse upon being saved like the thief on the cross.
Paul lays down certain affirmative propositions as essential elements of the Gospel of Jesus. 1 – That Jesus died for our sins according to scripture; 2 – That Jesus was buried in the ground; 3 – That Jesus rose from the dead on the third day according to scripture; 4 – And that Jesus was afterwards seen by many witnesses. These four points become the Cardinal Points of the message, that according to apostolic teaching, became recognized as “The Gospel Message” of the early believers and any teaching that deviated from the facts stressed here in these propositions fails to be the real Gospel of Jesus.
There are also logical assumptions that must necessarily be recognized in the above propositions. 1 – That Jesus the Messiah was of the Divine Origin that is ascribed to Him in the New Testament. 2 – That Jesus’ death was propitiatory for the sins of the world. 3 – That after Jesus’ resurrection He was identified by infallible proofs, being seen of the disciples 40 days before making His ascent into Heaven. 4 – And that all of these fundamental gospel facts were of such importance in the divine scheme of human redemption, that they were all foretold by the holy prophets and mentioned in the Old Testament Scriptures.
All these and other related and essential facts of the Gospel of Jesus are to be preached to all people without any additions or substitutions. And thus preached, it becomes the power of God unto Salvation, to everyone that believeth. Romans 1:16
Paul, the apostle, doesn’t mean, nor imply, that anything else as a substitute for the original Gospel can be the power of God unto Salvation. In fact, he says, “If we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8. This verse then defines the message, reveals its sacredness, and pronounces a curse upon those who would change its message to suit their own peculiar needs and theories.
In Pauls’ day there was but one group of believers called into Jesus’ Kingdom and we have called these people the Church or the Ecclesia, the ones called together. There was but one Lord, one faith and one baptism for this group and they were actually called not Christians, but Charistians, ones full of Grace. Another mistranslation but a very important one. These were not little Christs, but ones who were full of the grace of God. They were not necessarily “Holy” as little Christs, but they were ones able to bestow the Grace of God upon their fellow man.
However, Paul prophesied that “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” II Timothy 4:3-4 The Greek word for fables here is Muthos and simply means anything that is not the truth and the Hebrew word in Jesus’ day, Haggadah, here in context probably meant a popular lecture as opposed to the truth of the law.
Paul saw this time coming, and it didn’t take long for it to arrive and it has continued to this day, with this particular spell of apostasy still spreading its baneful influence over all the world, leading the people who pretend to be followers of Jesus to adopt new things that were never taught by the apostles and were never meant for us to follow.
Every organization, weather social, political or religious is the result of its peculiar and distinct propaganda. The Catholic lectures will result in the formation of Catholic churches, the Christian Science lectures will result in the formation of Christian Science churches and the Mormon lectures by their elders will result in the formation of Mormon churches, and so on along the long line of sects and groups of all kinds. It is this kind of peculiar message of those particular groups that build its own kind of organization that don’t preach the Gospel of Jesus.
The one Gospel preached by the inspired apostles built only one kind of organization, and that was the Kingdom of Jesus. As long as there was only one Gospel preached there was only this one kind of group that made of the Kingdom of Jesus. But as soon as the time came that was prophesized by Paul, we see new organizations and groups springing up all over, the result of messages that differed from what the apostles preached due to people wanting to usurp the authority of Jesus and move it to themselves. Every sect we see from that time till today wears its own peculiar label, the result of some new message.
The peculiar doctrine of the Catholic church will not build a Lutheran church and the peculiar message of the Lutheran church will not build an Episcopalian church and the Episcopalian doctrine will not build the Baptist church, and so on and so forth. Every organization has been colored by the peculiar message of propaganda that brought it into existence. Something is going horribly wrong!
There is but one Gospel of Jesus and it and it alone is the Power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believes. But the same Gospel did not build all these different religious bodies. Each one has its own peculiar message that builds up only it’s kind of body. This is what Paul saw coming and he made mention of this situation in his second letter to Timothy 4:3-4. This unhappy situation makes it difficult for people to know not just what to actually do to be saved, but who it is that is supposed to save them in the first place.
The one and the only remedy is to actually return to the original foundation and preach the same Gospel the Peter preached on Pentecost, that Paul preached to the Philippian Jailer and Stephan preached to the crowd that killed him. These men used these Gospel Keys to bring people into the Kingdom controlled by Jesus, not into a “church” controlled by men. The pure Gospel of Jesus will not build a sect, but it will make strong believers within Jesus’ Kingdom.
Today, there are many “gospels” and just as many “churches”. Preachers and teachers have divided the flocks with erroneous “gospels” and it is up to the preachers to return to the original Gospel of Jesus and relay the original foundation of the Kingdom so that people can return to the real “Church” of Jesus within His Kingdom. Any so called “Church” that was founded before Peter preached at Pentecost was started to early and any that were started after were founded too late, and any that were started by preachers other than those preaching the Gospel of Jesus were started by the wrong people.
Facts must always be presented before there can be a belief in anything, whether it be an historical matter, or a work of science, or religion. One can have an opinion, but there can be no Faith in the absence of Testimony. Paul taught that Faith cometh by hearing the word of God and not by some bedtime story or legend not based upon any Biblical fact no matter how widely it is preached nor how widely it is believed. There has never been any faith in Jesus since the day of Pentecost that was not based upon the plain teaching and preaching of the Gospel of Jesus. Romans 10:16-17, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Hearing. There was a definite kind of hearing in the New Testament times and that was the foundation of the faith of every believer in Jesus’ Kingdom. The hearing that everyone that desires to be a part of the Kingdom of Jesus is the Hearing of the Word of God. This means hearing God through or by means of God’s divine word or Gospel. It can mean nothing else. The divine program of redemption included preaching that taught the sinner what to believe and what to do to be saved and joined into Jesus’ existence and into His Kingdom, not how to feel good because we come and sit in church.
Any teaching that omits the teaching of these two fundamental facts is not the gospel of Jesus.
As there were facts to be believed and commandments to be followed in the Old Testament so that the Jews may become God’s people and guard the Law of God, so there are facts to be believed and commandments to be followed in the New Testament so that we all can join back into covenant with God, existing within His existence and in His Kingdom.
Fact 1) To those who yet had no faith in Jesus the first commandment was to believe into the Lord Jesus, Acts 16:31-32. Fact 2) Those who gave proof of their faith were told to repent and reform, Acts 2:38. Fact 3) All were required to make the “good confession” Acts 8:37 – “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” and Romans 10:10 – “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Fact 4) They were commanded to be baptized into Jesus for the remission of their sins, Acts 2:38 – “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 22:16, Titus 3:5, I Peter 3:21.
As the facts are logically placed leading to faith so the commandments are given in proper and logical order leading the sinner to the full obedience in becoming unified into Jesus. And to me it is reprehensible that someone would tamper with this order of the commandments to become a part of Jesus’ Kingdom as it would to tamper with the logical order of the fundamental facts of the Gospel. Either one will lead one astray and into powerlessness within this world.
Mortal man has no right to tamper with or change the divinely given facts of the Gospel. Every change that has been made since the days of the apostles, whether in the preaching or teaching of the facts or the commands of the Gospel, has been a perversion of the Gospel leading to the establishment of a sect or denomination without divine authority. All such branches of today’s church are therefore without divine sanction and will be rooted out by our God.
On Pentecost, Peter handed down the Law of the Kingdom. There were in Peter’s discourse specific facts to be believed in order for anyone to become a part of Jesus’ Kingdom, and over 3,000 believed these facts and were added to Jesus’ Kingdom that day. Bur simply believing the facts will produce no change in the sinner’s status quo. The devils listened to the truth and believed it and the effect it had on them was they trembled in fear. But they were not better devils after they had heard about the wonder works and words of Jesus, though they believed all the facts. James 2:14
So the sinner can follow the example of the devils, and many do, and they believe every fact and are still as lost as they can be. James 2:14. For the Laws of the Kingdom handed down by Peter on the day of Pentecost requires more than belief or faith. Both of these words are from the same word in Hebrew and are interchangeable. When the Jailer was saved, he heard the Gospel, the word of God and didn’t just believe, he repented and then was baptized into covenant with Jesus and God for the remission of his sins. It was after this fashion that the 3,000 were “born again” or “born from above” in a spiritual rebirth. It was after this fashion that the Ethiopian Eunuch was born again and the Philippian Jailor. No one can be born again in any other way although many preachers and teachers today are trying to make it so.
To preach anything else but the Gospel of Jesus is a perversion of Jesus’ message and everything that He stood for and did for us. As it is true we must believe and obey, there are also promises to be enjoyed when we observe the facts and commandments and enter into His existence and Kingdom. 1) Pardon, 2) Holy Spirit, 3) Eternal Life.by