A Gospel We Did Not Preach

There are crazy amounts of variations and adulterations of Christianity out there.  All of these groups claim truth.  They claim to show the way to spiritual fulfillment and eternal life.  It seems that new ones pop up every year.   Many people have invented their own version. A version that is much more acceptable to the way they want the world to function.  These places if worship are filled with people with good intentions. Is goodness and good intention enough?

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 English Standard Version (ESV)

3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

Paul travelled the Roman world preaching the gospel.  He did this a great cost and peril.

2 Corinthians 11:24-28 (CSB)

24 Five times I received the forty lashes minus one from the Jews. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the open sea. 26 On frequent journeys, I faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, and dangers among false brothers; 27 toil and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and without clothing. 28 Not to mention[a] other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my concern for all the churches.

Paul proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ.   The New Testament if full of promise, full of hope, and full of victory.  He puts forth the gospel and all the life and hope it produces.  The New Testament is also full of warnings.  Jesus warns, Peter warns, Paul warns and John warns.  What do they warn about?  False teaching.  Not just that some would come, but that many would come, with a false message.  So how do we tell the true from the false?  We must guard ourselves against false gospels. In order to do this, we must be familiar with the true gospel.  The only way to guard our theology is to spend time in God’s presence and in the Word, with the power of the Holy Spirit.  The gospel Paul proclaimed can be boiled down to the essential point of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Any gospel that does not proclaim Christ as the Messiah, the son of God, sent to die in our place as a substitute for our punishment for our sin must not be believed. Any gospel that denies Jesus’ deity must not be believed.  Any gospel that does not place us in a position of humility and of following must not be believed.  Any gospel that teaches us that we can have it our way, that we can have our sin,, must not be believed.  Any gospel that proclaims that we are good enough on our own merit can not be believed. Any message that condemns you and throws you away, too damaged to redeem, must not be believed. We must humble ourselves before God, seek His face, and throw ourselves on His mercy. He has given His Son on our behalf and will be merciful in forgiving us and drawing us near.

Romans 5:6-8 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

What about you?  Are you committed to seeking Him alone?  Are you committed to humbling yourself and accepting all the grace He has to offer?  Are you courageous enough to believe the gospel and to preach it in a pure, unadulterated form?  Even if it is costly?

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