TRUE VS. FALSE GOSPEL – TWO DITCHES TO AVOID
– Ray E Horton
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). Yet many still preach a false gospel.
Two ditches to avoid:
The false gospel of counterfeit grace that doesn’t require faith.
The false gospel of legalism – grace sought by works.
We must realize that holiness is the fruit, not the root. Holiness comes from having been Born Again, rather than being a prerequisite
I’m not sure many false teachers actually teach license, but they permit it by not challenging sin. We must realize that holiness is the fruit, not the root. Holiness comes from having been Born Again, rather than being a prerequisite. When an unbeliever is told to come just as you are, the touched heart that believes and acknowledges Jesus’ death and resurrection wants to change, and now can, having the Holy Spirit of Truth, the Counselor, the Advocate, to enable that change.
A key understanding that we must keep foremost in mind in order to preach the “True Gospel of Jesus Christ”: Paul preached grace received by faith.
The “other or False Gospel“: Grace attempted to be received by works. We are to keep Jesus’ commandments to love God and neighbor, which incorporates the others, but we do it in the power of the Holy Spirit, not to get saved (Jesus did that) or to maintain salvation (that would be works rather than faith), but from the right motivation of love and gratitude for our wonderful salvation.
We Overcome Sin by Grace
Grace, far from being license to sin, is the means by which we overcome sin. We live the way we were saved, by faith, and we have the resources of God the Holy Spirit within, for we have been given all things necessary for life and godliness, as we read in 2 Pet. 1:3. Note what Paul teaches the Galatians: ” Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal.3:3).
It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance (Rom. 2:4), so as we preach the true Gospel of God’s goodness and grace, people will repent, turning to Him for salvation. Then as New Creations, whose hearts want nothing to do with sin, with the renewal of the mind, sinful habits and ways of thought and wrong teaching fall away and they grow strong in Him. By preaching the uncompromising Word, the Good News, we avoid the “sugar coated watered down” gospel that says you needn’t change, because we give people a heart for change in the repentance that is in response to the wonders of our Lord.