Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Gospel According to Paul; Proof positive of why current evangelical doctrine is an error!

There is wide disagreement in evangelical Christianity as to what exactly is the content of the gospel. John MacArthur, wrote a book entitled "The Gospel According to Jesus." That book, and many like it, just continue to perpetuate the error that besets the evangelical church. The title of the book, "the gospel according to Jesus" suggests that Paul somehow got the gospel wrong, or did not completely explain the gospel. I say that if that was true, then Paul was a false prophet, and if that was true, Christianity would have been founded in large part on error. Further, if it was true, that Paul was wrong about the content of the gospel, then the record of the gospel, all of the Pauline writings, would be of little or no value, and there would be no reason whatsoever to believe the bible. Paul is an authority on the basis of the concept of progressive revelation. That means that what was revealed through out the scripture was illuminated and given proper context and meaning by subsequent revelation. In other words, each author, in his or her own way, added illumination to the plan of God. Paul explained that it was a mystery in times prior to his. This statement to be true, means that Paul was given insight into explaining the mystery. So then, what was the gospel according to Paul? actually it was succinctly explained in his first epistle to the Corinthians in chapter 15.

1Co 15:1-9 NLT  "Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it.  (2)  It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.  (3)  I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  (4)  He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.  (5)  He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.  (6)  After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.  (7)  Then He was seen by James and later by all the apostles.  (8)  Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him.  (9)  For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I'm not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God's church."

As you can plainly see, the Good News (gospel) according to Paul was a very simple message. Here is the entire message of Paul's gospel: "Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  (4)  He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said." In fact, the gospel is so simple that it is almost Zen. In the above passage, Paul is reminding the Corinthians of the gospel he preached, the gospel they welcomed, the gospel they stood firm in, and the gospel that had saved them if they continued to believe it. To make such a bold and all inclusive statement one would have to believe that Paul was going to explain the gospel in its entirety, and if he did not, then he would be lying, and his witness would be unreliable. So then, let me repeat what he said the gospel was in view of all of his declarative statements. He said it was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. So then, what did the death, burial, and resurrection of the Jesus mean to Paul? The simple answer is that one is justified by faith, saved by faith, kept by faith, resurrected to eternal life by faith.

Here is a passage of scripture that puts Paul's understanding of the gospel most succinctly: 2Co 5:16-21 NLT  "So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now!  (17)  This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  (18)  And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him.  (19)  For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.  (20)  So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God!"  (21)  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."

The gospel according to Paul is this: Humanity has been reconciled to God through Christ. Further, God has given everyone who knows and believes this message the ministry of reconciliation. Even further, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself not counting sin. Even further, he made Jesus, (the one who did not know the concept of sin) to be MADE SIN so that the rest of us could be made the righteousness of God in Him.

This is the ULTIMATE REVELATION! This is the explanation of the MYSTERY! Why is it that all of evangelical Christianity is so wrapped up in the discussion of sin? Why is there so much focus on sin? Why is there so much discussion of Old Covenant Law? Why is there so much hate, fear and bigotry? The answer is obviously simple; evangelical church doctrine is a complete ERROR!

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