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Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
The Gospel that was Preached
1. Men have made false distinctions between the gospel of Christ and the doctrine of Christ.
2. Some say gospel is only preached to the lost & doctrine is taught to the saved. But…
a. Paul was ready to preach the gospel to Roman Christians (Rom. 1:15).
b. Doctrine was delivered to the lost to save them when obeyed from the heart (Rom. 6:17-18).
3. Many say the gospel of Christ is only his death, burial and resurrection – that is what is important (“core gospel”), while doctrine is secondary, non-essential and varied.
a. Gospel is the message of how God saves sinners, Rom. 1:16-17.
b. Doctrine of Christ (apostles) must be continued in steadfastly and followed carefully, Acts 2:42; 2 Tim. 3:10.
4. Understanding the nature of the gospel will practically affect the choices we make in our lives; misunderstanding the gospel will lead to defending sinful choices.
I. THE GOSPEL THAT WAS PREACHED, 1 Cor. 15:1-4 (Gal. 1:6-9).
(Gospel was preached, received, stood in, means of salvation if obeyed).
A. The Gospel is a Word that is Preached, 15:1-2; 1 Ths. 2:13 (4).
B. It is Conditional, 15:2; Matt. 7:21; Mk. 16:15-16.
C. It can be Believed in Vain, 15:2.
-By not continuing to stand in the gospel, people fall away through error and disobedience, 1 Tim. 4:1-2; Gal. 5:4-7 (Heb. 10:39).
D. It is Exclusive, 1 Tim. 1:3 (one faith, Eph. 4:5).
E. It Accords with Godliness, 1 Tim. 6:3.
* -Cannot be godly if we are out of harmony with it!
F. The Gospel includes all of Christ’s Teachings (all of his revelation, Gal. 1:11-12); Matt. 28:19-20.
1. The kingdom, Mk. 1:14-15.
2. Repentance, Mk. 1:14-15.
3. Grace, Acts 20:24.
4. Faith, Phil. 1:27.
5. Obedience, Rom. 16:25-26 (2 Ths. 1:8).
6. Hope, Col. 1:5, 23.
-2 Tim. 3:16-17: All inspired Scripture is for “doctrine” & thoroughly equips us to every good work. None of it can be minimized w/o sinning against God.
II. SOME SINFUL EFFECTS THAT HAPPEN WHEN FALSE DISTINCTIONS ARE MADE BETWEEN GOSPEL AND DOCTRINE.
A. The Reality and Necessity of True Doctrine is Rejected (“not essential”). Yet, 1 Tim. 4:6, 16; 2 Tim. 4:2-4 (word…teaching…sound doctrine…truth).
1. Authority is minimized (Col. 3:17).
-Illus: Episcopal Church (in B’ham: St. Paul’s split to form St. Brendan’s Anglican Church. One reason is concern the national church is watering down the authority of the Bible; Another, that it is teaching Jesus is “a way, not the way” to salvation, B’ham Herald, 2/9/08)
2. cf. How to be saved (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38). Men who once taught the plan of salvation reject it as “legalistic” (cf. Max Lucado).
3. cf. True worship (instru. music), Jno. 4:24 (Eph. 5:19).
4. cf. Moral standards become subject to culture, to environment and situations (situation ethics), cf. Eph. 5:5-7 (cf. immodest clothing, 1 Tim. 2:9-10).
B. Sin is Redefined out of Existence (1 Jno. 3:4; 5:17).
1. Revealed truth (God’s word) defines sin (Rom. 7:7). But, if doctrine (teaching) is not essential, then the sin it defines becomes inconsequential.
2. We often hear that sin is a “disease” or an alternate lifestyle.
3. Sin becomes relative to one’s own interpretations & experiences.
-cf. Homosexuality, Rom. 1:24-27
C. How a Person Feels becomes Truth & more important and than what the Scriptures Say (Prov. 14:12; 28:26).
1. MDR: “I feel God approves of our marriage” (though Matt. 19:9 is violated). Cf. woman who wrote: “In my mind you are not my husband anymore nor do I believe God considers you a husband. You are an infidel and a non believer therefore I am no longer bound in God’s eyes.”
2. Use of alcohol: “I feel one or two drinks are OK” (1 Pet. 4:3).
3. Immodest dress: “I feel I’m dressed OK because everyone is dressed this way…because it’s my job to dress that way.”
4. Salvation: “I feel I’m saved” (though the Bible says you are lost).
1. There is no difference in the Bible between “gospel” and “doctrine” – it is invented in men’s minds to form a basis for their departures from truth.
2. Rom. 1:16; 6:17-18: The gospel is God’s power to save sinners when its form of doctrine is obeyed from the heart.