THE GOSPEL MESSAGE: The Gospel Explained


The Bible is consistent and unbending in it's assertion that salvation comes from the one true God alone and that it is obtained exclusively through His Son Jesus Christ. This point needs to be emphasized today more than ever because in many cases the popular trend in society is one of tolerance and inclusion. The testimony of scripture is that God will not tolerate or include anyone or anything in making provision for salvation from sin other than the provision which He has made in and through His Son as it has been made known in the Gospel.

When one considers the nature of salvation the reason for the exclusiveness of God's provision becomes clear. The only person who can qualify to bear the sins of the world is the one who Himself was sinless and perfectly righteous. Jesus, God's Son, was the only one to have ever lived a sinless life. Just as the Old Testament lambs were required to be without blemish only the perfect "Lamb of God", Jesus Christ, was acceptable to God the Father as a sacrifice for sin.

Most other world religions require that men earn or merit their own salvation. True biblical Christianity recognizes that no man is able to do this and sees in the sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of the world the only means for man to be declared righteous. Furthermore, the only means which God has provided for men to begin to experience the necessary spiritual transformation of the heart is through His word and by His Spirit.

Consider the following scriptures teaching the exclusive nature of salvation as found in Jesus Christ through the gospel. We will begin with Paul the one chosen by God to lay the foundation of the truth of the gospel in the New Testament. Pauls words on this point are very hard words but words that must be accepted because he spoke as a chosen apostle with the authority of God.

(Galatians 1:8-9) But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. {9} As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

Paul in the strongest words possible warns everyone that there will be no other message of salvation acceptable to God other than the gospel. Paul even goes as far it seems to include the possibility that somewhere down the road he himself could lose his way and deviate from the true gospel at which point he tells his readers they should not abandon the gospel they had already received from him (1Corinthians 15:1-4).

Paul also mentions that if some come saying they have received a new or modified gospel, even if from and angel in heaven, that this message as well is to be rejected. As an example of how Pauls words might apply to this world today one might consider the teaching of Islam which claims Mohammed has received a superior revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel resulting in the Koran. A revelation it might be added that considers Jesus Christ as secondary to the man Mohammed and the Koran as superior to the Bible. Pauls words here leaves no room for Mohammed, Islam and the Koran to co-exist with Jesus Christ, Christianity and the Bible as two acceptable paths to God.

Please consider the words of Jesus and the other apostolic teaching on this important point:

(John 14:6) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.

(Matthew 7:13-14) "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. {14} "For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.

(Acts 4:8-12) Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people, {9} if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, {10} let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead-- by this name this man stands here before you in good health. {11} "He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone. {12} "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."

(1 Timothy 2:3-6) This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, {4} who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. {5} For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, {6} who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.

As was said before these are hard words to embrace and are not readily received in today's climate of inclusion and tolerance. However once again we remind the reader that truth is absolute not relative. The Bible contains the truth about life and the reader is encouraged not to waver at this point but to reconcile any faulty thinking in this regard. Some may still cling to the notion that surely God will not reject any who chose an alternate path as long as they are sincere. In answer we would suggest that any who truly seek to know God's will and live in obedience to Him will find in the Bible the truth in this regard and will quickly abandon all else.

Another example to be cited from the New Testament regarding this issue is found in the book of Romans chapter 10:1-4. There Paul explains that his heart desire and prayer for his fellow Jews is their salvation. If Paul was praying for their salvation then one must conclude they were not saved. Paul explains that these people were very zealous yet because they had chosen to try and establish their own righteousness by keeping the law rather than gaining righteousness through faith in Christ they were not saved. They were not pursuing God's plan of salvation as revealed in the scripture but their own plan of salvation as seemed correct to them and as a result they were still separated from God.

(Romans 10:1-4) Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. {2} For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. {3} For not knowing about God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. {4} For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

This portion of scripture serves as the most sober warning to any who would be presumptuous in taking it upon themselves to decide what is acceptable and what is not as it regards the salvation of man from sin. On this issue there is no compromise and no room at all for any deviation in the slightest degree. God has revealed the way of salvation and calls all to respond in faith and obedience. There is but one God, one Savior and one Gospel; one Faith, one baptism and one Lord. Consider what the Lord has spoken through the mouth of the prophet:

"Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)