By Shawn Brasseaux
There are many “Gospels” or messages of “Good News” in the Bible, but there is only ONE GOSPEL THAT SAVES TODAY—it is called “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Unfortunately, much of Christendom ignores the Gospel of Grace and refuses to peach it because the Gospel of the Grace of God contradicts denominational tradition and works-religion! The message of grace maintains that we cannot work for salvation, so God gives us salvation as a free gift. Religion, on the other hand, says that if we work hard enough we may please God, and then God may reward us with salvation. But, the Bible declares the opposite:
- Romans 11:6 KJV: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
- Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
- Romans 3:28 KJV: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
- Romans 4:5 KJV: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
- Acts 16:31 KJV: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
- Titus 3:5 KJV: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Oddly enough, it seems like even many evangelicals (who do understand that we cannot work for salvation) will encourage us to do many things so God can accept us for salvation. When religion talks about salvation, you will hear about all sorts of do’s and don’ts: “come walk the aisle,” “ask Jesus into your heart, “make Jesus the Lord of your life,” “turn over a new leaf,” “join the church,” “love your neighbor,” “keep the sacraments,” “pray the sinner’s prayer,” “repent of your sin (stop sinning),” “give offerings,” “confess your sins,” “don’t worship the devil,” “take the Lord’s supper,” “keep the Sabbath,” “follow the Lord in believer’s water baptism,” and “join our local church!” The list goes on and on and on as people continually add a whole load of garbage to the pure message of grace! What a shame that they complicate the simple salvation in Christ Jesus with false gospels (2 Corinthians 11:3,4).
When the ascended Lord sent Paul to be “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11), Paul received a commission and ministry that was separate and distinct from the ministry God gave Israel’s twelve apostles. To Paul alone, God revealed “the revelation of the mystery [secret]” (Romans 16:25,26). This mystery was a set of doctrines of previously unrevealed information, that God had never given to any other man, apostle, or prophet. The Lord committed to Paul the “Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:1-9), and God also entrusted Paul with a special Gospel, “the Gospel of the Grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Paul also calls it “my Gospel” (Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8) and “that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles” (Galatians 2:2).
What is Paul’s Gospel (the Gospel of the Grace of God)? We find it in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. “How that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures.” Through Paul’s Gospel alone, God would form the Church the Body of Christ. If we tamper with that pure Gospel of Grace in any way, this goes against what God is doing today! When we pervert the Gospel of Grace, we are going contrary to what God wants accomplished, and we prevent people from hearing the message that tells them how to avoid the everlasting lake of fire. Do you really want to fight against God, friend? I hope not.
In Christendom today, religion has tainted and perverted that pure Gospel of Grace that Paul preached. In fact, many of the people corrupting the pure message of God’s grace are professing “Christian” pastors and teachers! Oh, what a shame, what a shame, what a shame!! But, this is not something new. The Apostle Paul had to deal with people corrupting his Gospel in Galatians! Know what God’s Word says in Galatians 1:6-9 about those who mix Paul’s pure message of grace with works-religion? Let those people be “accursed,” cut off from fellowship! Notice Galatians 1:6-9 KJV:
“6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
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.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Of course, let me assure you that I acknowledge there are a few people who have remained faithful to teaching the Lord’s Word rightly divided and preaching Paul’s pure Gospel of Grace. Praise the Lord we have these few faithful Christian brethren! However, predominantly, there are far more people preaching false gospels, gospels that God considers damnable. They either add to Paul’s Gospel, or they subtract from it, and one is just as bad as the other. This is a serious matter, and I hope everyone here is basing his or her faith on the pure Gospel of Grace of Christ crucified, buried, and risen again, and not relying on some religious ritual or denominational doctrine (more on this at the end). Trust in Christ Jesus ALONE without relying on your works.
I am sure you have seen and heard of these “religious tag lines” before:
“NAME IT, CLAIM IT”/“FAITHFUL FINANCIAL SUPPORT”
We have the prosperity preachers and teachers who claim if you just faithfully and financially support their ministry, God will pour out material blessings on you. For example, they will tell you that you will receive physical healing and financial prosperity. What a lie because we are not under Israel’s performance-based acceptance system of Judaism! Paul says we are under grace, not law (Romans 6:14,15). We have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ, without us having given money to or joining any organization or church (Ephesians 1:3). We are not promised physical healing and abundance of material wealth. Paul was a poor tentmaker, physically ill and yet he was content in God’s grace (2 Corinthians 12:9,10; Philippians 4:10-13)! Paul lost his apostolic ability to heal anyway (1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20). Some religious leaders and organizations will go so far as to tell you that you must be a part of their group to be saved.
“ACCEPT JESUS INTO YOUR HEART”
It is a serious matter when people are told to “accept Jesus into their heart” as means for salvation! This is not Paul’s Gospel, and yet we are hearing this cliché so much in “Christian” circles as though it were the Gospel of Grace. Now, once a person is saved by believing the Gospel, then Jesus Christ indwells the person’s heart in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, salvation is not received by simply “asking Jesus to come into your heart.” It makes no sense to lost people to hear this message. Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s cross must be clearly preached in order for a person to place his or her faith in that cross work of Christ, but “asking Jesus into your heart” simply masks over the saving power of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary.
“WALK THE AISLE FOR JESUS”
Walking an aisle has nothing to do with salvation: it too is a denominational doctrine, a commandment of men, a vain religious tradition. The Bible says absolutely nothing about walking an aisle, for salvation or otherwise. I understand that many people attempt to quote Matthew 10:31,32 when the Bible speaks of “confessing Jesus Christ before men,” but these verses have nothing to do with us because it refers to the future seven-year Tribulation! There is no salvation in walking down any aisle. How many people are in hell today because they thought all they had to do to be saved was walk down a church aisle and merely make a profession of faith? (They were wrongly led to believe that they merely had to say “Jesus is Lord” to receive salvation.)
“SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER”
There is no salvation in saying any prayer, and you probably hear more about the “sinner’s prayer” than any of these other clichés. What Paul instructed us to do was to believe the Gospel of Grace, and that will bring about our salvation. Every “sinner’s prayer” is different, but there is only one pure Gospel of Grace! If a person wants to pray after believing the Gospel (after he or she is saved), that is fine, but there is no salvation in any prayer whatsoever!
Maybe you have told people these things before. You meant well, but you did not know better because you were taught wrong for so long. At one time, I was guilty of doing the same thing, until my eyes were opened about this matter. There is NO salvation in saying prayers, walking aisles, accepting Jesus into your heart, or financially supporting a ministry.
It is my hope that we can reach those who are erring in regards to this issue of “gospel clichés,” and hopefully they can be brought back to that pure ol’ Gospel of Grace, the only Gospel that has been saving lost mankind for these past 2,000 years! God will hold you accountable for what you teach—me included—so we better be sure we are preaching and teaching the pure Gospel of Grace, and not some man-made imitation message.
And to think of all those poor souls out in a lost eternity right now, all because they did not place their faith in the pure Gospel of Grace, the Lord Jesus Christ crucified, buried, and risen again. How heartbreaking.
THE PURE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV
“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
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;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Friend, trust in this Gospel alone and God will save you forever.