GOSPEL : THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!

Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. First for the Jew, then for the Gentiles”.

If like me you went to Sunday School all your childhood, you’ve probably heard this song:

If you do good, kingdom. Oh, oh, oh, oh Kingdom

Oh, oh, oh, oh Kingdom waiting for you

If you do bad, no-more-Kingdom

Oh, oh, oh, oh no-more–Kingdom

Oh, oh, oh, oh no-more-Kingdom

Waiting for you

Recently, I was thinking about the lyrics of this song and wondering who came up with it, especially alarmed because the song is primarily taught to children maybe with the idea, “let’s just sum up this salvation thing in a way they can quickly understand”. What troubles me even now is the fact that many who are Christian (perhaps 2, 10, 20 years in Faith) will read and hear those lyrics and can find nothing wrong with the song. Let me cut to the chase: THE SONG IS A BOLD-FACED ANTICHRIST LIE! One of my greatest concerns – it started last year sometime in June – is that there are so many professing Christians who actually know nothing about salvation and the reality of how it works, or how it comes.

I really, really like our opening verse because it is the summation of a lot of theology and contention that we have in the Church today. It says ‘the Gospel is the power of God UNTO SALVATION’.Whatever the Gospel is, in it we discover God’s power (not human power or willpower or some other power) to save (makes me think of that song ‘Mighty to Save’).

The word ‘Gospel’ itself gives us a clue about what the message should be like. At its root, the word ‘Gospel’ is a conjunction of two words which when translated literally mean ‘Good news’. So if you’re following me, you’ll see that this thing that is God’s power to save comes as some form of good news. This explains why in Romans 10:15, Paul says “how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things”. He wouldn’t call their feetbeautiful’ if they were harbingers of bad news. This gospel is a story of peace (Romans 5:1), it is ‘glad tidings (news) of glad things‘.

I’m a Law Student. Law Students have to learn these things called ‘maxims’ which are usually in Latin. Like proverbs or idioms, they compress a whole idea of truth in one sentence. There’s one of them: expressio unius est exclusio alterius i.e. the express mention of a thing excludes another. So if I say ‘all the girls, come and seat at this table’, it’s obvious I mean all the girls and no boys. In the same way, the fact that the word ‘gospel’ is qualified by such things as ‘good news’ and ‘glad tidings’ means that when we begin to get bad news or sad things, we already know that’s not the gospel. This slams the door on every sermon ever about fire and brimstone but no Jesus, that get people afraid and emotional but not repentant and never truly believing in Jesus, and a lot of the bullying done in the name of the gospel.

While those ones are obvious, we seem to have forgotten the other bad (oh so terrible) news preached from many pulpits in the name of the gospel. One of my favourite verses ever is Ephesians 2:8 “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast”. Salvation is a gift! You do not earn a gift. You don’t pay for it. You receive it. This is the opposite of that sad news preached from pulpits I was talking about earlier. One thing so sad about this is the impossibility that these so called sermons preach about. How can we tell people to work their way to God or Heaven when Isaiah says in his 64th chapter that ‘all of our righteousness is as a filthy rag’? And those outside Christ are ‘dead in sin’? (they are dead in din. What they need is life. How can a dead person produce life? Eternal life? They need life first. And we know that dead people cannot raise themselves ) and ‘no person will be justified…by the works of the Law’ (Romans 3:20)? and ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23)? and ‘righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ…’ (Romans 3:22)?

I could go on and on but I’m sure that you see the point now. People who believe they can earn salvation have already put themselves in a trap. It is like pouring water in a basket. It will never fill. It is working for something that can never be earned. God saw that we couldn’t do it ourselves which is why He sent Jesus. If we could work our way to God, guess what? Jesus is a big waste of time. What am I driving at? Enough is enough of feeding people with the notion that somehow, they will work their way into being right with God. The GOSPEL, and not hell fire, or fear, is what brings salvation. It is also the power of GOD to save and not the power of some church doctrines about tattoos, earrings, make-up, speaking in tongues, and especially not human ability to please God. The way it works is: humanity owed God a debt, humanity was too poor to pay the debt, God asked his Son who could pay the debt to do so, if you accept that you owe this debt and receive the payment, you become debt-free. This simple logical plan is repentance and salvation.

I believe in balance so let me set something straight. Am I saying it’s just about believing in Jesus and then setting yourself on autocruise, doing what you want, when you want, and how you want? (let me put it like Paul) God forbid! Because salvation does not come by works does not mean that works have nothing to do with salvation. We must rightly divide these things. There’s a huge difference between ‘working for salvation’ and ‘working out salvation’ (Philippians 2:12). One is the hopeless contradictory situation of trying to ‘earn grace’ and the other is accompanying ‘faith with works’ (James 2:17 & 22). The summary is this: we do good not to be saved, but because we are saved. And if you claim to be saved but have no fruit of it, it places a huge question mark on your salvation. This is first for Born-Again Christians. Let’s stop selling people a false idea of how to get right with God. People’s souls are at stake here. And also, to those who are not yet believers or who intend to be believers , trust me when I say I know how popular the believe is that “if I do enough good things, God will like me/ I will make heaven/ I will have a good relationship with God”. Truth is, Jesus and Jesus alone, and his FINISHED work (as per, you do not add or take from it) is THE WAY to God. However, being saved does not end our relationship with the gospel. The same gospel that saved you is the one that will build you. In it, you will discover the finished work of Christ and what it means for you (Ephesians1:18) because that is the point of this faith. Hebrews 13:5-6 ‘For He Himself (God) has said…So we may boldly say’. What did He say? And what does it mean we can say? We must understand how what Jesus did affects us. This is why the Epistles must be a constant read for the Christian because in them, the Apostles explain what Jesus has given us.

Let me finish with this verse: “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace,which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

The ‘word of his grace’ which is the gospel, will build you up and give you an inheritance with all the Saints. Solus Christus.

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Author: Praiselyn

Sold out to Jesus!

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