Goofing Up the Gospel!Adapted from an article by
Dennis Rosker, Pastor
Duluth Bible Church
Reprinted by permission
The long war for the purity of the Word of God has been waging for centuries. Paul's charge to Timothy is as applicable and appropriate today as when it was first issued in approximately 62-63AD:
"O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge by professing it -- some have strayed concerning the faith". (1Timothy 6:20-21)
If there is any "scriptural truth we as believers have been entrusted with by God, which must be tenaciously guarded, it is the Gospel of the true grace of God. Yet even in fundamental and evangelical circles today there appears to be much confusion and contention regarding the most important of questions, namely:
What must I do to be saved? (Acts 16:30)
On the one hand there are those who GOOF-UP THE GOSPEL...via religion by requiring such works as water baptism, living a holy life, not sinning big sins, etc. in order to be saved.
This is obviously contrary to the clear teaching of scriptures like Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:5, Titus 3:5,6.
On the other hand there are those who GARBLE THE GOSPEL via Arminian decisionism by requiring such non-biblical conditions as to raise a hand, sign a card, walk an aisle, pray a prayer, ask Jesus into your heart, etc. in order to be saved, this is often done with a non-eternal security twist to boot. These can be done without any true grasping or understanding of the true Gospel, and actually confuse instead of clarify the only right answer to our question, which is simply, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).
Then there are those who GAINSAY THE GOSPEL via Calvinistic Lordship/Discipleship-salvation teaching, by requiring for salvation the turning from all sin and a commitment of complete surrender and submission to Christ's mastery over one's life, evidenced by on-going fruitfulness and faithfulness to the end. This seriously confuses the justification of a sinner before God with the process of sanctification of a saint as one matures in their faith over time. In doing so, this false teaching annihilates the absolute assurance of eternal salvation, leaving a precarious probationary status in its place. Furthermore, the Gospel of grace is no longer focused on the "good news of what Christ has done for us but now focuses on what we must do for God, in terms of (surrender, submission, sacrifice, etc.) to insure our eternal salvation and or the evidence thereof.
God Help Us
Thus, we as believers and recipients of the true grace of God must especially focus on these core issues of biblical Christianity as we must "earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
The Good News of Eternal Life as a gift from God is available only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Who Christ is, the Great I Am and What He has accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 4:5; Romans 5:8; John 8:24; John 10:25; John 14:6)