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Dr. Leon L. Sanders | Pensacola, Florida
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Discernment Life Ministries
Pensacola, FL 32504
Discernment Life Ministries
Pensacola, FL 32504
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Which Gospel?
Posted by: Discernment Life Ministries | more..
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The Answer depends on One's Definition
Law of Identity Can Force a False Dilemma

Paul used this phrase, "...according to my gospel..." in his Roman epistle {letter} (Ro 2:16). Scholars have debated the meaning of this phrase down through the centuries. As is true of most discussions, one's position is defined by the very definition one chooses to apply {Law of Identity}. The term gospelsimply means good messagein the Greek {&ep silon ;ὐ&al pha;& gamma ;&gam ma;έ& lambd a;&io ta;&o micro n;&nu ;}. Many scholars have postulated that Paul was indeed preaching a different gospel from Jesus' message in the four books commonly referred to as the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. What does gospel means to you?

The above graphic contains a different gospel than that found in the Bible. It offers a degrading depiction of Mary and Salome as well as a works-based approach to an otherwise unapproachable Jesus who is a minor background character. Yet, it highlights our fundamental question, "Which Gospel?" Is there only one gospel? Are there many gospels unique to each cultural perspective? One will find adherents to nearly every imaginable answer. This cacophony of noiseattempts to obscure any meaningful discussion by substituting volume for logic, appeals to authorities for logic and various other logical fallacies to confuse the foolish among the people.

Is the Gospel Simply About Jesus Death?
Surely the four gospels focus on His death!

The four New Testament books labeled, The Gospels, reach a dramatic climax in the death of Jesus. John's gospel spends majority of its material detailing the last week of Jesus' life and nearly skips over His resurrection to concentrate on Peter's rededication to the work of salvation. If one simply views the gospel as the death of Christ, payment for sin, then the stauros will be one's major focus. Yet, I believe that this focuses too narrowly on one aspect of the Bible. It is an important aspect, indeed, it is a vital aspect but nevertheless it remains one aspect. Focusing too much attention on Jesus' death ignores the vast scope of the Old Testament and much of the New Testament. It reduces thousands of years of history to a mere backdrop obscured by the violent death of God for mankind.

Christendom's Gospel focuses on
Social Justice, a term seldom defined

What is social justice? Whose flavor of justice is being applied and against whom is the justice being applied? Even more importantly, did Christ come to apply social justiceto the various cultures? The commission says nothing about applying social justice or even any justice; it says to make, baptize and teach disciples throughout the world (Mt 28:19-20). The only application of justice in the New Testament is that applied by Christ during the period known as the Great Tribulation, nearly the entire book of Revelation. Neither Christ nor Paul spoke against the Roman Empire though both upheld the principle of authority, when applied properly (Mt 23:1-11; Ac 4:18-20; Ro 13:1-7). Social justice has little to do with Christ's gospel and more to do with the use of violence to force people to live according to a standard imposed by those in power. This is pietism and has dominated American politics throughout our history. Christendom used government force to propagate Protestantism culminating in both the war on alcohol {Prohibition} and the war on drugs; both used against unapproved minorities. The social justice movement is the backlash of American minorities against this so-calledgospel indoctrination imposed by public education. The fact that much of American society rejects the Bible simply means that another belief system is imposed by government to legitimize its view of right and wrong, good and evil. America was nevera godly nation, a theocracy and so stipulated this fact in the Treaty of Tripoli (1796). Thus, piety is not the gospel either.

God's Gospel, Genesis, to Revelation,
Spans this Creation to New Earth, Heavens

God's Gospel begins in Genesis with this current material creation and ends in Revelation with both the Lake of Fire for those who believed a different gospel and the New Earth and Heaven for those who believed God's gospel. The Bible explains: this universe, mankind's beginnings, origin of sin with the introduction of Satan {Accuser}, effects of sin on the micro and macro scales, and God's answer for sin: Himself. Certainly the highlight or pinnacle of the Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ which made the New Covenant possible; yet, without the Scriptures Christ's death becomes pointless. The risen Christ Himself pointed this out to several disciples on the Emmaus Road after His resurrection (Lk 24:13-27).


Simply, Gospel is the Failure of Man
to Provide Life; It's a Gift of God

Satan implied that man and woman could be as gods if they but had the rightknowledge. In fact, this was a lie that has yet to be rejected. Sin's total corruption rejects any knowledge of God in lieu of man's redefinition of good as himself. This always results in degradation and violence ending in eternal separation {death} from God in the new creation. However, the hopelessness of man's utter failure is answered by the gift of God who provided Himself as the sin sacrifice. But, this requires knowledge of and from God; something the lost mind is loath to accept. Thus, God must go Himself and bring lost people into His fold which He did for everyone ever saved; who accepted the gift of life, which is one aspect of God's complete Gospel.

So, what did Paul mean when he used the phrase, "his gospel?" Paul was highly trained in Judaism by one of the greatest rabbis of all time. After his salvation he also received special revelation directly from Christ. However, Paul was competing in the midst of many religions to include various flavors of Christ's teaching. There was noNew Testament yet to define the true Gospel and most Gentiles were not familiar with the Jew's Bible which we call the Old Testament today. Thus, each teacher's version of truthwas known by the name of its teacher. Today we call these various different teachings by denominational names rather than by a person's name. Paul was not implying that the letter to the Romans was a new gospel he developed. Elsewhere in his letters he states that God is the author of salvation and the good message is predicated solely on Christ alone. Paul is simply another messenger sent forth by Christ as are all believers. He simply used the phrase "my gospel" to differentiate the revelation he had received from God from all the various errors circulating about. In Romans, Paul is systematically explaining why his gospel is the true gospel from the one God (Ep 4:4-7). Thus, there is only onegospel since there is only one immutable Godhead. The trinity all work from the one plan and all ever saved enter into this unity with the same gospel from the one true nature of God given to each person (Jo 17:17-24).

For this reason Christ gave to the church apostles, prophets evangelists and pastor-teachers to build up believers so that we may not be tossed about by every changing wind of doctrine devised by human cunning in deceitful schemes (Ep 4:11-14). Many come teaching error to fool the foolish who chase the lies of Satan. We are not to be in that number. We are to discern everything about us against the lens of Scripture to discover truth and reject lies (He 5:12-14). This we will do if truly saved of God.

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