Gospel means â€˜good newsâ€™ andÂ it is generally used of the ChristianÂ message concerning Jesus Christ. EvenÂ in very early days there were thoseÂ that tried to change the message theÂ apostles were teaching. The ApostleÂ Paul wrote, â€œThere be some that troubleÂ you, and would pervert the gospel ofÂ Christâ€ (Galations 1:7).
What was this perversion concerningÂ which Paul warned his readers? TheyÂ were saying that belief in Christ wasÂ not enough, but one must also keepÂ the law in order to be saved. It must beÂ Christ plus works.
Today there are still many who teachÂ that faith in Christ is not enough, butÂ that repentance and faith must beÂ followed by baptism and a continuingÂ life of good works. They teach thatÂ salvation is a process, and one canÂ only know he is saved at the end ofÂ life. Baptism is viewed as washingÂ away ones sins and as giving newÂ life, the beginning of this process ofÂ salvation. This produces an attitude ofÂ permanent insecurity. One can neverÂ know that he has done enough.
The gospel that Paul and the otherÂ apostles preached stated that theÂ sinner is saved if he repents andÂ trusts the Lord Jesus Christ, believingÂ that on the cross He suffered for hisÂ sins. Christâ€™s death was adequate toÂ pay for â€œthe sins of the whole worldâ€ (1Â John 2:2). â€œTherefore being justified byÂ faith, we have peace with God throughÂ our Lord Jesus Christâ€ (Romans 5:1).Â Justification is viewed as completed,Â not as a lifelong process. RepentanceÂ and faith are not viewed as works butÂ as a change of attitude. The sinnerÂ who trusts Christ gives up workingÂ as a way to get right with God. â€œButÂ to him that worketh not, but believeth onÂ Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith isÂ counted for righteousnessâ€ (Romans 4:5).Â Salvation is instantaneous.
Have you been trusting in yourÂ baptism and good works in orderÂ to be made right with God? No oneÂ will be in Heaven on that basis. WeÂ have all sinned and deserve eternalÂ punishment. It is only Christ who canÂ take our load of sin and make us rightÂ with God. Turn from your sin andÂ trust Him. Christ is enough: â€œHe thatÂ hath the Son hath lifeâ€ (1 John 5:12).
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