A Fellowship In Christ Jesus

A fellowship in the World, but not of the World

Confirming Defending Bearing the Gospel of Christ Jesus

Theology of Grace

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The Gospel

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:16

There are several gospels in the Scriptures:

Matthew 4:23the gospel of the kingdom,…

Mark 1:1the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

Romans 10:15the gospel of peace, …

Mark 1:14the gospel of the kingdom of God,

Acts 20:24the gospel of the grace of God.

Romans 1:1the gospel of God,

Romans 10:15the gospel of peace,…

Galatians 2:7the gospel of the uncircumcision the gospel of the circumcision

Ephesians 1:13the gospel of your salvation:…

Revelation 14:6the everlasting gospel

The best definition for the word ‘gospel’ is truth. It is the truth about whatever you are speaking of.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:...

If we are to understand the Scriptures, we should be able to understand one gospel from another if there are any that are different. However, what concerns this study is just one, “the gospel of your salvation” and whether or not Christ Jesus, Peter, John and all the rest preached the same gospel as Paul.

Jesus was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

There was only one lamb slain from the foundation of the world, one plan of salvation. The gospel of Christ being born of a virgin, our sins being laid on him, his dying for them, and being raised from the dead, are all subjects of prophecy taught before he was born. Even Paul states such.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The gospel Paul preached was not a mystery “kept secret since the world began.” It was according to the Scriptures and at that time it could only be a reference to the Old Testament.

The gospel of salvation that the Lord preached was that you had to believe in and on him, what he said about himself, and what he was going to do.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Our Lord preached to believe in him and that he was to be crucified, die, be buried, and rise the third day. It must be asked, what is the difference in the Lord pointing to it in the future and preaching believe it and Paul pointing to it in the past and preaching believe it?

Mark 8:31the Son of man must suffer many things, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

John 3:14-16 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:... 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Compare the above preaching of Christ’s with that of Paul’s:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you,… how that Christ died for our sins... 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Are the two different gospels? What is the difference in the two besides the one pointing ahead and the other pointing back?

John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he,…

Then shall ye know,” it was to the Jews under the law that Christ stated that they would know the truth after he made his sacrifice. Naturally, if they had been enlightened before hand they would not have crucified him.

1 Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

There may seem to be differences in the administration of the gospel before and after his resurrection which is understandable as no one could receive the Holy Spirit before he made the atonement. The way had to be prepared for the understanding of the gospel.

It is taught by some that John the Baptist’s preaching is the same as that of Christ, Peter, John, James, etc. This is not true. John the Baptist was not preaching the gospel of salvation but the remission, personal forgiveness, of sins in preparation for the gospel; he was preparing the way to it.

Matthew 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

John preached baptism for the remission of sins. Remission of sins is not salvation, it is forgiveness of sins. Remission, forgiveness, of sins is only half of what you need for salvation. John the Baptist was preparing the way for faith in the atonement for sins, the payment for sins, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

When the Lord arrived on the scene he preached that he was the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the Messiah, that he must suffer, die, and rise from the grave on the third day. The gospel he preached is the same as the one Paul preached.

The Jews were waiting for their Messiah and the restoration of their kingdom, gospel of the kingdom.” However, believing Christ Jesus was the Messiah and that he was going to restore the kingdom would not save them from their sins. Neither would remission of sins save them without the atonement for all sin. You have to have the atonement, payment, for sins and personal remission, forgiveness for sins. The Old Testament saints had their sins forgiven but could not receive full salvation until the Lord made the atonement for sin.1

John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises,…

Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you,…

Christ Jesus having made the atonement for sin, the payment for all sins now hving been made we need personal remission, forgiveness, of sins upon which we receive the Holy Spirit of God and the adoption of sons.

There is a period in the book of Acts were a couple of transitions takes place one is between before the atonement when they obtained remission of sins and after the atonement for sin when they could believe on the resurrected Lord obtaining full salvation from sin. That is, you could receive, be baptisted unto, remission, or forgiveness, of sins before the atonement and then after the atonement be pointed to faith in Christ and be baptist unto him to receive the atonement for sin receiving full salvation and the Holy Spirit. After the atonement sin is paid for and we are pointed to faith in Christ for the remission of our sins receiving full salvation and the Holy Spirit.

This causes some misunderstandings in the book of Acts. At the beginning the Lord is still dealing with Israel on a national level until the martyrdom of Steven. At that point Israel as a nation is set aside for later and the transition from the old covenant into the new covenant of a Church consisting of Jew and Gentile is brought in.

Nevertheless, the gospel before and after remained the same, “saved by grace through faith.”

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

The gospel is “saved by grace through faith” at all times, to all peoples. The Lord, Peter, James, John, Matthew, Luke, et al, preached the same gospel as Paul. This is affirmed in Acts 15 at the great apostolic council where Peter, John, James, Paul, and many others, concluded that keeping the law was not necessary for Jew or Gentile to be saved.

Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

We; the Jews, Peter, James, John, Paul, et al., believed that they were saved the same way as the Gentiles?by God’s grace.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;…

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works:...

Grace Theology will go so far as to teach that Paul was the first person saved by grace through faith without works. However, Paul preached the same faith he once destroyed.

Galatians 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

It was the same faith, same gospel, that Paul preached that he once persecuted. The importance of this is it shows that the gospel Paul preached was being preached before he was converted. Paul’s gospel was not new, not a mystery hidden until revealed to him but the same faith, same gospel, he had been persecuting.

Another disputed tenet of Grace Theology is that the gospel of the circumcision is different than the gospel of the uncircumcision.

Galatians 2:7-9 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

There is a problem for Grace Theology in teaching this. If there are two gospels of salvation, one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles, what is the difference? There is only one name under heaven given whereby men must be saved. He gave himself once for all, not willing that any should perish, there is but one Holy Spirit which all receive. This is Paul’s gospel. In order to make two different gospels something has to be added or taken away from this. What do they have that they can take away from Paul’s gospel, the Lord, the Holy Spirit, the one sacrifice? There is nothing that can be taken away. What do they have they can add to Paul’s gospel to make Peter’s gospel different? There is only one thing?works. It manners not that some teaching Grace Theology do not admit to teaching works for the Jews, work is all they have to add to make the gospels different.

The teaching that the two gospels in Galatians are different is the product of taking the terms out of the context of not only their sentence but chapter, book, and the Bible as a whole.

The correct interpretation of the phrases “the gospel of the circumcision” and “the gospel of the uncircumcision” is found by keeping the context of chapter two by not forgetting what you should have just read in chapter one.

Galatians 1:6-7 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Paul states that it is really not another gospel they are getting messed up with but a perversion of the gospel of the grace of God. Some one is adding to or taking away from this gospel. We know that which is being added is works.

Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

We know that Paul is preaching the same faith he persecuted.

Galatians 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

Take note, also, that it was not Gentiles but the Jewish Christians he was persecuting.

Acts 9:1-2 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Roman Gentiles did not come under the control of the Jewish High Priest so the gospel he preach was the same that he persecuted which was the same gospel the Jews were saved by.

1 Corinthians 1:11-13 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

Is Christ divided?” Who is causing the contention in the Church? Is it not those that say the gospel is divided, that they are of Paul?

1 Corinthians 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Later in Galatians chapter two Paul shows again that there is but one gospel for Jew and Gentile. When Peter, who was enjoying the fellowship of the Gentiles in so much that he was eating with them, described by Paul as living like them, heard that some Jewish believers sent from James where coming he decided he needed to be a Jew again.

Galatians 2:11-12 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  12For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Paul takes notice and rebukes the Jews for trying to make two gospels and reminds them there is but one.

Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel,...

In rebuking Peter for trying to divide the gospel into two, one Jewish, one Gentile, we get Paul’s dissertation on the Jewish gospel.

Galatians 2:15-16 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

We, Paul’s says, being natural born Jews and not Gentile converts.

16Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ,

We, Jews, know that no man is justified by the works of the law, but salvation is through grace by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • (Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.)

even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

As Paul states, we being Jews, know that no works can save us. There is but one gospel preach by both Paul, Peter, James, John, and the Lord Jesus Christ. There are two ministries, one to the Jews and one to the Gentiles. This is by no means absolute as both Paul and Peter preached to both Jew and Gentil.

Ephesians 2:11-17 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

The middle wall of partition between us,” spoken of here was the barrier to keep Gentiles from entering the temple, “between us.” Remember, Paul was accused of bringing a Gentile into the temple.

Acts 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

With Christ atonement there is no difference between Jew and Gentile. How can there be a difference in the gospel?

Acts 15:8-9 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Romans 10:11-12 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile!! How then can there be two gospels?? Put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” God was giving both, Jew and Gentil, the Holy Ghost and purifying their hearts by faith alone before Paul’s conversion and ministry.

If you accept all of what Paul said, how do you get two gospels?

 

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