THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 5-3-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE GOSPEL OF GOD: NO OTHER GOSPEL”
How wonderful it is to know God and to have the health, strength, and will-power to give this time to Him on this Lord’s Day morning. Thank you for putting God first today and choosing to commit this time of offering to His service.
Today, we will again be uplifted through our commitment to serving God as commanded, as we approach His almighty throne. How enjoyable it will be to worship our God through prayer, song and the study of His matchless Word. Won’t you do your part this morning to see that our worship together is acceptable so that our glorious creator may be glorified?
Now, as we begin our offering to God, will you bow with me in prayer!
This morning, we want to begin with a song that reminds me of just how much our savior should mean to us. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing, “Jesus Is All The World To Me.?”
(SONG # 1)
How exciting it is to watch the first steps of a small little baby. And how many things a child has to learn as they begin to walk and become mobile in this life. Even as adults we often wonder which way to go or which road to take. So, whether you are talking about a baby in a literal sense or a baby in a spiritual sense, we all have to begin somewhere to become what we are today.
The great news is, we can count on a lot of help on the way. Again whether we are talking about the first steps of a child or the first steps of a new child of God we all need help. Think for a moment about the role of that parent, there beside us as we grow, holding our hand. That loving individual ready to catch us when we fall. Well, in our physical lives we do have those who help and thus we learn to walk, grow and to become the adults we are. Spiritually speaking, we also have the parent - God in heaven. Again, He is there, holding our hand, ready to catch us when we fall.
I think that David understood this when He said, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth,” Psalm 124:8. Wow, what a statement! Yes, we have help, and it comes from God Himself - but consider the power of this God who extends to us this helping hand. The verse said, He is the one, “who made heaven and earth.” Now think about that for a minute. If our God is able to make heaven and earth, and if he is able to make us and even breathe into our bodies the breath of life - Just what can’t he do?
The same Old Testament writer goes on to say, “He is our help and our shield,” Psalm 33:20. In Psalm 30:10, he again clarifies that God is our, “Helper!” In chapter 55:4, we read, “God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life.” How wonderful it is to know that our God is there and that He is not only willing but able to uphold our lives.
Why not trust more in the Lord and turn your life over to Him. And not according to what you want or think, but according to what He desires according to His loving and precious Will. Are you relying on the help of God? Are you completely submitting to His will?
Today we will be continuing our series on “The Gospel Of God!” Our next lesson in this study is entitled, “No Other Gospel!” So stay with us and after our next song together, we will be lead in the main thoughts of the day.
As far as our speaker, we are happy to have brother Ted Clarke with us this morning. Brother Clarke is the minister for the Marshfield Church of Christ and he is also a full time instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank Him for being with us and we look forward to him leading our thoughts at the appropriate time. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ted Clarke
Good morning and welcome to “The Living Word” Bible program. I am Ted Clarke and I am happy to be back with you in the study of “The True Gospel of God.” Our lesson this morning deals with the topic “Only One Gospel.” We trust that you will have your Bibles in hand or pen and pencil so that you can jot down some scripture references and follow along as we engage in the study.
In the book of Galatians chapter 1 verses 6-9, the apostle Paul said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him that called you in the gospel, in the grace of Christ that is, to a different gospel which is not another, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from Heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which you have received or that which we preached, let him be accursed. As I have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any gospel to you other than that which you have received, let him be accursed.”
The apostle Paul emphatically claims that there is only one gospel, but as it was in the first century so it is today, there were some who were promoting different gospels and claiming that they were the true gospel of Christ. The apostle Paul said it is not so. There is only one and that gospel really has no competition. No other gospel can stand up to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You have probably heard a number of times as these lessons are being developed that the gospel is another word for “the Good News,” the “Good Message.” Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament words says that originally the word “gospel” referred to the reward given to somebody for presenting the Good News or Glad Tidings. I would assume that idea of the reward dropped off and the word itself simply came to mean “Good News” or “Glad Tidings” delivered by someone. Well the Good News of Christ is of course that He came to this earth and suffered on the cross and died for our sins and was buried, but raised the third day victorious over death and assured us that we have the hope and the promise of eternal life through that which He has done for us.
But there is a sad situation that exists in the world today and you are as well aware of that as I am. In many places people are teaching different gospels, contrasting gospels, different doctrines, different plans of salvation telling people some that you can be saved this way, another that you can be saved another way, but the fact of the matter is that there is only one gospel as the apostle Paul brought it to our attention. Now you might say, “Well, we just live in a world that is religiously divided and there is really not anything we can do about it.” But I would beg to differ with that and call your attention to the fact that the apostle Paul in the book of 1 Corinthians pointed out to the Corinthians there that they had a responsibility. He said in verse 10 of chapter 1 in 1 Corinthians, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
Now tell me why the apostle Paul would have written that if it would have been an impossibility. If it was impossible for men to understand the Bible alike, if they could not know what God’s Word said to the point where they could all speak the same thing and all be joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment and if there was no divisions among them, why did Paul command that if such was an impossibility? Well of course it wasn’t an impossibility and it just requires us to study God’s Word, to come to an understanding of what it teaches and to get together and resolve that we are all going to be joined together and united in the same purpose. That’s all that we need to do. Unfortunately, there are so many creeds of denominations and catechisms and church disciplines and all that sort of thing that men have written, that really complicate the matter. If we would just discard all of those manmade doctrines and commandments, Jesus said, “In vain do they worship Me, teaching as their doctrine the commandments of men,” if we would just get rid of all those things and go back to depending entirely on the Bible, how wonderful it would be and how much more easily we could come to a central agreement.
Then over in Romans chapter 15 verses 5-6 the apostle Paul said this, “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded toward one another according to Jesus Christ that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Again the apostle Paul insists that unity among believers is possible.
I call your mind back to the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ in John chapter 17 when He prayed to God first for Himself and thanked God for the opportunity to come here and serve Him in the way that He did, and then prayed for the apostles in the next part of that chapter. Then down in chapter 17 verses 20-21 Jesus prayed for all believers and listen to this which is truly the Lord’s prayer. He said, “I do not pray for these alone (speaking of the apostles) but also for those who will believe in Me through their word that they may all be one as you Father are in Me and I in You that they may be also one in Us that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Now brethren and friends, our divisions cause people in the world to distrust Christianity. They say, “Well, you teach this and you teach that and how can we know what the Truth is?” Well, the Lord told us how to discern the Truth in this very prayer when He said, “I do not pray for these alone but also for those who will believe in Me through their words.” We have to go back to the Bible and start calling Bible things by Bible names and doing Bible things in Bible ways and having a “Thus sayeth the Lord” for what we teach and practice and only then can we truly be united on the only authority that exists for our faith and that is the very Word of God.
Over in the book of 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 16-17 Timothy said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.”
If we had all of the inspired scriptures of God, tell me what more do we need? The answer is nothing! The apostle Paul said that scriptures are able to furnish us and complete us in everything about which we need to be concerned in religion.
Jude verse 3 says, “Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you concerning our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
You know Christians in the 1st century were united because they had nothing before them but the very Word of God and they did not have those catechisms and church manuals and doctrines and creeds that we talked about before that were simply the invention of men. So the way for us to deal with the problems are before us today is to get back to the one gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Going back to Galatians chapter 1 verses 6-9 again. I want us to go through these verses and look at what the apostle Paul was saying in these.
In verse 6, he said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel.” Well it seems to be the case that God’s children have never been faithful to Him for a very long period of time without going into some type of apostasy. It was true of the Old Testament of Israel. They were up and down like a yo-yo or a see-saw. All you have to do is read the Old Testament and find that out and unfortunately that became true of the Lord’s church, too. And Paul had noted that there were some who very early after their conversion to the gospel of Christ were not happy and sought out other things. Somewhere or another it seems that people just cannot be satisfied with what God’s Word teaches. Maybe it is too simple for them. Maybe it is not fantastic enough or glorious enough in their eyes. But really when it comes from God, that ought to be all that is required to satisfy. Paul said that they were turning away to a different gospel. He didn’t mean a different gospel of the same kind because there is only one of the gospel message. What they were turning to was different gospels that were conceived by the minds of men and which in reality turn people away from God and Jesus Christ and the Word which was once and for all delivered to the saints.
It was that which the apostle Paul was concerned and in the next verse he said, “which is not another gospel, not another of the same kind, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” How sad it is that there are people today in this world that actually have it in mind to pervert and to change the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now some people of course just don’t know any better, perhaps because they don’t know the gospel itself. And so they come up with ideas and schemes and teachings that they think really help supplement God’s Word and change it to be something other than what God intended for it to be. But these people in reality twist or distort God’s Word and make it into something that God never intended and that is what Paul is talking about here. There are some who trouble those that want to stay in the paths of righteousness and follow God’s Word and they are under condemnation as we will point out here in just a minute.
Then Paul said, “But even if we…” Now he is speaking of himself, I believe, as an apostle and putting himself in company with the other apostles. “Even if we the apostles would preach to you any other gospel than that which we have preached unto you, let us be accursed.” And he says, “Not only that, but if an angel from heaven should come down and claim to be delivering a gospel message from the Lord, that that angel himself would be accursed,” because they would be violating what God already revealed through the words of our Lord and the words of the precious apostles of Christ. Well, Paul wasn’t going to do that. He wasn’t going to teach a different gospel. None of the other apostles were going to be teaching a different gospel, but Paul was using that for an illustration to try to convince those that were teaching it just how serious a matter this was. And he said, “Though we, an apostle or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel then we would be accursed.” He would teach that and in verse 9 it says, “As I have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches to you another gospel than that which you have received then let him be accursed. Now friends, that word “accursed” there is a very serious word. It means to be cut off irrevocably. That means they would lose their salvation and any hope of eternal life that they once had. You cannot preach a false gospel and expect that God will welcome you into heaven with open arms. That is not going to happen. We need to be sure that we have turned ourselves in to what God’s Word teaches and to stand by that.
Finally, I want us to look at this matter very quickly and that is the gospel contains facts to be believed like the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians chapter 15:1-4). But that is not all the gospel is, just facts to be believed because the apostle Paul and Peter both say that the gospel has to be obeyed. In Romans chapter 10 and verse 16 the apostle Paul said, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel.” Now that shows that he is not just talking about facts here but he is talking about commands that God gives and that Christ has given through the holy apostles. We must obey the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as believe the truth about His death, burial and resurrection. There are things we have to do in order to accept the gospel. We must believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, repent of our sins, confess His name as Lord and then be buried with Christ in baptism to have our sin washed away and arise to walk in newness of life. Then we have to live a godly life before the Lord and serve Him through His church which is the body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Finally, there are promises to be enjoyed in the gospel. The very fact that Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ as the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Salvation! Redemption from sin! Eternal life! My, my! How great our God is! How wonderful are the blessings that He has laid out for us.
I hope you will think about these things as we have related them to you this morning and that as you study your Bibles you’ll be able to determine for yourself what the truth of God’s Divine Word is. Remember the prayer of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as He prayed to God and said, “I pray for them Father who will believe on you through the word of these apostles that they may be one even as we are one, that they also may be one in us.”
Friends, eternity awaits, but whether or not we will spend that eternity with God in Heaven depends on our acceptance of the only true gospel that is set forth in God’s Divine Word. I hope that you will devote yourself to a study of that true gospel. If we can help you in any way, please contact us at the church. Thank you very much.
(SONG # 3 - “Kneel At The Cross!”)
What a blessing it has been to join together in the things of God this morning. Thank you for doing your part in making all these things to be according to His Will. As always, we invite you back every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
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May we study God’s Word so as to know the true Gospel of Christ? For there is but one saving message from God that can save our souls! Are you willing to submit to His Gospel?