Archive for May, 2009

How To Be Saved

Posted in Gospel of Grace on 2009/05/19 by howtobesaved

Our human condition:

Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one ….”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God ….”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The remedy:

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth ….”

Believe what?

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

How does this gospel save us?

Romans 5:8-9 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Romans 3:22-26 “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: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (appeasing sacrifice) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast.”

We cannot be saved by our own righteousness. Salvation cannot be earned. Once we believe the gospel, we are sealed with God’s Holy Spirit.

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What is Liberty?

Posted in Gospel of Grace on 2009/05/14 by howtobesaved

1. WHAT LIBERTY IS NOT

A. Christian Liberty Is Not About Personal Freedom and One’s Rights!
B. Absolute Liberty without Limitations Results in Slavery and Addictions

11. WHAT LIBERTY IS ACCORDING TO PAUL

A. Paul uses the word “Liberty” nine times in his writings or ten if he authored Hebrews.
B. Three different Greek words are translated into our English language as “Liberty” or four if Paul authored Hebrews; they are:
1. “eleutheros” meaning “free” One is at Liberty upon the Death of his/her Spouse to Remarry (1Cor. 7:39)
2. “exousia” meaning “authority or privilege” Christian Liberty has limitations; for example, if one’s liberty becomes a stumbling block to fellow Grace Believers or hurts their conscience (1Cor. 8:9)
3. “apoluo” meaning “to loose away” Timothy has been set at Liberty from prison (Heb. 13:23)
4. “eleutheria” meaning “freedom or liberty” (Rom. 8:21; 1Cor. 10:29; 2Cor. 3:17; Gal. 2:4; 5:2, 13)

111.SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES ON HOW TO HAVE AND MAINTAIN LIBERTY IN CHRIST

A. By understanding the Law is not for the Body of Christ (Ac. 15:1-41)
B. By knowing the Security we have in Christ (Rom.8:1-39 (5-6)
C. By fulfilling all of the moral law through love (Rom.13:13)
D. By Receiving the “weaker” saint as Christ received you. (Rom. 14:1-23 (5, 21, 23)
E. By Refusing to participate in or overlooking sinful actions (1Cor. 5:1)
F. By Realizing “such were some” but now “washed, sanctified and justified” remembering Who’s you are and the potential loss of rewards (1Cor. 6:9-11)
G. By Restraining Liberty to avoid “bondage” and “sorrow” (1Cor. 6:12-20)
H. By the Prioritizing Love over Personal Liberty (1Cor. 8:1-13 (1, 12-13)
I. By Doing all for the Glory (Manifestation of God) -Show off God (1Cor. 10:31)
J. By Walking, Being Led and Living by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:1-26 (1, 13)
K. By Giving Thanks for all things (Eph. 5:20)
L. By Rejecting the “yoke of bondage” (Col. 2:8, 16)
M. By Recognizing God’s ownership with thanksgiving (1Tim. 4:4)
N. By Properly Understanding the purpose and place of material goods1Tim. 6:17)
O. By Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2Tim. 2:15)
Note: Notice all of the action verbs required on the part of the Grace Believer!

IV. WHAT CHRISTIAN LIBERTY IS ALL ABOUT

A. Christian Liberty is About Manifesting Christ in a Positive Way (1Cor. 10:31)
(1Cor. 10:31)
B. Christian Liberty is About Magnifying Christ (Name) (Col.3:17)
C. Christian Liberty is About Markers (Boundaries) (1Cor. 8:6-13)
D. Christian Liberty is About Ministry (1Cor. 9:3-6; 12.18-23)
E. Christian Liberty is About Motivation (1Cor. 9:24-27)
F. Christian Liberty is About Meaning

V. WHAT CHRISTIAN LIBERTY IS

A. Christian Liberty is Freedom from Sin – “eleutheria”
1. When all believers are resurrected then commences the New Creation (Rom. 8:21)
2. Without the Spirit one is lost and still in bondage to sin ( 2Cor. 3:17- (cf. Rom. 8:9)
3. Christian Liberty does not give one the right to a lifestyle of licentiousness (Gal. 5:13)
B. Christian Liberty is Freedom from the Law- “eleutheria”
1. False, ignorant or misled brethren seek to bring Grace Believers back under the Law (Gal. 2:4)
2. Paul presents the “Liberty Coin”; engraved on one side of the “Liberty Coin” are the words “Christian Liberty” and on the other side are engraved the words “Carnal Licentiousness”. Christian Liberty means one has been set free from the Law, Legalism and Licentiousness. Both Freedom from the Law and Sin provides Grace Believes acceptance and approval from and before God. (Gal. 5:1-2, 13)

V1. LIBERTY AND LAW IN GALATIANS

A. Liberty and Law in Galatians 5:1-12
1. The Law Enslaves the Believer (5:1-2)
2. The Law Obligates the Believer (5:3)
3. The Law Alienates Christ (5:4-6)
4. The Law Hinders Growth (5:7-10)
5. The Law Removes the Offense of the Cross (5:11-12)
B. Liberty and Licentiousness (Gal. 5:13-26)
1. The Root of Licentiousness (5:13-21)
2. The Fruit of the Spirit (5:22-26)
C. Liberty and Liability (Gal. 6:1-10)
1. Liability toward the Weak and Sinful (6:1-5)
2. Liability toward the Workers and Servant (6:6-9)
3. Liability toward World and Saints (6:10)

V11. OUTLINE ANALYSIS OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY IN GALATIANS

A. Galatians- A Major Book on Law, Legalism and Liberty
1. The Churches of Galatia regressed back to Judaic legalism under the influence of the Messianic Jewish Brethren (Gal. 1:6-9; 3:1-5)
2. The Churches of Galatia reverted back to being “under sin” (Gal. 3:22) and “under law” (Gal.3:23) and consequently they had “fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4)
3. The Churches of Galatia went back to observing the Jewish calendar by observing the “days, and months, and times, and years” (Gal. 4:9-11)
4. The Churches of Galatia under the teachings of the “false brethren” (Gal. 2:4) began to view Paul their enemy (Gal. 4:16)
5. The Churches of Galatia spiritual growth had become stagnant under legalism (Gal. 2:16-20; 3:1-5; 5:11-26; 6:12-15)
6. The Churches of Galatia were made to see the antithesis between Legalism and Liberty (Gal. 2:4; 2:19; 3:2; 4:1-4, 9-10; 28-31; 5:1, 13-26; 6:12-15)
7. Legalism prevented the Churches of Galatia from having “Christ formed in you” hindering their spiritual growth and maturity (Gal. 4: 19 (cp.15-31)
B. Galatians-Lessons Learned From Legalism
1. Legalism is the result of making a decision to depart from the Gospel of Grace (Gal. 1:6)
2. The Churches of Galatia had accepted the Gospel of Grace and Liberty found in Christ; however, many returned to their previously held legalistic traditions and way of life promoted within the Messianic Church as do many members of the Mystery Church (Body of Christ) do today (Gal. 1:13-14; 2:4-10; 2:12-19; 3: 1-5; 4:28- 5:1; 6:12-16)
3. Legalism always contains false gospel content (Gal. 1:6)
4. Legalism creates an atmosphere of suspicion of another’s motives, methods and message (Gal. 1:1012)
5. Legalism is easily detected by a Grace Believer who was once in a legalistic religious system (Gal. 1:13-14)
6. Legalism uses various techniques of infiltration (spying) to gather information and to build up a trust among unsuspecting Grace Believers until the legalist considers his time has arrived to openly act out his purpose of bringing others back into the “yoke of bondage” thereby stealing their “liberty in Christ” (Gal. 2:1-4; 5:1-4).
7. Legalism, when exposed to the Grace of God and the Dispensation of the Grace, disintegrates before the truth of the Gospel of Grace preventing the spread its vicious message of bondage (Gal. 2:5-9)
8. Legalism is a reality and is frequently detected among the leadership (Gal. 2: 11-19)
9. Legalism is a failure to rightly divide the Word of Truth or distortion of the truth. For example:
a. Legalism uses the Law for the wrong purpose (Gal. 3:19-25 w/ 1Tim. 1:7-11)
b. Legalism is the extreme enforcement of the Doctrine of Separation and teaches it is a mark of true spirituality (Gal. 3:1-5 w/2Cor. 6:14-17)
c. Legalism advocates water baptism as the entrance or “door” into church whereas Paul teaches Spirit Baptism places the Grace Believer “in Christ” (Gal. 3:27-29) and “into one body” (1Cor. 12:13)
10. Legalists are incapable of learning from human experience and failure; legalists are always looking for something “bigger, brighter and better” without ever finding lasting and personal satisfaction and are incapable of satisfying others. (Gal.3:3-4)
11. Legalism eventually enslaves the legalist to a life of frustration and failure for the law is a “ministration of death” (2Cor. 3:7) and a “ministration of condemnation” (2Cor. 3:9) (Gal. 2:4; 2:14, 18; 3:10-13; 4:9-10, 22-31; 5:1-6; 6:14-16)
12. Legalism’s Lexicon
a. “Bondage” – definition is “”the slavery to the principles and ways of regular human living.” (Gal. 2:4; 4:22-26; 5:1)
b. “Bewitched” – definition is “to have evil brought upon you by vain praise” or “appeals to a person’s lust for approbation and tries to drag him into legalism to satisfy it” (Gal. 3:1-3)
c. “Brainless” i.e. “Foolish” –definition is “not understanding” (Gal. 3:3)
d. “Blessing”- neither this word nor its definition is found in Legalism’s Lexicon; the word “curse” is found (Gal. 3:6-14) /DRC

http://midactsdispensationalbibleinstitute.com/LIBERTYANOUTLINESTUDY.html

What is Legalism?

Posted in Gospel of Grace on 2009/05/14 by howtobesaved

LEGALISM – “The principles of those who hold a theological position of adhering to the Law as opposed to the Gospel; the doctrine of Justification by Works, or teaching which savours of that doctrine.” (Oxford English Dictionary)

Dr. M. R. DeHann’s remarkable book, Law or Grace, defines three errors that arose in early on in Christendom which he identified as Legalism, Antinomianism, and Galatianism. His definition of each term is:
Legalism – teaches that men must be saved by keeping the law,
Antinomianism – teaches that it makes no difference how we live, for salvation is all of grace,
Galatianism – teaches that we are saved by faith alone, but our ultimate salvation depends on our works.

Dr. DeHann’s definition of Legalism and Antinomianism fall short of the total meaning of the words. I would define, as do the Scriptures, the meaning of both words in the following way:

Legalism – teaches that one is saved by keeping the Mosaic Law or by living by any law based principle- human or divine
Antinomianism – is composed of two Greek words – anti -“against or in place of” and “nomos” – law”; therefore it teaches that it makes no difference how we live since salvation is all of grace; grace is against any and all law for the believer.

The Dispensation of Grace Believer has two laws to live by- the “law of the Spirit of life” and the “law of love” so we are not lawless but we are free from all principles of performance laws for acceptance before God either in Justification (Salvation) or Sanctification (Service).

There are five aspects of Legalism covered in the Scriptures. They are:

A. THE SINS OF LEGALISM

1. Promotes self-centeredness and introversion. It says, “Look what I have done.” (Luke. 18:9-14); not Christ-centered which says, “Not I but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians. 2:20)

2. Emphasizes the externals and majors in the minors. (Mt. 23:5-6, 24-25)

3. Makes things other than God Absolute. (Mark. 7:5-9)

4. Blurs a clear view of God. (Matthew. 23:13, 15)

5. Is inhumane and insensitive to human need. (Mark. 3:1-2; Luke. 10:25-37)

6. Ignores the personal make up of each person or individuality. (Matthew. 23:4; l1:29-30)

7. Acts like lawyers and religious experts – elite scholars. (Matthew. 15:3-6; 18:1-4; 23:3)

8. Judgmental and divisive. (Mark. 11:15-18; Lu. 20:19-20)

9. Needs more interpretation. (Matthew. 23:16-23)

10. Denies freedom to make decisions based on one’s personal relationship with God. (Mark. 2:23-28; 3:1-7)

B. THE SYMPTOMS OF LEGALISM

1. Self- inflicted punishment – Legalists vow not to sin; however, when the vow is broken guilt and shame overwhelms them. This guilt leads to a form of “penance” meaning to “pay for their sin and shortcoming.” A vicious cycle begins with either rationalizing their sins away or concluding they are hopeless. (Luke. 18:13; 23:34)

2. Service oriented- Service to God and others becomes a sense of duty or obligation as “this thing is expected” to maintain fellowship. (Matthew. 18:16-23; 23:2-12, 23; Mark. 7:1-13)

3. Sensitivity Judgmental-ism – Legalists due to their sensitivity can see the speck in another’s eye; however, failing to see log in their own eye! Judging others gives one a sense of superiority, though false, by putting others down. (Matthew. 7:1-6; 9:2-7)

4. Satisfaction (Performance) oriented – Legalists want to appease God by conforming in outward appearance. (Matthew. 7:21-23)

C. THE “SALVATIONS” OF LEGALISM –
“Salvation by works or a mixture of faith and works, .i.e., one enters into partnership with God for salvation.”

1. Believe + keep the Law of Moses (Acts. 15:1; 21:20-21, 24-30)
2. Believe + be circumcised (Acts. 15:1, 5; Galatians. 2:3-4; 5:1-12)
3. Believe + water baptism (Matthew. 3:6; Mark. 16:16; Acts. 2:38)
4. Believe + confess your sins (Matthew. 3:6, 10: 32-33; John. 9:22; 1John. 1:9)
5. Believe + repent experimentally (clean up your act or give up your bad habits and fully surrender (Matthew. 7:16-23; 19:16-26; Luke. 3:7-18)
6. Believe + repent emotionally (make a public display or have great sorrow by a show of tears) (Matthew. 6:1-7, 16-18; Luke. 7:40-50; 10:10-14)
7. Believe + church membership (Acts. 2:47)

Note: The Gospel of Grace is Believe + Nothing! In Christ Alone, By Grace Alone, Through Faith Alone!

D. THE “SANCTIFICATIONS” OF LEGALISM

1. Taboos- spirituality is dependent on “do’s” and “don’ts” (Colossians. 2:20-23)
2. Imitations- spirituality is dependent on living in conformity to external in areas of dress, mannerisms, activities, speech, etc. (Romans. 12:1-2)
3. Comparisons- spirituality determined by comparing one’s sins against others (Romans. 12:3,10; Galatians. 6:3)
4. Emotions- spirituality happens by speaking in tongues, groans, slain by (in) the Spirit, fainting, ecstasy, etc. (1Corinthians. 13:1-4)
5. Sacrifices- spirituality is accomplished by self-sacrifice, self-denial by giving up normal human activities to impress God or others (1Corinthians. 13:1-4)
6. Rituals- spirituality is channeled through various religious ceremonies such as water baptism, confirmation, penance, church membership, etc.
7. Results- spirituality is brought about when one is faithful in religious duties such as praying, giving, evangelizing, attending church. These activities would indicate one’s growth or maturity in Christ. (Galatians. 3:1-5)

E. THE SIGNS OF LEGALISM

1. Seeks self-glory (Galatians. 5:26) KJV “vain”= empty + “glory” “an empty shell of a person”
2. Straightens others out by making them look bad so one can look better (Gal. 6:1)
3. Shows weariness in doctrinal spiritual production (Galatians. 2:9)
4. Shows off to impress others (Galatians. 6:11-13)
5. Sovereignty of God rejected and human “free will” is exalted which is the opposite of Grace (Galatians. 6:14-15)

Source: Grace Notes, Legalism, by Warren Doud. Grace Notes website is: http://www.gracenotes.infor/topics/legalism.html

I have taken liberty to modify Bro. Doud’s work. DRC
http://midactsdispensationalbibleinstitute.com/LEGALISMANOUTLINESTUDY.html

The weak and beggarly elements

Posted in Gospel of Grace on 2009/05/14 by howtobesaved

Galatians 4:8-11.

The Judaizers of Paul’s time deceived the Galatians by telling them they needed to keep the mosaic law as part of their salvation (verse 9). But any heir of God through Christ (verse 7) is free of the law. We have nothing in common with the weak and beggarly elements of works based salvation – in any form whatsoever.

These false teachers taught that observing the mosaic law would add to the believer’s standing before God (verse 10). Yet the Body of Christ is regenerated by FAITH ALONE in Jesus Christ, and we are sons of God (verse 7). Our standing is perfect before God because we stand in the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

No works can keep any person saved or improve their prospects of going to heaven. Those who trust their works for salvation are NOT trusting Christ. <— and that’s a period.

This is the reason why Paul feared whether these people had in fact been saved in the first instance (verse 11). His efforts in Galatia were vain to those who trusted their works, rather than Christ’s perfect work on the cross.

Without Exception!

Posted in Gospel of Grace on 2009/05/14 by howtobesaved

By J.C. O’ Hair

“The Scripture hath concluded All under sin.” Galatians 3:2

“The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23

Is there any way to escape this sentence of death? Read, and believe, the last statement of Rom. 6:23: “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The salvation of your soul would be worth a lifetime of striving, and working, to obtain: but it cannot be obtained in that way. That would nullify the grace of God, and the work of Jesus Christ.

God gave His only begotten Son that we might have everlasting life. John 3:16. And God’s Son “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world.” Gal. 1:4. “We (believers) have redemption through (Christ’s) blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7.

Salvation by grace excludes human work and merit, and depends entirely upon the free gift of God’s love and mercy, which is received through faith in the work of of our Jesus Christ. Romans 4:24-25.

The fact of salvation by grace excludes the law, ceremonies and good works as factors in salvation during this dispensation. Galatians 2:21

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

We are living in the “dispensation of the grace of God.” Ephesians 3:2 and Colossians 1:25. “We are not under the law, but under grace. “Romans 6:14.

God has displayed His grace in every dispensation but the dispensation in which we live is unique in that no work or ceremony is required or accepted for salvation. It is all of grace, God’s grace. Salvation is bestowed freely by grace, without works, on all those who receive and trust in the crucified, risen, glorified Christ as Savior and Lord. Romans 4:5 and Titus 3:5.

“Believe on (have FAITH in-rely upon) THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and thou shalt be saved .” Acts 16:31.

In modern Bible versions, salvation is a process…

Posted in Gospel of Grace on 2009/05/12 by howtobesaved

A TESTIMONY FROM A WOMAN
CONVERTED OUT OF CATHOLICISM

When I compared these versions, I did notice how these other Bibles lined up with the Roman Catholic Bible. No wonder I was still in confusion! In these modern Bibles, salvation is shown as a “process” which requires good works. All this is brought out by the straining of the tenses in the modern Bibles. Let me show you exactly what I mean.

When you read the following, please notice the straining
of the tenses:

Luke 13:23 (new versions), “Are there few who are being saved?”
KJV, “…be saved.”

II Cor. 2:15 (new versions), “are being saved.”
KJV, “are saved.”

I Cor. 1:18 (new versions), “those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved”
KJV, …are saved.”

Acts 15:19 (new versions) “are turning to God.”
KJV, “turned.”

Luke 15:32 (new versions), “your brother was dead and has begun to live.”
KJV, “is alive.”

Acts 2:47 (new versions), “were being saved.”
KJV, “should be saved.”

2 Cor. 4:3 (new versions), “are perishing.”
KJV, “are lost.”

http://www.1timothy4-13.com/files/bible/salvation.html

Gospel…….. who’s got the Gospel?

Posted in Gospel of Grace on 2009/05/09 by howtobesaved

One True Gospel

You may wonder how we can say that our gospel is the true gospel. We know it is, because it works. Many other “gospels” are being preached, but they fall short of meeting the needs of the sinner’s heart. Other gospels always call upon man to do something, or be something, that is impossible for them by nature.

Do this and live, the law demands,
But gives me neither feet nor hands.
A better word the gospel brings,
It bids me fly and gives me wings.

Believing the true gospel, the record God has given of His Son, results in God justifying the ungodly sinner. God declares us righteous and the debt of our sin which is spiritual separation from Him is canceled, and we are acquitted from all guilt. Our conscience is purged by the blood of Jesus Christ and we have peace facing God. We may now come boldly to the throne of grace as sons, not servants. We have the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts as to our right relationship to God. This same Spirit prays in us constantly according to the will of God. As He prays in us, we are filled with hope and joy. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts and this love pours out of our hearts completely. Each moment, His love flows and continues to flood our hearts. The result is an unshakable conviction that Jesus Loves Me, as we are. This is truly good news!!

The Secret Key to the Bible

In order to understand the true gospel, we must have a proper view of the Bible; we must rightly divide the Word of God. We all know that the Bible is divided by separating the Old Testament from the New. In both sections we have the history of different peoples, in other times, in various covenant relationships with God. Because of this, distinct laws, practices and rituals appear to be in conflict. We must be sure when we read scripture we are reading the parts addressed to us, for this time period. Otherwise, we will find ourselves reading another’s mail and we will be confused. In the Old Testament, as God spoke through holy prophets of old, He promised to visit man on earth. Israel looked for the Messiah–Immanuel, or “God with us.”

The promised arrival of Immanuel was announced by angels, when Jesus (Jehovah’s salvation) was born at Bethlehem. When he began his ministry Israel was under the law God had given to Moses. Jesus announced the good news that He was the promised Christ and would end the Law and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. All Jesus’ promises, preaching and commandments were to be in effect if His Kingdom was established. His disciples were told to preach, practice and pray for the kingdom to come. Isaiah the prophet foresaw the kingdom age and that all things on earth would change. Men would build houses, inhabit them and eat the fruit of their own vineyards. Weeping, crying and trouble would no longer be experienced. A wolf and a lamb would feed together and the lion would eat straw like a bullock. There would be no more war, a child would die 300 years old, and there would be no hurt or destruction in all the holy kingdom of God. Unlimited power in prayer was to be a part of the kingdom reign: And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear. This was to be the long promised times of refreshing, from the presence of the LORD. (Isa.65:17-25)

Calvary’s cross was Israel’s answer to the offer of their Messiah, Jesus the Christ. God gave Israel a second chance to receive His King after the resurrection. Peter cried to the nation after Jesus ascended, Repent . . . . and the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you. (Acts 3:19-20) Stephen not only believed Peter’s message, his zeal caused his arrest. Before the ruling council he delivered a stinging rebuke to the nation. They responded by stoning Stephen and the day of Israel’s visitation came to a close. Turning away from a blinded people Jesus Christ chose a proud Pharisee and blasphemer, Saul of Tarsus, to be His special ambassador.

When Jesus met Saul on the Damascus road, Saul fell before Him and knew He was God, and the promised Messiah. Saul went into the synagogues to proclaim that Israel had crucified their King. His message fell on deaf ears and Jesus announced to Saul that a new age, or dispensation, had begun. Israel’s rejection would now make it possible to offer salvation to the Gentiles. Israel nailed more than their Messiah to the cross; they also nailed the Mosaic Law with all its rituals and sacrifices. The law, a schoolmaster given to Israel to bring them to Christ, ended at that time. The immediate hope of the Kingdom was set aside. The Great Day of Atonement had been fulfilled and left their Law dead, as a hope of righteousness. The true Lamb of God had been sacrificed for the whole human race. Israel sewed up the great veil in the Temple, and continued their search for righteousness. Meanwhile, deep in the Arabian desert, Jesus unfolded a new gospel to Saul. He would return to Jerusalem as the Apostle Paul. His distinctive message would be salvation by grace through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the first chapter of Galatians, Paul writes that his unique gospel, was the only gospel of God. So emphatic was he, that he declared anyone preaching another gospel was under the curse of God. This terrible curse even included angels from heaven. Let the implications of this statement reach your heart–there was another gospel being preached in Paul’s day. Paul said this gospel was proclaimed as the true gospel, yet was opposed to the gospel of grace, revealed to him by Jesus Christ.

Paul says the gospel he preached was not of human nature (Gal.1:11). It was not passed on to him from another man (verse 12). He was not taught (the emphasis being on systematic teaching) this gospel (verse 12). According to Paul, his gospel was received by direct revelation (to take the lid off, implying a previous hiding) by the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul states that he did not learn his gospel from the apostles, nor was it confirmed by them. The Jewish apostles opposed the preaching of Paul’s gospel. For fourteen years they rejected his gospel and refused to accept him as a true Apostle.

Do not miss this key to the scriptures: Rightly Dividing The Word. Paul’s gospel was not the gospel preached by the eleven Jewish apostles. His gospel was uncovered, or revealed to his heart. The lid had been taken off this new gospel and he was enabled to see it, by the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel Paul saw, announced salvation by the grace of God, not by Kingdom rules. Paul saw the mystery of salvation for all mankind, not Jewish exaltation to earthly power. It had nothing to do with water baptism, but with the baptism of the Spirit into the body of Jesus Christ, not the baptism of Jesus Christ into the Spirit, as at Pentecost. Paul’s gospel introduced the dispensation of the age of grace and ended the dispensation of the Mosaic Law and the offer of the Kingdom. It announced the blessed hope of the soon coming of Jesus our Bridegroom, not the Messianic hope of Israel’s King.

View the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke as though you had never read any other portion of the Bible. Get the viewpoint of the writer and the times: the only gospel the eleven knew, was the gospel of the Kingdom. Though they watched Jesus die, they did not comprehend the true meaning of the cross. After His resurrection they still did not know the mystery of the cross, for they asked the Lord if He would at that time restore the Kingdom to Israel. The baptism of the Holy Ghost by Jesus at Pentecost, filled His witnesses with power. They went forth at Pentecost to testify to the fact of the resurrection of Christ, not to the meaning of His death, burial and resurrection. Their preaching was witnessed by the gift of speaking in other languages and by miracles and signs. As new understanding was given to Paul, he experienced a transition period in his ministry. He passed from the preaching of the kingdom message to the gospel of grace, and ceased the many things he once practiced. Paul told the Corinthians that he was not sent to baptize in water, but to preach the gospel. Paul’s gospel had nothing to do with water baptism, an Old Testament and Kingdom ritual. This is why he could thank God that he had baptized no more.

The Mystery Of The Cross

The distinctive message of Paul’s gospel is the key that unlocks the Scriptures. Paul’s gospel is as misunderstood and rejected today as he was in the first century. His gospel alone is the gospel of the good news of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. It reveals how that Christ died for (in the stead of, in the place of, because of) our sins according to the scriptures. It tells us that he was buried and rose again, according to the scriptures.

When Paul preached his gospel the only scriptures in existence, were what we know as the Old Testament. Paul, as a master of the scriptures, saw the only true interpretation of the Cross of Calvary is in the Old Testament passages that deal with atonement. The meaning of Calvary focused and he saw the crimson thread of the substitutionary atonement, from Genesis through Malachi. From Eden’s gate to the Temple sacrifices, the drama of Calvary was foreshadowed. The great expositions of Paul on the meaning of Calvary came from Leviticus 16, Exodus 12, Genesis 22, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, and other key passages. Jesus had given Israel clues to His true mission. He told them to read the story of Jonah and know what would happen at His death. He told them Abraham rejoiced to see His (Jesus’) day, when the ram of God was caught in the thicket by his horns. Jesus told them to meditate on the brazen serpent lifted up to a dying people, and they would know what Calvary would mean. It is the Old Testament scriptures that tell the story of how God, in the person of His Son Jesus Christ, stepped into the sinner’s place and stead and bore the wrath that was due him. Because he was a true substitute, He tasted the death that belonged to the sinner and descended into the darkness that awaited him. Jesus Christ satisfied God for all that was charged to the sinner, and was raised to be accepted in glory in the sinner’s stead. This is the true gospel that saves the sinner from his sins and seperation from God. This gospel alone places him in Jesus Christ at the right hand of God! This is the true gospel that gives peace with God and absolute assurance of salvation. This is the gospel that fixes our eyes on Christ our righteousness, not our filthy rags of dead works.

Religion talks about Calvary, but few preachers have any comprehension of what really happened there. They prattle on about Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Easter morning and the rest of the religious rags of tradition. Few know of Wednesday’s crucifixion or the fulfillment of Passover and its Lamb. The churches never speak of the three days and nights Jesus spent in the heart of the earth. Paul said he descended to the lower parts of the earth, or as in Romans 10:7, the “abussos” or bottomless pit. He did not spend three days and nights in the pit, but in the lower parts of the earth, known as Hades. His visit to the pit was only to leave the sins of the world that He bore away at the Cross of Calvary. This is where He took them and from which they will never return to doom and damn the believing sinner. Before the day of His death had ended, Jesus crossed the great gulf that seperated the rich man and Abraham, and met the believing thief in Paradise.

At His resurrection He emptied Paradise of the Old Testament saints, and took them with Him as proof of His victory over sin, death and Hell. There is so little preaching of Jesus’ ascension to His Father and our Father, His God and our God. It is Paul who tells us that Jesus, as the High Priest of heaven, sprinkled His eternal and incorruptible blood on the mercy seat of heaven for the eternal redemption of all who would believe. (See: John 20 and Hebrews 9:11-14) No wonder Paul was the most hated man of his time. Paul’s true gospel ends man’s pride and his pitiful efforts to establish his own righteousness in the sight of God. Righteousness cannot be obtained by obeying the golden rule, practicing the beatitudes, reciting the Lord’s prayer or the Apostle’s creed. Man cannot be saved by doing penance at the command of some earthly priest or preacher, or repeating meaningless creeds and learning dead dogmas. Paul’s gospel rends the veil between man and God from top to bottom. It leaves nothing between the sinner and God but the torn veil of Jesus’ body and the altar of heaven sprinkled with a better blood than Abel’s. There, God the Father welcomes all who will, to enter boldly!

Make sure you are rightly dividing the word of God. Make sure you are hearing the true gospel. Believe in your heart the record God gave of His Son. Here it is: God made Jesus Christ a substitute in judgment for you and in return, gives you the riches of His grace. This is a free translation of this blessed gospel as found in II Cor.5:21:

Thou Lord Jesus art my righteousness
And I am thy sin;
Thou hast taken what was mine
And given me what was Thine;
What Thou wast not, Thou didst become,
That I might become what I was not.

The godly One substituted for the ungodly and God is satisfied for eternity with the finished work of His Son Jesus Christ! God will freely impute His own righteousness, to the believing sinner. This is the only true gospel and it is the good news we are spreading by the Jesus Loves Me Ministry. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth and check out what we offer. Our heart’s desire is that in all things, Jesus Christ shall have the preeminence. May you see no man, save Jesus only–the proof of God’s love and incredible grace!

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