The elements of the full Gospel

posted in: Blog, My Blog | 3

Building doctrine and practice through verse picking and proof-texting is a marvellously creative art form. However, it is a dark art!

Romans 10:13 states that ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” So salvation is obtained simply by anyone who prays “save me please Lord Jesus”. Right?

Acts 16:31 has, ‘believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’ So, to be saved a person doesn’t even need to ask the Lord for salvation, he just needs to silently believe in Jesus. Right?

Acts 2:38 ‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ Ok then, if I ask God to forgive my past sins and have the priest sprinkle some water on my head and I will be saved. Right?

The problem with this approach is that it ignores other biblical texts which contradict or add to what we have so carefully selected. For instance, what about adding Acts 26:20 to Acts 2:38… ‘I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.’ And what happens when we add 1 Corinthians 15:2 to Acts 16:31 … ‘by this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.’

As with so many things in the scriptures it is not a case of either this or that, it is a case of both this and that. In order to get an understanding of the full Gospel message and the required response to it we must take all the relevant texts into consideration. When we do this we arrive at the following essential elements: REPENT – ACCEPT – ASK – RECEIVE – CONFESS.

To repent is to change one’s mind and set ones will to turn around completely from one state of life to another. To repent is to admit that I am a rebel and that I have lived my life my way and in my strength, and as a result have lived a life of self and sin. To accept is to believe that Jesus has paid the price for my rebellious sin and that I accept unreservedly his act of self-giving on my behalf. To ask is to request of God that he forgive me and grant me the free gift of new spiritual life. Finally, to confess is to confirm before others what Jesus has done for me and how I have responded to his grace. Confession is both verbal and through the act or water baptism.

Now I could support each of these elements with a biblical text or two but you might like to complete that exercise yourself… how about it?

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3 Responses

  1. Here is a great example of bad proof-texting, from a “pastor” who wrote to me on FB arguing that “we are gods”.

    “Dear Smith if you believe that a child of a snake is a snake & that of a dog cant be a donkey thus a CHILD of God cant be less than God but GOD Gen 1:26 we are made in God’s IMAGE What is an Image? Try 2look in the mirror, what do you see? IMAGE OF THE OBJECT FACING THE MIRROR! You can see your wife, otherwise it will be the highest form of witchcraft. John 10:34-36/ps 82:6. To moses in Ex 7:1- God himself said ‘I have made you a god to pharoah’ before this 4God 2qualify His sending Moses 2Pharoah he addresses Isreal as ‘HIS SON'(Ex 4:22-23) Jn 1:12/1Jn 3:1-, Jesus said he was God’s Son which made people say He was making Himself EQUAL 2 God. Im a Son of God. Like father like son. Rom3:23 Glory means the WEIGHTNESS/HEAVINESS OF GOD. What left man after the fall was GOD’S HEAVINESS we are weightless. Blessyou.”

  2. Here is a great example of bad proof-texting, from a “pastor” who wrote to me on FB arguing that “we are gods”.

    “Dear Smith if you believe that a child of a snake is a snake & that of a dog cant be a donkey thus a CHILD of God cant be less than God but GOD Gen 1:26 we are made in God’s IMAGE What is an Image? Try 2look in the mirror, what do you see? IMAGE OF THE OBJECT FACING THE MIRROR! You can see your wife, otherwise it will be the highest form of witchcraft. John 10:34-36/ps 82:6. To moses in Ex 7:1- God himself said ‘I have made you a god to pharoah’ before this 4God 2qualify His sending Moses 2Pharoah he addresses Isreal as ‘HIS SON'(Ex 4:22-23) Jn 1:12/1Jn 3:1-, Jesus said he was God’s Son which made people say He was making Himself EQUAL 2 God. Im a Son of God. Like father like son. Rom3:23 Glory means the WEIGHTNESS/HEAVINESS OF GOD. What left man after the fall was GOD’S HEAVINESS we are weightless. Blessyou.”

  3. Wow! Just as well you understand ancient languages, otherwise you would not have got what he was saying. Thank you for duplicating the comment 🙂 because I had to read it twice to comprehend.

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