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Jan 12

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THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST

How many times have you heard the words, “the gospel of Christ?” No one’s memory is good enough to recall such a number! More than likely each time you heard it, it was with joy; that is if you paid attention to what was being said. On the other hand, if it was being used while attached to false teaching, it would bring no joy at all. This was the case when Paul wrote to the Galatians: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” Notice the change of words, as Paul wrote, “the grace of Christ,” but when Paul continued to write: “Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-7). Yes, we hear so much today about old-time preachers who did not preach enough about the “grace” of God as they preached too much about “doctrine.” Paul used the words “grace” and “gospel” interchangeable. Now, this is a “big” thing in the minds of a growing number of preachers today. In reality, it is not “new” but it is nothing more than “digging up old bones” from earlier years.
Now, getting back to our subject, “the gospel of Christ (grace)!” Paul in Romans 1:16 wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). You have heard and you have come to know that Paul is here declaring that “the gospel of Christ (grace)” is “the power of God unto salvation.” This is yet another point that you have known for many years. But, do you know why “the gospel of Christ (grace)” is the power of God “unto salvation? Well, there is something within “the gospel of Christ (grace)” that is not found anywhere else! That’s right, nowhere else! It is not found in a false “gospel of Christ!” A false gospel of Christ is not another of the same type as “the gospel of Christ!” God’s power to save rests within but one “gospel of Christ,” which is the inspired delivered “gospel.” Here recall Paul’s words to Jude: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Yes, when “the faith” was once “delivered unto the saints,” it was forever, never to be changed by adding to it, or taking from it, or a “pervert” gospel of Christ. But what is within “the gospel of Christ” that makes it God’s power unto salvation??
In order to answer the question, “What is within the gospel of Christ that makes it God’s power unto salvation?” As we go back to Romans and looking with care at the apostle’s words, after he has written: “the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation,” he follows up with these words: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed …” So often these words are just read over, and no attention is given to them, but they are most important to our understanding of the truth! Paul is saying that “within the gospel of Christ (grace)” is the means by which man can be made righteous! Paul is not addressing God’s personal righteousness but the righteousness or the justification of man. Where in all that has been written the world over, is God’s power to make man righteous? It is in “the gospel of Christ (grace)” and my friends, this power is not in anything else that has been written.
The apostle has saved us a lot of work and time, in that he has put his finger on but one writing, it may be identified in various ways, such as “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9), “the faith” (Jude 3), “the grace of Christ” (Gal. 1:6), “the truth” (John 8:32), or “the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16). Why is this true? It is because that God has not put in any other writing “the righteousness of God,” the power to make man righteous!
Therefore, we ask, when Jesus stood with the eleven, just before he was taken up, he gave their commission, wherein he said: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16-17). This is a system of “faith,” of “he that believeth,” but it does not end with these words, but as Jesus continued, “and is baptized.” If a person is baptized but does not believe “the gospel of Christ” is the writing where God has put “the righteousness of God.”
You see, a person must believe, have faith in, God’s righteousness which he put in “the gospel of Christ (grace)” and it is unto salvation!

Frank R. Williams

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