Gospel Centered – Part 1
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” – Romans 1:16-17.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings – 1 Corinthians 9:22-23.
People cannot be saved by keeping the Law – Rom. 3:27-28. The first thing we need to mention (again) is that people can never be saved by keeping the Law. This, of course, refers to the Law God gave Israel in the Old Testament. But it really does not matter what law we talk about; we can never be saved by any law. We simply cannot live perfectly to keep any law, even the law of our own conscience. The same thing is true today. We will not be saved by “belonging to a church family”. We will not be saved by baptism, nor will God accept us if we take communion. We can keep all the religious rules and have a strong moral compass, but we will never belong to God by doing these things and we will NOT be accepted by God because we do our best. The only “law” to belong to God is the “law of faith”. Only by believing in the gospel can a person be right with God.
People cannot be saved by trying to be good enough – What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Since we all possess the “image of God” we have the capacity to do good things relative to other human beings. However, before God, no one is good enough, no one is righteous. Everyone is under sin and condemned before God.
People cannot be saved by God’s love – John 3:16-17. Our culture has this very messed up. The cultural concept of love is that if you love someone you will accept them; true love means you love the person and accept them for who they are. The Scriptures make it clear that not one single person will be accepted by God simply because He loves us. While God loves everyone and demonstrated that love to us by “giving us His Son” that does not automatically mean God accepts us or we belong to Him. Notice in John 3:16 it is careful to say, “…whoever believes in Him will not perish…”. God’s love does not save us. ONLY those who respond to God’s love by believing in His Son … will NOT PERISH. God’s love is unconditional in that He showed it to all mankind through the sacrifice of His Son. Only those who believe will have everlasting life with God. Notice that God’s love is conditional in that it requires everyone to believe in His Son. If you don’t receive Christ, you perish.
People are saved through the gospel. The gospel is not a thing but a person. The gospel is the only “life-ring” that God has thrown out to humanity. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot rescue other people by praying for them. We can never assume we are going to a “better place” when we die apart from the doorway of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The key to remember is that the gospel is the person of Jesus.
People can only be saved through the gospel. John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is not about any particular church or religious traditions – the one who can save is Jesus… final answer.
In His grace,