Just what, exactly, was the message of that “another gospel” that Paul repudiated so strongly? Is it still being preached today?
“There is also “ANOTHER GOSPEL” (Gal 1:6-12, 2Co 11:4), which is not another, and which Paul repudiated. It is a perversion of the true Gospel and has many seductive forms ‘, and in the main teaches that “FAITH” is NOT SUFFICIENT to Salvation, nor able to keep and perfect, and so emphasizes “GOOD WORKS.” Col 2:18-23, Heb 6:1, Heb 9:14. The Apostle Paul pronounces a fearful “Anathema” upon its preachers and teachers. Gal 1:8-9.” Larkin, Clarence. Clarence Larkin Collection – 6 Complete Larkin Books [illustrated] . Kindle Edition.
I was intrigued as I read this and reflected on the letter that the Lord led me to send to my mother nine months ago. In that letter, I made a declaration of our departure from my family and a call to the Gospel of Grace. The theme of that message was that a lifetime spent pursuing Adventism had produced a harvest of hatred, bitterness, and – worst of all – a large extended family utterly bereft of the love of God. That they were all blinded to the truth of the situation amazed and alarmed me.
My message in that letter refuted the official claim held by the Adventist Church that faith alone was insufficient for salvation and called upon them to accept the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus. My computer informs me that ‘free gift’ is redundant, which illustrates that even a computer can see how ridiculous it is to assume that a gift must or can be earned.
In that message, I described their folly as “another gospel,” assuming at that time that there were multiple ‘other gospels’ being taught. The Holy Spirit spoke accurately through me despite my ignorance. It is the poison apple of a faith plus works theology that is promoted as the doorway to salvation. This is the deadly teaching that Paul described as “another gospel.” There is no other. I am humbled by the power and love of God.
This insidious false gospel is Satan’s primary tool to derail anyone seeking to serve the Lord. It sneaks and slithers into our thinking at every turn. For example, in recent years, those expecting the return of our Lord were urged to make themselves “Rapture ready” and they immediately began searching for ways to make themselves more acceptable to God. Silly rabbits! You were Rapture ready the instant you accepted the Lord’s gift of salvation! Nothing can ever change that!
“You cannot be saved if you continue to sin willfully,” they contend. The Apostle Paul describes this seeming dilemma in Romans 7:
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin. 15 For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 16 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. 17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good. 19 For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice. 20 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the law that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present. 22 For I delight in God’s law after the inward person, 23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God’s law, but with the flesh, sin’s law.” Rom 7:14-25 WEB (Emphasis added)
It is that “inward person,” the new creation, that is saved irrevocably, to the uttermost! Though we must continue to dwell in this body of sin and death until the Lord takes us, we are no longer culpable for its sinful behavior. Though sin continues to have intrinsic penalties for us, the loss of our salvation can never be one of those. The Holy Spirit that indwells us does not back up a U-Haul truck to us and move out every time we commit an offense.
As a small lad visiting my grandparents on their farm in Arkansas, I can remember watching my grandmother wring the necks of chickens, preparing them for supper. It was fascinating as a child to see their headless bodies jump and run about the chicken yard, smacking into the henhouse and fence, until their vital forces finally ebbed and subsided. Like a chicken with its head cut off, the flesh will continue to thrash about until its death is finally complete and we dwell in perfect resurrection bodies.
Once the Lord has accepted you, as He does for every sinner the instant we declare His Lordship and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead (Rom 10:9-10), sin is no longer a pivotal issue in your life. It has been taken away.
Salvation is a single step, not a lengthy process. It is the first step on the path to sanctification: your growth, maturation, and perfection. The death of the flesh is a major part of that process. You can never become unsaved.
Don’t be fooled by those repeating Satan’s false gospel that anything other than faith is required for salvation. Like Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness, their arguments will all begin with the words “It is written” and an artful twisting of scripture will follow. Better yet, walk away from them and don’t contend with them, unless the Lord shows you that they have an openness to the message of salvation.
For more on this, read “Saved! Saved Forever! Safe Forever! No Argument!” Here. I suspect the title may give away the point it makes.
- Adapted from #91237724/Jankovoy-adobe stock.com
- #206397564/Leksphotostudio-adobe stock.com
- Don’t Mess With Israel by Greg Lauer @alittlestrength.com