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Do We Teach Another Gospel? Part i. Lesson notes are available for free by leaving your email address with the speaker or by writing jfguin@comcast.net. Another Gospel?.

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slide2
Lesson notes are available for free by leaving your email address with the speaker or by writing jfguin@comcast.netAnother Gospel?
another gospel

(Gal. 1:6-7a) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all.

Another Gospel?
another gospel1

(Gal 1:8) But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

Another Gospel?
another gospel2

(Gal. 1:9) As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Another Gospel?
another gospel3
Another Gospel?

Two Questions:

  • What is this “different gospel”?
  • Are we guilty of this sin?
another gospel4

(Gal. 5:2-3) Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

Another Gospel?
another gospel5

What about circumcision is so wrong?

(Gal 5:4) You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Another Gospel?
another gospel6
Another Gospel?
  • (Gal. 2:15) “We … know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.”
  • “the law” is actually “works of law”
another gospel7
Another Gospel?
  • (Gal 2:16) “So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”
  • Again, there is no “the” before “law” in the Greek
another gospel8
Another Gospel?
  • And so, what is “law”?
  • And why does seeking justification through “law” cost you your soul?
another gospel9
Another Gospel?
  • Notice that the Galatian heresy was seeking to be saved by law

(Gal. 5:4) You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

  • The Galatian heresy is in seeking salvation in law, not in obeying or teaching law
another gospel10
Another Gospel?
  • Two theories:
    • The Law of Moses
    • Works of law, meaning, any works intended to merit salvation
another gospel11
Another Gospel?
  • Most Church of Christ commentaries support “law” as being the Law of Moses
  • What would this mean regarding—
    • Treating Sunday as the Christian Sabbath?
    • Wearing Sunday “best” because Leviticus commands that we give our best to God?
    • Circumcising our children?
  • Do these practices damn?
another gospel12
Another Gospel?
  • So what's “law”?

(Rom 2:12) All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

another gospel13
Another Gospel?

(Rom 2:14-15) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

another gospel14
Another Gospel?

(Rom 3:22-24) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

another gospel15

In other words, Gentiles are condemned because they fail to satisfy the law written on their hearts just as the Jews fail to satisfy the Law of Moses

Plainly, “law” means God's commands, whether or not found in the Law of Moses

Another Gospel?
slide20
The major evangelical commentaries all agree:

“law” refers to anything, other than faith in Jesus, that you count on for salvation

Another Gospel?
another gospel16
Another Gospel?

“It is impossible to receive Christ, thereby acknowledging that you cannot save yourself, and then receive circumcision, thereby claiming that you can. You have got to choose between a religion of law and a religion of grace, between Christ and circumcision. …

another gospel17
Another Gospel?

“You cannot add circumcision (or anything else, for that matter) to Christ as necessary for salvation, because Christ is sufficient for salvation in Himself. If you add anything to Christ, you lose Christ.”

  • John R. W. Stott, The Message of Galatians, 133-134.
another gospel18

“Law” is the same as “works”

(Gal 2:16 KJV) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, 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.

Another Gospel?
another gospel19

(Rom 14:1) Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.

This applies only to those in the church, of course.

But if we in the church are disputing about a matter, how can it not be disputable?

Another Gospel?
another gospel20

(Rom 14:2-3) One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.

Another Gospel?
another gospel21

(Rom 14:5a) One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike.

In Romans, Paul doesn't bother to say who is right on the sacred-day issue. Why not?

Another Gospel?
another gospel22

(Rom 14:4-5b) Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. ... Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Another Gospel?
another gospel23

(Rom 14:6) He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

Another Gospel?
another gospel24

(Rom 14:10) You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.

Another Gospel?
another gospel25

Notice this:

The Romans were disputing about matters of doctrine! And Paul commanded them to stop passing judgment.

This is so even though Paul gave the right position on eating meat (and even though he didn't bother stating the right position on sacred days)!

Another Gospel?
another gospel26

If Paul knew the right answer, why was it still wrong to pass judgment?

Why were they commanded to “accept” those teaching falsely?

Who among us is comfortable saying “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind”?

Another Gospel?
another gospel27

(Rom 14:4) Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Another Gospel?
another gospel28

Grace applies to doctrine as well as conduct!

Grace applies to disputable matters—which is anything we can dispute over and still be Christians!

Another Gospel?
rom 15 7 accept one another then just as christ accepted you in order to bring praise to god
(Rom 15:7) Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.Another Gospel?
another gospel29

We are commanded to accept as fellow Christians all who remain true to what brought them salvation—

even if we disagree about something else

Another Gospel?
another gospel30

Therefore, insisting on adherence to any doctrine, other than the gospel itself, as the ground of our salvation is a work and creates another gospel

We must accept one another based on the gospel and nothing else, because the gospel is how we were accepted

Another Gospel?
another gospel31

By “gospel” I mean those terms on which we were accepted at the beginning: Hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized

Grace covers doctrinal sin as well as moral sin, so long as we remain true to the gospel

Another Gospel?
slide41
And insisting on adherence to more than the gospel as essential to salvation risks teaching another gospel!Another Gospel?
another gospel32

H. A. (Buster) Dobbs, “Does Grace Guarantee Final Salvation?” The Firm Foundation (September 1996):

“We are required to keep every specific of the law of Christ, if we receive spiritual blessings, which include forgiveness and the promise of eternal salvation. …

“The grace of God guarantees our final salvation. This, of course, does not mean grace alone, but grace accessed by faith, which includes works of obedience.”

Another Gospel?
another gospel33

Paul says that if you add any law to the gospel as a condition to salvation, then you’ve made yourself accountable for every law as a condition to salvation, and thereby you’ve fallen from grace.

Another Gospel?
another gospel34
Another Gospel?
  • Being wrong and being lost are two very different things, and we sometimes get them confused. If being wrong damns, then there is no grace and Christ died for nothing.
another gospel35
Another Gospel?

Phil Sanders, The Christian Chronicle (Feb. 2006), 18-19:

“I believe baptized believers in the Independent Christian Church are my brethren, since everyone who is scripturally born of water and the Spirit is a child of God …

another gospel36
Another Gospel

“Should those who worship with instruments forsake them, I would gladly seek some relationship with them.”

How can they be our brothers and yet we refuse to seek some relationship with them?

another gospel37
Another Gospel?
  • This is the part where I hope I’m wrong
another gospel38

You see, in teaching that certain doctrines other than the gospel are essential to salvation, we’re effectively saying that to be saved,

you not only must hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized,

you must also join a congregation with a scriptural name, with a scriptural organization, and with a scriptural pattern of worship.

Another Gospel?
another gospel39

I fail to see how insisting on these rules as conditions to salvation is any different from insisting on circumcision as a condition to salvation.

Either way, you’re insisting on obedience to a law in addition to the gospel.

Another Gospel?
another gospel40
Another Gospel?
  • The gospel is meant to take us away from legalism.
  • The imposition of any rule as a requirement for salvation —even a single morally neutral rule — beyond the gospel is a return to legalism and damnation.
slide51
(Gal. 5:15)

If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Another Gospel?
another gospel41

Fortunately, it’s not altogether clear that all you are taught this lie are damned.

For example, in Gal 3:26-27, Paul declares that his readers are “all sons of God.”

In several verses, he calls his readers “brothers.”

Another Gospel?
another gospel42
Another Gospel?
  • Perhaps the key verse is Gal 5:10—

“I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.”

another gospel43

I am not qualified to judge the fate of those among us who teach modern equivalents of circumcision, and less so to judge those who’ve been deceived by such teachers.

Another Gospel?
another gospel44
Another Gospel?

I only know that, having become aware of the problem, I must speak out and call for repentance—urgently—desperately. Out of love, not condemnation—out of concern for souls.

another gospel45

It is not enough to be less legalistic than the church down the road. It’s not enough to be less legalistic than you used to be.

There is only one gospel, and it won’t admit of any additions at all.

Nothing is required to be saved or to stay saved other than the gospel.

Another Gospel?
another gospel46
Another Gospel?
  • In Part II, this time tomorrow, we’ll further discuss the meaning the “gospel” and some possible objections to my understanding of Galatians
slide58
Lesson notes are available for free by leaving your email address with the speaker or by writing jfguin@comcast.net
slide60
Lesson notes are available for free by leaving your email address with the speaker or by writing jfguin@comcast.netAnother Gospel?
slide61
Yesterday, we considered Rom. 15:7—

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

Another Gospel?
hear believe repent confess be baptized
Hear,

Believe,

Repent,

Confess,

Be baptized

Another Gospel?
hear believe confess faith in jesus as son of god turn away from sin and commit to serve jesus
Hear, believe, confess faith in Jesus as Son of God

Turn away from sin and commit to serve Jesus

Another Gospel?
slide65
Accept Jesus as Son of God

Accept Jesus as Lord

and Galatians adds—

Accept Jesus as Savior

(rather than looking to your own works)

Another Gospel?
another gospel47

To repent is to commit to love

(Gal 5:6b) The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

(Gal 5:14) The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Another Gospel?
we are saved when we accept jesus son of god faith lord love savior hope
We are saved when we accept Jesus—

Son of God: faith

Lord: love

Savior: hope

Another Gospel?
gal 5 6 faith love only which is how we hope
Gal. 5:6

Faith

Love

Only

(which is how we hope!)

Another Gospel?
another gospel48

(1 John 4:2-3a) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.

Another Gospel?
another gospel49

(Heb 10:26-27) If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Another Gospel?
another gospel50

(Gal 5:3-4) Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Another Gospel?
slide74
How do you fall away?

Lose your faith

Lose your repentance or

Lose your reliance on Jesus

That is, add reliance on self

Another Gospel?
stop believing stop loving stop hoping in jesus
Stop believing

Stop loving

Stop hoping in Jesus

Another Gospel?
another gospel51

This is the gospel:

faith, hope, and love

Jesus— the Son of God, Savior, and Lord

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love

Another Gospel?
this is how we are saved and losing this is how we are lost
This is how we are saved,

and losing this is how we are lost

Another Gospel?
another gospel52
Another Gospel?
  • Does this contradict our teaching about baptism?
    • Paul says in Gal. 3:26-27 that all the Galatians had been “baptized into Christ.”
    • Baptism is not a work
    • Baptism is not something you do: it’s something you receive

(it’s always in the passive voice)

another gospel53
Another Gospel?
  • Many have argued with us saying that our insistence on baptism contradicts Paul’s teaching on grace
  • It does not
  • Sadly, many of us have bought this argument and so denied the gospel believing that in so doing we were defending baptism
another gospel54
Another Gospel?
  • Does this mean we don’t have to do good works?
  • Of course not

(Eph 2:8-10) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

not by works, so that no one can boast.

For we are God's workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

another gospel55
Another Gospel?
  • Then why do good works if our salvation doesn’t depend on them?
  • This question only makes sense if you start with a legal mindset
another gospel56
Another Gospel?
  • Why do I honor my parents even though I’m too old to spank?
  • Why do I honor my wife even though I’m not afraid of being divorced?
  • We have to see love, not as a response to a command, but as our new nature
another gospel57
Another Gospel?
  • Of course, love is commanded, but just as you only tell the immature to love their parents, you only need to tell immature Christians they are commanded to love Jesus
  • The mature already love Jesus
another gospel58
Another Gospel?

Even our love is not entirely our own doing

  • (Phil 2:13) …for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
  • (Rom 5:5) And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
another gospel59
Another Gospel?
  • And so, our salvation works something like this—
    • We accept Jesus
    • We’re baptized
    • We receive the Spirit
    • God changes our hearts
    • Our repentance (love) matures
    • We do good works because it is our new nature to do good works, because we are like Jesus
another gospel60
Another Gospel?

(Rom 8:5-6) Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace

another gospel61
Another Gospel?
  • If we aren’t lost for believing false doctrine, then why study the Bible?

Again, you can’t start with a law-based mindset.

another gospel62
Another Gospel?
  • If you love Jesus and have truly repented, you will want to follow his teachings.
  • Teachings don’t have to end with “or you’ll go to Hell!” to be obeyed
  • My wife honors me even when I don’t threaten to divorce her— and even though she knows dishonor won’t lead to a divorce
  • In fact, threatening divorce would destroy our relationship!
another gospel63
Another Gospel?
  • Therefore, we can believe in salvation by faith, without adding works, and still—
    • Not deny baptism
    • Not deny the importance of good works
    • Not teach license
    • Not teach “once saved, always saved”
another gospel64
Another Gospel?

It is, therefore, just as dangerous to teach a works-based salvation as it is to deny faith in Jesus or to intentionally continue to sin

another gospel65
Another Gospel?
  • A works-based salvation also—
    • Denies the joy of willing service
    • Forces devout believers to either
      • live in dread of their damnation or else
      • arrogantly suppose they have achieved perfect obedience (or a perfect doctrine and practice)
another gospel66
Another Gospel?
  • Arrogance damns.
  • In the gospel, “there is no room for boasting.” Rom 3:27; 1 Cor 1:29-31; 2 Cor 10:17;Gal. 6:14; Eph 2:9
another gospel67

H. A. (Buster) Dobbs, “Does Grace Guarantee Final Salvation?” The Firm Foundation (September 1996):

“We are required to keep every specific of the law of Christ, if we receive spiritual blessings, which include forgiveness and the promise of eternal salvation. …

“The grace of God guarantees our final salvation. This, of course, does not mean grace alone, but grace accessed by faith, which includes works of obedience.”

Another Gospel?
another gospel68
Another Gospel?

Phil Sanders, The Christian Chronicle (Feb. 2006), 18-19:

“I believe baptized believers in the Independent Christian Church are my brethren, since everyone who is scripturally born of water and the Spirit is a child of God …

another gospel69
Another Gospel

“Should those who worship with instruments forsake them, I would gladly seek some relationship with them. …

“To cooperate with those who continue to act outside [God’s] will is to send a mixed message.”

another gospel70
Another Gospel?
  • We have become guilty of a new Gnosticism, believing we can earn our salvation only by having the right position on all the issues.
  • We thus teach that, although our flesh is fallen and not perfectible, our minds are capable of perfect doctrinal knowledge
another gospel71
Another Gospel?
  • In reality, we need only understand the simple facts of the gospel.
  • Indeed, just enough to
    • Hear the good news about Jesus,
    • Believe the good news about Jesus
    • Repent by making Jesus Lord
    • Confess our faith
    • Be baptized into Jesus
    • And accept Jesus as our Savior
another gospel72
Another Gospel?
  • And the relationship with Jesus this creates will keep us saved until the end—if we stay true to it
  • Indeed, we have to rely on Jesus — and not ourselves
  • Rather, we celebrate God’s gift by living lives of joyous service, working out the love poured into us
slide99
Lesson notes are available for free by leaving your email address with the speaker or by writing jfguin@comcast.netAnother Gospel?