1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
GOSPEL: G2098, euaggelion, yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on
From the same as G2097; a good message, that is, the gospel: - gospel.
The GOSPEL is a very simple message, but vain religion attempts to make the gospel message more complicated than God intended. The reason that some clergy make salvation so complicated is usually because they are attempting to put themselves between us and God, and they can thereby make a nice living off of our ignorance.
It is exceedingly wicked to twist the GOSPEL of God’s “love” for mankind into a message of “fear” in order to manipulate, control, and use other people…especially Christians, who are attempting to follow and serve Jesus Christ.
Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
We see how simple the GOSPEL message is in the Book of Romans:
Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
We can observe a two-step process. First, we confess that Jesus Christ is LORD (in other words…JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD!) This is the confession that made the Pharisees and certain of the Jews so angry with Him.
Joh 19:7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
In our Christianized world, we do not really comprehend that we are blaspheming when we claim that we are the children of God. Aren’t we all God’s children after all? However, the Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming for himself.
Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself EQUAL with God.
EQUAL: G2470, isos
- equal, in quantity or quality
In the ancient world there were plenty of stories, and plenty of precedent, concerning gods procreating with human women and producing semi-divine children, who’s offspring were called the demi-gods, because these part god/part human offspring were a little lower than the gods, but they were also a little higher than a regular human being (I believe all these stories are based on Genesis chapter six, where the fallen angels begot children with human woman).
However, there was absolutely zero precedent for somebody claiming that they were begotten by JEHOVAH, the GOD of the Jews! Well actually there was one precedent in the scriptures:
Psa 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psa 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I BEGOTTEN thee.
Psa 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Psa 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Psa 2:10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Psa 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
BEGOTTEN: H3205, yâlad, yaw-lad'
A primitive root; to bear young; causatively to beget; medically to act as midwife; specifically to show lineage: - bear, beget, birth ([-day]), born, (make to) bring forth (children, young), bring up, calve, child, come, be delivered (of a child), time of delivery, gender, hatch, labour, (do the office of a) midwife, declare pedigrees, be the son of, (woman in, woman that) travail (-eth, -ing woman).
Jesus was claiming to be GOD’s only “BEGOTTEN” SON, and Jesus was claiming to be the Jew’s prophesied MESSIANIC KING. Jesus was NOT exactly what the ruling authorities expected. This is why the Jews were so furious with Jesus, and this is the main reason why they wanted Him crucified. This is also why Saul of Tarsus was imprisoning Christians where ever, and whenever, he could find them…until he found out that Jesus really was the Son of GOD and the MESSIAH!
However, this is exactly the confession which is made unto our salvation!
Rom 10:10…with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Confessing with our mouth is the easy part, but we also need to BELIEVE WITH THE HEART UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS!
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
However, there is a huge difference between “belief” and FAITH. Belief cannot be FAITH unless we add THE necessary ingredients to our belief! Let me give a few examples.
In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel safely crossed the Red Sea when God parted the waters, but the Egyptians were drowned when they attempted to cross the sea.
Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
What was the difference?
The Israelites had a direct promise from God…the Egyptians didn’t!
Exo 14:16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
If we do not have a direct promise from God, we are being very presumptuous if we believe that God will always intervene on our behalf whenever we decide to act without any confirmation from Him.
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
The Egyptians “believed” they could cross the Red Sea just like the nation of Israel, but they did not have the “Word” of God. This is why it is so important to enquire into the will of God before we take any action. A little time in prayer, or a little time searching the scripture, can make an enormous difference between success and failure, between peace and anxiety, between life and death!
Another problem, that is just as bad or worse than presumption upon the intervention of God without His Word, is the failure to obey Him when God has given us His direct Word.
We see that presumptuous pride is very displeasing to God by the example of King Saul. God told King Saul to wage war upon the Amalekites and to completely destroy them and their livestock. King Saul decided to obey God “part way”. He decided to not kill Agag, the King of the Amalekites, and Saul also decided not kill all the livestock because some of his soldiers wanted to keep them…apparently in his mind, to offer a sacrifice to the LORD.
1Sa 15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
1Sa 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Despite all of King Saul’s claimed good intentions, God calls the failure to obey His Word, rebellion, stubbornness, iniquity, idolatry, and witchcraft! TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE!
Many people, including many Christians, are acting in the same rebellious way as King Saul, but they still expect God to bless them. FAITH requires a direct Word from God… plus COMPLETE OBEDIENCE!
There is another story in the Book of Kings that should make us all sit up and take notice. God tells a man of God living in Judah to travel to Bethel and to curse an altar that the King of Israel had set up, and God put some very specific stipulation upon the prophet’s conduct. After the man of God had cursed the altar in Bethel, another of God’s prophets asked him to go to his home and eat.
1Ki 13:15 Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
1Ki 13:16 And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:
1Ki 13:17 For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
However, the other prophet of God would not take no for an answer.
1Ki 13:18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
1Ki 13:19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
The man of God in the Book of Kings would later pay a dear price for being disobedient to the direct Word that he received from God, even though he was being lied to by another prophet.
1Ki 13:20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back:
1Ki 13:21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee,
1Ki 13:22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
After the man of God leaves the prophets home, a lion kills him on his way back home.
1Ki 13:24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.
We can see from this story that it is tremendously important to hear DIRECTLY from God for ourselves, and then to be COMPLETELY OBEDIENT to God’s Word. We cannot afford to place any pope, prophet, apostle, or even an angel, in the position of an intermediary between us and God. This admonition also includes what I am writing in my blog articles, PLEASE SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES, AND PRAY TO KNOW GODS WORD, DIRECTLY FOR YOURSELF!!!
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
How do we KNOW that we are saved?
- If we CONFESS the LORD Jesus Christ with our mouth, AND 2) we BELIEVE that God has raised Him from the dead…than we know that we are saved by FAITH
FAITH: G4102, pistis, pis'-tis
From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
SALVATION is NOT about a one-time confession, or a one-time belief in our life, a long, long time ago. I absolutely do not believe in “once saved always saved”! SALVATION is about CONTINUALLY confessing Jesus Christ as LORD, and CONTINUALLY believing that His finished work, AND OUR FINISHED WORK, was accomplished on the cross almost two-thousand years ago. Jesus Christ’s SAVED us with HIS SACRIFICE, and HIS BLOOD is eternally sufficient, as long as we have FAITH!
I know that sometimes our hearts will condemn us, and sometimes other people will condemn us, but God will never condemn us as long as we have FAITH.
1Jn 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
1Jn 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
When I was young, I wasn’t exactly a “model” Christian. My heart condemned me when I was doing things I shouldn’t have been doing, and when I was hanging out with people that I shouldn’t have been hanging out with, and when I was going places I shouldn’t have been going to. However, I always confessed Jesus Christ, even when I wasn’t exactly the best example of a “Christian”. Slowly but surely, God has separated me from the world.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall ENDURE unto the end, the same shall be saved.
ENDURE: G5278, hupomenō, hoop-om-en'-o
From G5259 and G3306; to stay under (behind), that is, remain; figuratively to undergo, that is, bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere: - abide, endure, (take) patient (-ly), suffer, tarry behind.
If you do not want your heart to condemn you, if you want to have confidence toward God…then here is some good advice.
Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.