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If we get the gospel wrong, we get everything wrong.⇦Tweet that!
The older I get, the more I recognize the centrality of the gospel to every issue in the Christian life.
I’ve been discipling Christians for over 40 years. The confusion over the gospel has sidetracked and wrecked more believers than any other false doctrine or cultural trend.
“The great need in discussing the gospel is to think biblically.”⇦Tweet that!
The point of today’s podcast and notes is clear: The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ offers eternal life freely to all who believe.⇦Tweet that!
Definition of Terms: The Gospel
Salvation is the grandest theme in the Scriptures. “The doctrine of salvation…embraces all of time as well as eternity past and future. It relates in one way or another to all of mankind, without exception. It even has ramifications in the sphere of the angels. It is the theme of both the Old and the New Testaments. It is personal, national, and cosmic. And it centers on the greatest Person, our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology, p 319)
Much of the debate and confusion about the doctrine of salvation could be avoided if we were more careful to define our terms. It’s important to know what we mean when we use the word, gospel. God only pronounces a curse on Christians two times for our failure to do something. One is not loving His Son, our Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 16:22), and the other is preaching a gospel other than the Gospel of the grace of God (Galatians 1:6-9).
A lot is at stake. Failure to clearly understand the doctrine of salvation invariably leads to preaching a false or perverted works gospel. God surely saves those who trust in Christ in spite of a fuzzy or errant gospel, but that does not make it a good thing or an acceptable error. A healthy life demands a healthy birth, and there is only one way to a healthy new birth—a correct gospel:
Don’t Add To the Gospel!
There is great temptation to try to “get people committed to Christ” before they have been regenerated by His Spirit! Throughout church history various other requirements have been added to faith to develop a perverted or false works-righteousness gospel.
What about baptism?
What about repentance?
What about surrender?
As you listen, please keep in mind the critical importance of the gospel to you and the people you love.
Question: Why do you feel so many Christians seem to underestimate the importance of getting the core message of Christianity, the gospel, right?