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Faith and the other Gospel

Posted Jul 02, 2011 by Craig Jones in Everlasting Gospel
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Previously I wrote about my understanding on what is faith. I would like to share something that was confusing to me until one day I decided to examine the verse more closely. I should also state that this examination took place after I came to this understanding of what is faith. The passage in question is:-

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Another Gospel which is not another gospel. How can we understand what Paul is trying to convey?

In Acts 7:60 Stephen is stoned. The year is AD34. Immediately after Saul's conversion, and he became known as Paul, he went into the desert for three years to be taught of the Holy Spirit so he would be qualified to preach Christ to the Gentiles. Notice how Paul puts it in:-

Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Gal 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

34+3+14=51 History tells us that AD51 is the date of the Apostolic conference held in Jerusalem. This conference is recorded in Acts 15

Act 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

Act 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

The principle behind the act of circumcision as being necessary for Salvation is - works based Salvation!

Paul preached for 14 years to the gentiles, then some Jews from Jerusalem arrived on the scene and started preaching that you cannot be saved if you were not circumcised (works based salvation). This was a problem not of minor proportions but major, so major that he says that it actually perverted the Gospel of Christ.

This problem was so major that according to Acts 15 Paul “had no small dissension and disputation with them” i.e. a large dissention and dispute with them. So important was this issue that Paul, Barnabas and Titus travelled to Jerusalem to bring this before the apostles.

What was the principle behind this that upset Paul so much that he said it perverted the Gospel of Christ? Replacing faith based salvation with anything works based.

Our carnal hearts are very good at telling others what they must do to be saved. But what does scripture say?

First lets look at :-

Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Question – who puts the Spirit of Jesus into your hearts? God the Father.

Turn to Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.

So if God puts the Spirit of Jesus into your hearts how does he dwell there? – By Faith

What is faith? Faith is expecting that the word of God has the POWER to do exactly what the word of God CLAIMS that it can do and then trusting God to do just that.

So exactly how does Christ dwell in our hearts? By expecting that he will

Turn to 1Jo 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: The commandments were true in Christ but John says that they are true in you - Are they true in You? Do you expect that they will be?

Turn to Phi 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Do you expect that the work which God has started HE will finish. Do you leave that work to him and trust him with it? Do you expect that the commandments will be true in you? Titus 1:2 God cannot lie?

Hab 2:4 but the just shall live by his faith. So how do the Just Live? By expecting that the word of God has the POWER to do exactly what the word of God CLAIMS that it can do and then trusting God to do just that.

Turn to Phi 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Phi 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope,

Who is going to supply the Spirit of Jesus Christ? Gal 4: 6 God. How is God going to supply the Spirit of Jesus Christ? According to my earnest expectation and hope,

But notice also that Paul says that his Salvation requires the Pilippians’ prayer. Do we pray one for another? According to scripture this is what God would like to do to our hearts – change them so we pray for each other.

Is there any better news than this? Listen to the words of Christ Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Listen to the prophet:-

An hour was occupied in reading, and in talking to them about the necessity of their understanding how to exercise faith. This is the science of the gospel. The Scripture declares, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." The knowledge of what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of cultivating faith, is more essential than any other knowledge that can be acquired. We suffer much trouble and grief because of our unbelief, and our ignorance of how to exercise faith. We must break through the clouds of unbelief. We can not have a healthy Christian experience, we can not obey the gospel unto salvation, until the science of faith is better understood, and until more faith is exercised. There can be no perfection of Christian character without that faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. {RH, October 18, 1898 par. 7}

We all as humans are naturally very good at telling others what they must do to be saved. We give lip service to the statement that Christ has done all for our Salvation and then we add the little word but. “But you must have a willing heart or But you must confess and repent first or God cannot forgive you or some other But”. Unfortunately whenever we add this little condition we do the same as the Jews did when they said but you must be circumcised. By putting up conditions in this manner we are denying that God is drawing us and leading us to repentance and He is doing this work in us and making it a work we are doing to obtain the prize. Notice Paul said that was perverting the Gospel of Christ.

Lets look at an example of faith - Christ on the cross.

Did the word of God say that Christ would rise on the 3rd day . Yes the feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firsts Fruits prophesied this.

Jesus himself declared it on behalf of the father. Joh 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Joh 2:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? Joh 2:21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

Listen to the prophet:-

The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God. {DA 753.2}

Christ only had the old testament scriptures to read. He would have known that Psalm 22 was an alternating parallelism of the very last thoughts that would pass through his mind before he died, alternating from doubt at the promptings of Satan to Faith in the word of God. He had to expect that the word of God had the very power to do what it claimed it could do and then trust God’s word to accomplish just that. Listen to the last words Christ spoke before his death:-

Luke 23:46 Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:

Listen to what the Prophet said:-

In that thick darkness God's presence was hidden. He makes darkness His pavilion, and conceals His glory from human eyes. God and His holy angels were beside the cross. The Father was with His Son. Yet His presence was not revealed. Had His glory flashed forth from the cloud, every human beholder would have been destroyed. And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father's presence. He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him. {DA 753.4}

Jesus could not stay in the grave any longer because the word of God has real power to execute the word of God. God is asking of each one of us exactly what he asked of his Son. Trust me he says, My word is Power.