WHAT IS GOD’S ETERNAL GOSPEL?
It is the objective (in the Person of Christ only), historical (done once and for all in history), universal (available for everyone, everywhere and anytime in history), and complete (there is nothing more to be added) act of God in Christ for the benefit of mankind
THE ETERNAL GOSPEL
It is known by all that the word gospel means “good news”. The good news or the gospel is the fact that our salvation was already granted by god to all humanity in the person of Jesus. Christ is the Savior, therefore, Christ is the gospel.( Romans 1:1-3).
The gospel is an extraordinary and precious gift granted by God. This is the greatest evidence of God’s love for us, his creatures. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
We must be clear on the fact that God made possible our salvation, and now this glorious acts diffused through the preaching of His ministers in order for everyone to listen, believe (accept) and trust on what God has fulfilled in history: Salvation through the Son
When we speak of the gospel we speak of salvation, not sanctification or right conduct. We speak of that which is given by grace and mercy, not because we deserved it. Granted! Nothing in exchange! It is a gift that no one can ever purchase, but to accept it and receive it
THE GOSPEL MEANS REPRESENTATION
Adam was our first representative. Whatever Adam did will bring an effect on all of us, his descendants. We all know the negative results of Adam’s decision. The great apostle Paul declared that we are all condemned by the one sin of Adam. There is no doubt at all, for the offense of Adam death appeared on this world. This is precisely Paul’s constant emphasis in Romans 5:12-20. Notice how clearly the apostle declares that in the same manner we were all condemned, we were also saved, that is, by representation. We were condemned by the only one sin of one man, and we were also saved by the one and only righteousness of one man. Representation means one person acting in place of another. The Scriptures declares, “For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12
Notice this: the Inspiration describes the way Christ suffered, that is, He lived dying until He finished His sacrifice on the Cross in order to take away ( to pay for) our sins. Subsequently, after the Lord’s death, He is raised from the dead and became our Representative before God in heaven, who mediates in our behalf for our already given justification or declaration of absolution (salvation). Romans4:25.
n summary, the gospel is the act of God in the person of Jesus Christ for our benefit. Christ said, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:17. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10.
The cross on the Calvary, the Gospel, marks the end of history. Right there, we can take a glance in advance at God’s judgment in behalf of mankind.
The two thieves crucified next to Jesus are representatives of the final division that will prevail at the end of times: The thief who accepted the gospel represents the redeemed, and the one who rejected the gospel represents those to be condemned. The world will eventually split up between two factions: Those who accept and those who reject Jesus. It is necessary for all to remember that, due to our sinful nature, we are all thieves in principle.
God, through the Calvary, have brought in advance our trial and final verdict so we can enjoy peace and safety today. This is why Jesus, after listening to the following question, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”, He replied, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.” John 6:28-29. It is like saying, “to accept that what has been granted to you.”
Through the gospel, which is God’s gift to man, the Creator urges you and begs to all men (2 Corinthians 5:20) to come and live with Him, in an eternal, peaceful, and loving environment. Sadly, behaving in much the same manner as the condemned thief, most people reject this invitation to come to the light (John 3:20) and therefore, they reject the Eternal Gospel.
The great apostle to the gentiles declares, “But not all the Israelites accepted the good news…” Romans 10:16.
Christ-the eternal life- was available and at the reach of the thief who chose to be condemned. His fatal mistake was to reject the Lord instead of accepting Him, as it is God’s will (John 6:28-29). This will be the same fatal problem for all unbelievers: “to reject the Lord’s Salvation.” It is essentially necessary to remember God’s great love which surpasses all understanding. God loves all his creatures; his love is from eternity to eternity, before the beginning of everything else. Before we accept Him in Christ, he already loved us. (John 4:10).
THE ETERNAL GOSPEL AND ITS IMPLICATION
The eternal gospel can be distinguished by the following three basic characteristics, which are extremely valuable in order to avoid falling astray from God’s one and only way of salvation for all believers. These three characteristics have important implications that will help us hold firm in our allegiance to the “faith once given to all the saints.” This the reason why we are in the position to take a stand in behalf of the eternal gospel. Without this fundamental distinction we would be easy victims of deception and confusion. The three basic characteristics we are referring to are universal, objective and self-sufficient. Here is a short analysis of each these characteristics in order to point out its implications:
1. Universal: It means that the gospel has been given by God to all men, anywhere and anytime in history. (John 3:16, 1 John 2:2; 2Corinthians 5:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1). In opposition to universal there is local. Local means anything that is not available beyond its limits or specific area, whether it means a geographical, administrative or dogmatic border.
In this case, universal expresses the transcendence of the glorious gospel which makes it an available benefit for all men wherever they meet, tithe or worship. This also implies that whoever is a true dependant of Christ representative righteousness, and at the same time do as the apostle Paul did, admits his sinful and unrighteous condition, the one is my brother in Christ and the such is like-minded to us. We live by one faith, under one God, and taking hold of one hope. In reference to this universal aspect Jesus declared, “Believe me woman a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain or Jerusalem…yet a time is coming and now has come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:21,23.
The eternal gospel is the only radical doctrine introduced to us in the Scriptures. The rest of the doctrines are secondary or miscellaneous, therefore these doctrines must never become barriers for division or sectarism. It is only the gospel that for which we must take a stand for at all cost! (Jude 3). We must make something clear, in order to avoid any misunderstandings on this matter, that we are not pushing aside the importance and the need for true and correct doctrines for their purpose is to aid the Christian to develop a true Christian personality. What we intend to clearly establish here, and in accordance with the declarations of the Holy Scriptures, is to set a correct order of priorities ( 1 Corinthians 3: 11-14).
There, it is by this exclusive evangelical foundation by which we will accept or reject anyone who pretends to call himself our brother in Christ. It is only by this unique and universal doctrine by which we analyze everything else. Any other doctrine is excluded from this true parameter of universal brotherhood.
2. Objective: It means that the gospel is the work of God in the person of Jesus Christ only, not in the believer for there is no participation from the believer, for he is only a beneficiary. This work is done in its totality by only one individual, that is, the person of Jesus Christ, as declared in the Epistle to the Romans 1:1-3. In opposition to the term objective there is subjective. Subjectivity has to do with what happens within the believer, while objectivity has to do with what the Functionally-Trinitarian God. The gospel is God’s salvation in Christ, which is objective even when the believer do receive the benefits of this historical act.
Throughout history, we can see how salvation (justification of life) has been intertwined and confused with sanctification (the believer’s righteousness or conduct). Within the Christian world, there is a religious doctrine, which is sponsored by the Roman Catholic system, that intertwines justification with sanctification pretending to make from both synonyms. It is imperative to understand how dangerous are the consequences of this sort of confusion.
A confused believer begins to worry about his own spiritual development or sanctification in order to feel in good-standing before God. As a result, he stops fixing his attention to Christ, who is the only and exclusive source of true holiness, turning therefore his attention towards his personal spiritual achievements. In other words, he starts to look at himself and becomes a legal freak as the Pharisee from the parable used to be( Luke 18:9-14), losing contact of that which is objective-the Eternal Gospel of Christ- and concentrating in that which is subjective-the work of the Spirit within the believer.
Whenever there is an emphasis on what the believer feels or achieves, the results happen to be catastrophic: The believer loses his justification-for he will fail to be found in Christ-and his true sanctification as well-for he will fail to aim towards Christ. Paul the apostle declares it this way, “And we, with unveiled faces beholding as in a mirror the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”(2 Corinthians 3:18).
We cannot even think of being neglectful in respect to this particular characteristic of the gospel, that is, its objective nature, without facing the fatal consequences from any distortion or perversion of the gospel. Remember this: The Gospel scrutinizes everything we are and do in order to eliminate any trace of pretension or self-exaltation
3. Self-sufficiency: It means that in the Person of Jesus Christ we are complete and there is no need for anything else. Some, who are extraordinarily attracted to their own subjectivism have pretended to make additions to the gospel! In other words, they pretend to add some strange element to the gospel based on their own conception or subjectivism.
However, the clear biblical teaching establishes the fact that only the gospel brings salvation to man. Paul declares in his Epistle to the Romans that salvation can only be acquired by accepting Christ (Romans 3:28).
What the Holy Scriptures teaches is totally opposite to the pretentious position established by those additions. If you pretend to follow the way of Cain and the Pharisee, who pretended to present themselves along with their offering ( the lamb) before God, then God will reject you and your offering as well. The great apostle Paul declared, “…and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” (Phillipians 3:9).
In conclusion, it is essential to distinguish the implications of the Eternal Gospel. Many accept the gospel in theory- furthermore, no one dares to question this doctrine without exposing themselves as enemies of the Cross- they even use the proper vocabulary related to it. However, their attitudes are totally opposite to that which the gospel truly implies. This is a very serious contradiction. In other words, they add rules which are in opposition to the gospel’s best interests. For example, the so-called “close pulpit”, which prohibits the participation of any preacher, who shall be considered also a brother in Christ, just because the such does not belong to the same organization or council. This is totally absurd! Why? What matters here is what he preaches and not who preaches. But they pretend to impose their channels to God. Another example is the false teaching that states that any given believer must first do a series of formal steps, which the Bible does not supports, in order to be baptized. “I warn everyone,.if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to Him the plagues described in this book.” Revelations 22:18
My dear beloved reader, remember this: “the movement can only be seen through walking.” Therefore, whoever claims that the he understands or knows the gospel, must also accept all its implications; or by contrast, we will be forced to question your true beliefs and so-called knowledge of this topic, say, the gospel.