Saturday, August 17, 2013

Triplets of Faith: Three True Gospels

Christians believe in one God, yet He is a triune God: God the Father; Jesus Christ the Son; and the Holy Spirit. Aspects of His triune nature are reflected in His creation, attributes, incarnation, earthly ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection, to name but a few.

So it is not surprising that throughout Biblical dispensations, there are three true Gospels: the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14), the Gospel of Grace (Acts 20:24), and the Everlasting Gospel (Revelation 14:6-7). All of these are “Good News,” which is the meaning of the word “Gospel,” to those who place their faith in God, but judgment to those who do not (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).

Paul also refers to “another gospel,” (Galatians 1:6-9, 2 Corinthians 11:1-4) or false gospel that results in damnation rather than salvation because it requires that good works must be added to faith for a person to be saved (Colossians 2:8;18-23; Hebrews 6:1; 9:14). The preacher of such heresy is condemned even more than those who believe it (Galatians 1: 8-9).

God is unchanging (Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17), so how can there be three true Gospels? Although God made different covenants with mankind throughout Biblical history, the common element is our faith in Him (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:1-11; Hebrews 11). Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). Previously, now, and in the future, salvation is by His freely given grace, solely through our faith in Him, and not in our own works in a futile attempt to earn our entrance to Heaven (Ephesians 2: 8-9).

What is saving faith? It is our belief that God is Who He says He is (Matthew 16:15-17; John 1:12; 11:27) and that He will do what He has said He will do. By definition, it goes beyond what we can see and fathom intellectually (Hebrews 11,1), yet it is supported by visible evidence throughout God’s creation of Him as the Supreme Designer (Psalm 19:1). Faith only results in salvation if the object of that faith is the one true God, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit.

Even unsaved people have “faith” that a chair they have never sat in before will support their weight, or that a pilot they have never met is capable of safely flying them to their destination. Evolutionists have “faith” that eons of time and astronomical odds result in creation of life from inanimate matter, and increasingly complex life forms from simpler ones, even though there is no observable evidence of these theories that defy known laws of thermodynamics.  

These types of misplaced “faith” do not result in forgiveness of sins or eternal life, for only the fool says in his heart that there is no God (Psalm 14:1).and worships the created being rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).

When we try to determine whether another person will keep their promise, we examine their character, intentions and their ability to carry out those intentions. We may believe that a spouse wants to support and encourage us throughout our lifetime, and they may have a good and faithful character so that they sincerely want to do so. Yet humans have limited power and finite time on earth, so they may fall short of their promise due to physical or mental infirmities or even untimely death (Job 14:1; James 4:14).

When we believe the promises of God, it is because we have faith not only in His character and intentions, but also in His ability to fulfill those promises. We believe that He is love (1 John 4:8), truth (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 71:22; John 18:37), and light (1 John 1:5), and that He therefore wants only the best for His children (Matthew 7:11; Romans 8:28) and will never lie (Titus 1:2).

Because God is perfectly holy (Leviticus 11:44,45, etc.) and just.( Job 4:17;8:3, etc.), He must punish sin and separate Himself from those who sin, unless they are redeemed by the perfect sacrifice of His Son (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

God has unlimited ability to fulfill His good intentions toward us because He is omnipotent, with infinite power (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17,27) omniscient, with infinite knowledge of all things past, present and future (Psalm 139:1-6); and omnipresent, so that He can be anywhere and everywhere, accompanying us in any and every circumstance (Psalm 139:7-11). He will never leave nor forsake His children (Hebrews 13:5).

Next week we will begin to explore how God progressively revealed and will reveal Himself to those who believe in Him. Praise God that His promises can be trusted, and that faith in Him brings eternal life!

© 2013 Laurie Collett
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Denise said...

Always blessed by your blog.

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Denise, for your sweet encouragement. God bless,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
Yes, there is only one Gospel, and what Paul says to the churches of Galatia in Gatlatians ch.1 v.6 'I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel', warns us not to turn away from the One who calls us into the grace of Christ. It appears there were those who were in the church but turning away from God. God bless you Laurie.

Ceil said...

Hi Laurie! Yes, I can say that I believe in God's promise, but I do need to be reminded of that truth. Then I can live free, knowing he will save!

Nice to see you today!

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
When I read your blog title: Three True Gospels, I thought; ay-ay, what's this? What about the fourth?
Then you explained what I believe may be the three dispensational Gospels: Kingdom, Grace and Eternal. Although I'm familiar with the three terms, to honestly admit, I'm still somewhat confused about the differences between them, if such differences exist and how they apply to us.
I believe it was Schofield who coined up the term "Dispensation" and have divided human history into seven dispensations or time periods in the way God deals with mankind. Those periods are:
Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, Promise, The Law, Grace, and Kingdom - with each period ending with an important or prominent event: Fall, Flood, Tower of Babel, Call of Abraham, Exodus, Crucifixion and the Second Coming ushering the Kingdom, with this ending with the Last Judgement and the re-creation of the New Heaven and New Earth. Schofield also concluded over the Rapture and the seven year trib, with the reign of the Antichrist during the second half of this terrible period.
I don't doubt any of Schofield's conclusions, as I too am waiting for the Rapture, apparently the next event to occur on God's calender.
But one thing I have concluded from the entire Bible, and that salvation and reconcilation with God works through one agent only - faith - from the faith of Adam and Abel, right through to the faith of the Millennium saints at the end of human history.
An excellent article, Laurie. I am looking forward to read the coming series of blogs about God.
Sorry if this comment is so long.
God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
Yes, in this Church Age, the only Gospel that saves is faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only way to eternal life. Heresy about works being needed for salvation crept in almost as soon as Paul left the church at Galatia.
God bless you and your ministry,

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Ceil, His truth has set us free!
Blessings to you,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Frank, for your thorough comment -- your insights are always a great addition to and perspective on my posts. As you point out, the dispensations are different from the Gospels, and I believe that understanding both are necessary to "rightly divide" the word of truth. The present dispensation, or Church Age (Grace)I believe is the only one where the Gospel of Grace applies, as I plan to discuss further in subsequent posts.

But as you say, faith is the common thread that allows salvation and reconciliation throughout history. Like you, I'm eagerly "looking up" for the Rapture, which, judging from current events, could be any day now!

God bless,

Nadwra┼╝liwiec said...

I very often see people from Roman Catholic Church, especially elder people (but also people in my age, who attempt to universities). And I think, that most of them are people full of faith, but their faith and eagerness are badly used. Instead of Jesus they prefer rather the Pope or saints. I live in country where is a lot of this type idolatry, so the words of Paul about bad eagerness are very near to me.
For these people Gospel is "too simple", so they prefer their own unbiblical teachings. Sometimes Roman Catholic Church is their all culture, so that's why a lot of Polish Catholics are so closed for Gospel.
It was difficult to understant for me (my family is mostly atheist or protestant), but it is more clear for me now.
Thank You for this post.
Greetings for You, dear Laurie! Have a blessed week.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Zim,
Yes, many think the Gospel is too simple, but Christ Himself said that we need the faith of a child to trust Him. People want to make it more complicated by adding their works to it, so that they can be proud of what they did, but the true response to His saving grace should be humility, realizing that without Him we can do nothing.
May you have a blessed week in Him,

Donald Fishgrab said...

Faith is crucial if one is to please God according to Hebrews 11:6, yet Jesus asked "...Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" in Luke 18:8. It sure makes one aware of the need for what you have pointed out here. Great post.

Laurie Collett said...

Great point, Donald. Praise God that He loves us even when our faith falters, and that even if our faith is only the size of a mustard seed that He can show His power through it. Thanks for your encouragement & God bless,

Jenifer Metzger said...

Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday. God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Jenifer, for your comment & for hosting! God bless you too,

Anita said...

Praise God, dear Laurie,

I loved your post! I see the emphasis on work for salvation so often, and can't imagine how sad it must make God that so many believe this lie.

I also think many unintentionally think they have to work for their salvation, which is a cause of much unhappiness. As work becomes the focus, rather than relationship.

To God be the glory, for His saving grace.

I am truly thankful for all He has done for me.

Thank you for linking up at Scattering the Stones.

Jennifer @ said...

Thank you for linking to #TellHisStory, and your commitment to the life-changing power of God's Word. You're a blessing, Laurie.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Anita,
So true, that the cults all demand works to achieve salvation, which is a lie from Satan. And I think many who know they are saved only by God's grace still fall into the trap of thinking we have to work to please God. Of course, good works will naturally flow from our joy and gratitude, but He already loves us infinitely, so we don't have to work to earn His love. Praise God for His freely given love and grace!
Thanks so much for your lovely comment & for hosting, & God bless!

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Jennifer, for your lovely comment and for hosting! You have blessed me too!
Love in Him,

Unknown said...

Brilliant post, Laurie. So much truth here to think about.
Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays. Blessings.
Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Mel, for your sweet words of encouragement & for hosting!
Many blessings to you and your ministry,