Christianity affords us much liberty in our expression of the Gospel. You can find Christian churches with a contemporary style of worship and those with a traditional style. If you like both styles, you can find Christian churches that have both. God has no problem with any of these.
Furthermore, Christians disagree on many things in the Bible. There of some essentials of the faith, however, that we must agree on if it is true that we are believers of the gospel of Christ as opposed to another gospel.
Essentials of the Christian faith include belief in the deity of Christ, the virgin birth of Christ, the bodily resurrection of Christ, salvation by grace through faith in Christ and that all Scripture is by inspiration of God. These doctrines form the foundation of the gospel.
We may disagree on what type of attire one should wear in church. Or what style of preaching is most effective. Or what type of church administration the Scriptures support. Or whether or not apostles exist in the church today, etc. But the essentials mentioned in the previous paragraph are the bedrock of the Christian faith.
One thing that should be readily apparent to all is the wide variation of ministry styles among church leaders. Some are balanced in their preaching and teaching, striving to proclaim the whole counsel of God. Others focus almost entirely on one or two areas of the gospel such as blessings or grace or the end times or the works of the Holy Spirit.
When you combine the diversity among church leaders with the allowance for disagreement within Christendom, there is a real possibility for the message of the gospel to be exploited or perverted. Accordingly, there are some who are preaching another gospel in lieu of the gospel of Christ.
Based on the essentials of the faith mentioned above, not every church that labels itself as a Christian church is a purveyor of the gospel of Christ. It behooves us then to assure that the local church we attend is one that promotes the gospel of Christ and not another gospel.
Three Biblical Facts About Another Gospel
In his letter to the church at Galatia, Paul the apostle chastised the congregation for its embrace of another gospel. Here are three takeaways from his epistle:
- It is possible to believe the gospel of Christ and then to depart to believe another gospel. “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for another gospel,” Paul writes (Galatians 1:6, NASB). Note his amazement at how quickly or readily the desertion occurred.
- Many who preach another gospel are in effect preaching a distortion of the gospel of Christ. What they preach has enough similarity to the gospel of Christ that those who lack discernment risk being deceived. Paul writes, “Which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ” (verse 7).
- God has not given and will never give us another gospel. Accordingly, we need never lend our ears to those who claim to have received a “new revelation of truth” from heaven. “Even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” Paul warns (verse 8).
Paul wrote words of rebuke to the church at Galatia because her members had been deceived to abandon the message of the grace of God and embrace salvation by works. Similarly, we must remain vigilant because there are those among us today whose message constitutes a perversion of the unchanging gospel of Christ.
Copyright © 2019 by Frank King. All rights reserved.