Gospel means ‘good news’ and it is generally used of the Christian message concerning Jesus Christ. Even in very early days there were those that tried to change the message the apostles were teaching. The Apostle Paul wrote, “There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7).
What was this perversion concerning which Paul warned his readers? They were saying that belief in Christ was not enough, but one must also keep the law in order to be saved. It must be Christ plus works.
Today there are still many who teach that faith in Christ is not enough, but that repentance and faith must be followed by baptism and a continuing life of good works. They teach that salvation is a process, and one can only know he is saved at the end of life. Baptism is viewed as washing away ones sins and as giving newÂ life, the beginning of this process of salvation. This produces an attitude of permanent insecurity. One can never know that he has done enough.
The gospel that Paul and the other apostles preached stated that the sinner is saved if he repents and trusts the Lord Jesus Christ, believing that on the cross He suffered for his sins. Christ’s death was adequate to pay for “the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Justification is viewed as completed, not as a lifelong process. Repentance and faith are not viewed as works but as a change of attitude. The sinner who trusts Christ gives up working as a way to get right with God. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). Salvation is instantaneous.
Have you been trusting in your baptism and good works in order to be made right with God? No one will be in Heaven on that basis. We have all sinned and deserve eternal punishment. It is only Christ who can take our load of sin and make us right with God. Turn from your sin and trust Him. Christ is enough: “He that hath the Son hath life” (1 John 5:12).
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