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Preach, teach the true Biblical Gospel

Preach, teach the true Biblical Gospel

The Apostle Paul teaches: “Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.” (Galatians 1:4-5 NLT).

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And he warns that there is only one true and Biblical Gospel: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.”

(Galatians 1:6 & 7 ESV). Apostle Paul continues with his deep concern for the sound preaching of the Biblical Gospel, “the Good News,” of Christ with additional strong warning: “even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9 ESV). Am I reading this Bible verse correctly?

This is pretty strong language: “Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.” (Galatians 1:8 NLT)! The natural question that arises is, “what is the true Biblical Gospel which alone saves people?”

What is the Gospel?

Rev. Dr John Stott raises and answers the question, "Is there a New Testament Gospel?" He notes that in a theological analysis of the sermons of the Apostles, "despite all the rich diversity of theological formulations we see in the New Testament, there was only one basic Apostolic tradition of the gospel.

In a single word, God's good news is “Jesus.” That is, “Jesus Christ is the heart and soul of the gospel.” "How did the Apostles present Jesus?" Rev. Dr John Stott says the gospel they preached contained at least the following five elements:

•  Jesus Christ died for the forgiveness of our sin and raised to life for us to be brought back to closest friendship with God.
•  The Old Testament Scriptures testify about Jesus Christ, and the Apostles experienced His awesome transforming power into Christ – likeness.
•  Jesus Christ is Redeeming God and Saviour to bestow salvation and He is Lord to demand submission.
•  As Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ offers forgiveness of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who will come to Him. The Holy Spirit regenerates us and makes us new persons from within.
•  Jesus Christ requires repentance and faith from those who come to Him.

Indeed, the preaching of the Gospel the way the Apostles presented Christ, leads to the forgiveness of our sins and we being brought into a right relationship with God (see Romans 4:25 and 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Furthermore, the Biblical Gospel includes careful learning from the New Testament Gospel writings – how Jesus lived, and worked among all kinds and classes of people in this broken and painful world.

And this provides us with a pattern for our living; and transforms all of our lives. Richard Forster writes, “when we carefully consider how Jesus lived while among us in the flesh, we learn how we are to live – truly live – empowered by him who is with us always even to the end of the age.

We then begin an intentional imitation of Christ, not in some rigid or literal fashion but by catching the spirit and power in which He lived and by learning to walk “in His steps.” – (see 1 Peter 2:21).”

When we read and study the New Testament Gospel writings, we see Jesus living and moving among human beings, displaying “perfect unity with the will of the Father.” We are taught to seek to do the same, taking on the nature of Christ-likeness. That is, sharing in Jesus’ vision, love, hope, feelings and conduct.

Dr Greg Ogden writes, “The gospel you preach determines the disciples you make. You can’t make a Christ – like Disciple from a non – Biblical gospel. And until we get the Gospel right, we can’t expect the state of discipleship in the Church to change.”

So, until we get the Gospel right, we cannot get raising Christ-like persons or Discipleship right. Sadly, in many situations, the Church has drifted away from preaching the sound Biblical Gospel and has believed in different “gospels,” which aren’t really gospels at all.

The “different gospels” all have one common characteristic: they remove the necessity of building up Christ-like persons or authentic disciples of Jesus which is the most essential matter of the Biblical Gospel.

The type of preaching that comes from believing these so-called gospels, like the “materialism gospel” or “health and wealth gospel,” ultimately suffocates raising Christ-like persons or making authentic Christ-like disciples in the Church. Yet “Making Disciples” is the key task or the greatest mandate that the Lord Jesus Christ has called the Church to do until He returns.

“The Church’s greatest barrier toward experiencing church renewal, the power of the resurrection of Christ, and church expansion today, is that in many places, the church preaches and teaches distortions of the true Biblical Gospel.”

 “If the Church continues preaching and teaching distortions of the true Biblical Gospel, as is common today, the Church will be full of nominal Christians shaped by a “gospel” that doesn’t convert, doesn’t reproduce, doesn’t transform, and doesn’t represent the truth.

Thus, “false gospels will insulate and corrupt people and those gospels will fail to accomplish God’s will.” In conclusion, for the Church to succeed in building up Christ-like persons or “little Christs” as the believers in the New Testament Early Church were referred to, the Church today must recover the true Biblical Gospel, learn it, and make it her main focus to preach and teach the key elements of the Biblical Gospel.

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And also do careful study of the life of Jesus in the New Testament Gospel writings. It is the Biblical Gospel that builds up Christ - like persons who are released to win for Christ and His kingdom, the people groups of this nation and beyond – to the glory of God.

The author is a Consultant in Authentic Christian Spirituality and Discipleship and former CEO of Scripture Union 

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