Only One Gospel!

Today I would like us to consider Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”

The Apostle Paul says here that he would not preach any other gospel to the Corinthians “save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”! But he also says something else. He says that his preaching of the gospel was not done through “excellency of speech or of wisdom”.

Let us look at a few other scriptures in relation to this.

In 1 Samuel 16:7 God tells the Prophet Samuel that “…the LORD looketh on the heart”.

And in 1 Corinthians 1:20 we read that God has made foolish the wisdom of this world.

When you put all these statements together you arrive at two conclusions:

  1. God has only one gospel for us;
  2. God is not going to use our brains or our human wisdom to reveal His plan and purpose for our lives. God uses the heart. The heart is God’s workplace. In other words, God wants to change our hearts. We are what our hearts are. If our hearts are touched and changed by God, then we are changed. We become truly new creatures in Christ.

If we are not changed on the inside, we remain the same, old selves. We might have many things on the outside and appear to be rich spiritually, but the cold fact remains that we are unchanged. We could even have big ministries but God is not interested in that. In fact, we should be careful not to measure our status with God according to any external thing that we might have or that we could be doing.

There are things that have to do with our hearts and this is all that God is interested in. Purity of heart, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Gal 5:22-23) – these are the truly major issues with God.

The catch with mainstream Christianity is that it is the easiest thing to agree with this sentiment mentally, but it is an entirely different thing to live that life. Christians are struggling with these things every day of their lives! Keeping our hearts pure is not so easy after all! We need to experience Christ’s death in our lives daily so that His grace may be found in us.

Apparently, there were other gospels the Apostle Paul could have preached in his day. But he chose to preach only one – the gospel he knew had the power to change people on the inside.

When this revelation is lacking in our hearts, we console ourselves that we are okay even as we chase after other gospels which do not benefit our souls.

Paul, as Saul, was one of the most learned men of his day in the things of God. And yet, in the first chapter of Galatians he reveals that during the time that he thought he knew everything about God, it was at that very moment that he was persecuting the Church of Jesus Christ! He had all the head knowledge concerning God, but his heart remained unchanged. He was still an ordinary man, full of pride, anger, malice and hatred.

What was lacking? Paul answers this by declaring that the change in his life came after he received a revelation of the crucified Jesus Christ. Mark you, it was not a vision, but a revelation. In his spirit, he understood that Jesus died so that he, too, could identify with Him in that death in order to be found with Him in His life! And since this revelation was a work of the Spirit of God, there was a power that came with it to effect that change in Paul. It was a work so powerful that it conquered the sin nature in Paul’s life.

There are many different gospels being preached today; but it is difficult to find a gospel that deals with the issues of the heart of man. Many deal with the emotions of men. The heart is left untouched. People hear a gospel, but they are left still carrying loads of bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, fear and many other un-Godly things. They jump and scream on hearing ‘powerful’, charismatic sermons, but they go home and live defeated lives. Pride – the true self in man – is destroying many Christians’ lives. Because the gospel they are hearing is not a revelation, these people’s hearts remain untouched – and their lives remain unchanged.

If victory over self and sin is lacking in our lives, then no matter what other ‘victories’ we may have we still are far short of the mark.

God is not going to change our hearts – and our lives – through head knowledge, or any other gospel apart from the gospel that the Apostle Paul received, which is the gospel of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

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