What is the gospel message and the advantages of not changing it?
Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ’s work by crucifixion, add or subtract anything else and it changes the message.
The gospel is a simple message about God’s love to us as individuals. God loves you enough to tell you that you are a sinner. He loves you enough to not watch you perish but has done something about it.
The gospel is focused on the person Jesus, it does not involve a ritual, a ceremony but the message of what He did for us. The Gospel is Christ crucified. The Gospel is the “power of God to salvation” (Rom. 1:16). The gospel is always a present invitation, a now proclamation, not a tomorrow one (the Scriptures declare that today IS THE DAY OF SALVATION).
The gospel that Paul delivered and we stand in is found in 1 Cor.15:1-4. It is centered on Christ dying for our sin and resurrecting. And Paul wrote in Eph. 2:8-10 how we receive it. By grace through faith.
The Bible states it is the “preaching of the cross” that contains “the power of God” unto salvation, because only by believing the finished work of Jesus on the cross can save us from the penalty of our sins. 1 Cor. 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” Paul speaks of the cross as an “offense” (Gal.5:11) in Greek “scandalon,” meaning (scandal) a stumbling block. The cross was symbol of shame to the Romans, for it was criminals who received this kind of death penalty. But it became something wonderful to the Christians for it spoke of victory over sin and death. It was THE CROSS (crucifixion) that was preached for salvation!
Repentance does not mean to stop and turn around and gaze but to change ones mind and direction, to walk toward and follow Jesus. So many are satisfied with people raising their hands to a man led invitation of words many do not understand what is being said in the first place.
The blood is the life.
The Old Testament sacrifices for sin show it is always the blood that gives us forgiveness. Jesus fulfilled these types (Lev. 5:10, 16:15, 19, 30, 17:11. Ex. 12:5, Deut. 16:1, 2). When He came to be baptized by John He was announced by what Israel was most familiar with. The main presentation, his first open declaration was as a sacrificial lamb for sin, behold the lamb of God said John. Identifying him with Isaiah 53. This antitype comes from Exodus 12. Four times in the New Testament we are told that He is the lamb. The Passover lamb is the antitype of Jesus as the Lamb of God; only He could take away our sins.
We find sanctification and cleansing, (purifying) are attributed to Christ's blood, Heb. 9, 10:10; 1 Pet. 1:2; to the Holy Spirit, 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Cor. 5:11; and through the word Jn. 17:17. We connect with this by faith.
Jesus completed his mission by saying near his death “it is finished,” and then dismissed His own spirit to die. The Church was purchased by the blood He shed when he was alive giving his life as a sacrifice, not by a spear from a Roman soldier piercing his side after he died (Jn. 19:33-35).
Col. 1:20: “having made peace through the blood of His cross.” The whole New Testament proclaims blood of Jesus for the atonement. The remission of sins comes to us by faith through Christ’s blood. It is Jesus that saves, not a ceremony; He saves us by His work on the cross. We draw near and enter by faith. No one can enter by the work of his or her own hands, or through a religious ceremony. It is through the person of Christ, we come to Him by His high priestly work. He made the way open, it’s all God’s work as Heb. 9:12, 14 tells us. By the blood of Christ our ONLY high priest.
It is only those that deny the sufficiency and efficacy of Christ’s blood that will add commands and works (such as baptism, or works or experience). If one insists that they cannot be saved without these, can they be saved by faith? No. Herein lies the issue which is not a matter of preference, but of eternal life. If one needs works (baptism or anything else) along with faith to be saved then no one could be saved on their deathbed; this would exclude the thief on the cross whom Jesus promised would be with him.
The Gospel is not a ritual, a ceremony or activity but is accepted by faith. It is not by faith in a ritual, a ceremony or activity; but faith in Christ - what the Son of God did on the cross for us that was acceptable to God the Father. The gospel is simply this: 1 Cor.15:1-4; furthermore Paul affirms that anything more than this is annulling it (Gal.1:6-9). The gospel message is the power of God to salvation - once understood it becomes a motivation to exercise ones will to call upon the Lord to save them from their sin. It is also a motivating factor for believers while we are still here living life to look for any opportunity, to share or initiate a conversation for others to have the promise of eternal life
You cannot repent and confess your sins without faith in the atonement. In other words, you cannot come to God without the Son of God’s work on the cross. I Jn. 5:11-12: “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” It concentrates on God who became flesh (1 Tim. 3:16) and His work done on the cross to forgive our sin. This is obviously denied by the world’s religions and the cults. genuine faith to believe in the crucified savior. True belief will be followed by an action; your life willfully turns around after you understand why He went to the cross.
The Gospel consists of three parts. 1) He (Jesus) died for our SINS 2) He was buried (proving He actually died), 3) He rose again, taking up the same body that He was born and lived in One can concentrates on a certain aspect like his death, or resurrection is not changing the gospel message. However, If they teach that Jesus died and did not raise from the dead physically then it would be eliminating the 3rd portion of the gospel.
The bible warns about adding or subtraction. If one adds healing or speaking in tongues or baptism to be part of the gospel they are changing the gospel message. If one communicates the gospel can be learned through nature, the stars or the pyramids they have misstated its essence and how it is given.
The gospel is preached:
Paul and the apostles preached “the cross,” “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). It is the “preaching of the cross” that contains “the power of God” unto salvation, because only by believing the finished work of Jesus on the cross can save us from our sins. 1 Cor 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.”
So why do so many people not continue in their profession of faith? Some have pointed out that one of the reasons is that we lack discipleship in the church. Statistics prove there is an 80-90% fall-away rate on new “decisions” for Christ. Of the 10 to 20% that still come to church only about 3% of them are truly committed, active and faithful workers for Christ. Faithfulness is the outworking of living faith.
Many stop at conversion (in the mind) without regeneration (in the heart). In other words, they are convinced in their mind they need a savior, but it has not grabbed hold of the heart for them to commit to wholeheartedly to follow Christ. We have people years down the line of their decision saying Jesus is not God; then who saved them? Their unwillingness to follow Him shows that they do not esteem Him for who He really is, they have no dedication. Maybe they thought their prayer or baptism was enough, or attending church each week would keep them safe. Salvation is the work of the Spirit from the start to completion, but man must cooperate.
Constant avoidance of mans sinful condition is the very opposite of the messages the great preachers gave that led revivals. Without being convinced of our sinfulness and the only hope being the savior Jesus Christ our eyes are not truly open to the glorious message of the gospel.
Maybe preaching a sensual type love, a phileo love, where God is our buddy, like friend interferes with our respect for him as master, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.
Problems like these are not too complicated to fix, all we need to do is get back to the simplicity of the gospel, stay biblical and not appeal to people by tolerance. We will only produce true, faithful disciples because they believe from their innermost being that Jesus is the “only way” to eternal life, this authentic action of trust will set their course to produce a changed life that will last through eternity.