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Grace: Is our message new? 

Gary Googe Jan 28

I know this may be hard to believe, but we have people today who try to tell us our message and our theology is new and not to be accepted.  Maybe these people need to open their Bibles and look at some passages they have been skimming through, taking a serious look at their content because our message is stated time and time again throughout the writings of the apostle Paul.  Of course, much of the problem today is that so many church leaders and others invest so little time in the writings of the apostle Paul.  Furthermore, most of them have no idea what the right division of Scripture is all about, even though we have been given a command in Scripture to understand it and apply it.

2 Timothy 2:15

15 Study [SPOUDAZO = be diligent] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [Emphasis added]

Because of its extreme importance, the first thing I want to mention in this article is the means to our salvation.  It is provided strictly by God’s grace and through personal faith in His provision.

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Emphasis added]

I don’t know how the apostle Paul could make this any plainer but so many miss it.

Romans 4:4-5

4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. [Emphasis added]

These verses and others make it perfectly clear that our personal works have nothing to do with providing us with salvation.

I hope you will be able to see in this article why so many of our churches are called grace churches.  Our emphasis should always be on the grace provision God made for our salvation through Jesus Christ.  Our focus is on the work of Christ, rather than our own.  That work is summed up very well in this next verse we’ll note.

2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

By faith alone in this which He did, the righteousness of God is immediately credited to the one simply believing it.  The result is that the one believing it is justified and forever saved.

Romans 3:28

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. [Emphasis added]

By trusting in His work, we’re reconciled to God and able to have complete peace of mind about our salvation and its perfect security.

Romans 5:1

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: [Emphasis added]

Many local church leaders are determined to blend these passages with ones that are not specifically addressed to us in our time.  They fail to consider the fact that books like James are addressed to Israel, not us today.

James 1:1

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. [Emphasis added]

You can go to any of these non-Pauline books and find commands and promises that were never addressed to us today.  The result has been confusion and denominationalism.

It is because of all this that we were first called protestants, meaning we protested the false teaching that was going on at the time in so many churches.  A major problem with this today is that many “protestant churches” still hold on to a lot of the teaching of the Bible that is not addressed to us.  Finding a local church that proclaims that which we sometimes speak of as the grace message can be very difficult because they are so scarce.

As what some people call fundamentalism, we believe in all the fundamental doctrines of the Bible.  That includes the inspiration and authority of the 66 books of the Bible, the deity of Jesus of Nazareth, His literal resurrection, His eventual return to the Earth to establish His earthly kingdom, and much more.  We also believe in a coming event called the Rapture and that it is followed by a seven-year period of Tribulation.  But most important of all we believe in the teaching of the apostle Paul who in Scripture is called the apostle to the GentilesWe place the value and relevance of his teaching to us above all others. This includes many of the teachings of Jesus Christ in His earthly ministry.

1 Corinthians 14:37

37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. [Emphasis added]

We are, therefore, to give priority to Paul’s teaching.  He is the one said to be our apostle.

Romans 11:13

13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: [Emphasis added]

For more information about why we make so much of Paul’s teaching, please see my articles about it.

Paul: Do we make too much of him?
Paul: What’s so special about his teaching?

The bottom line to it all is that God used the apostle Paul to give us His revelation to the church which is called the Body of Christ.  Every believer today is entered into this mystical “body” of Christ the moment they are saved.  This happens by what is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. [Emphasis added]

This, of course, is a dry baptism.  Not one drop of water is involved in it.  The one accepting Christ as his Savior doesn’t even realize this has happened to him until he learns about it through the apostle Paul’s writings.  In this union with Christ both Jews and Gentiles are entered into an everlasting relationship.  The fact that this would occur in our time was unknown until it was revealed through the apostle Paul.  That’s why it is called a mystery.

Ephesians 3:9

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: [Emphasis added]

For more information about this please see my articles about it on this website.  Just type a key word or more in the search box and they should come up for you to view.

Mystery: What is this secret that Paul wrote about?

Mystery: What is The Key to Understanding the Bible?

Mystery: What is the fellowship of the mystery?

Many of the truths written in Paul’s letters are called mysteries because before he wrote about those things they were only known to God.  They were all secrets.

Ephesians 3:1-3

1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [Emphasis added]

What are some of the things that had not been made known until they were revealed to Paul and provided for us as members of this Body of Christ? We’ll now look at some of those.

1st – A new method of salvation

In our time salvation comes when anyone accepts the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the sole work and means for their salvation. Salvation comes to us now through faith in God’s work in Christ, not our own.

2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

2nd – A new hope

Our eternity will be spent in Heaven and not on a restored Earth as it will be for regenerate Israel. This will begin for us at the time of what is called the Rapture which will be our time of obtaining a perfect resurrection body in which we will dwell in Heaven forever.  This all begins with our time of resurrection which today is called the Rapture.

Titus 2:13-14

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. [Emphasis added]

Philippians 3:20-21

20 For our conversation [POLITEUO = citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. [Emphasis added]

3rd – A new relationship

Christ will be Israel’s King, but He will be the Head of the Body of which each of us are a part.  We are now and will then be a new creation.

Colossians 1:18

18 And he [Christ] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead [speaking of His resurrection]; that in all things he might have the preeminence. [Emphasis added]

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [KTISIS = creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. [Emphasis added]

It is this doctrine that our apostle Paul gave us that had been a mystery and is now ours to protect and proclaim.

Romans 16:25-26

25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets [Literally the prophetic scriptures.  The word “prophets” is an adjective (prophetic) in the Greek text, not a noun.], according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: [Emphasis added]

It is Paul’s teaching about all this that we are to follow.  He is our example, not Peter, the other eleven apostles of Israel, or anyone else.

Philippians 3:17-19

17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Here we are even given a stern warning about deviating from this.

19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) [Emphasis added]

We are to not only guard these sacred truths, but we are to pass them on to others.

2 Timothy 2:1-2

1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. [Emphasis added]

To do this we are warned about avoiding all the distractions that will inevitably come along.  Unfortunately, many have not heeded this warning.  This was true in the apostle Paul’s lifetime even as it is now.  Please note some of the apostle Paul’s last recorded words about this.

2 Timothy 1:15

15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. [Emphasis added]

2 Timothy 4:14-18

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

16 At my first answer [his defense in court] no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

But notice the Source of his strength to withstand all this.  Such strength is also always available to us.

17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. [Emphasis added]

Because of Paul’s faithfulness, he knows there are fabulous rewards in Heaven that await him just as there will be for anyone who follows his example.

Conclusion—

No, our message is not “new” even though there have been many professed believers who have known so little about it.  If there’s any accuracy in history, there have been many people, even church leaders, who never learned much if anything about it since the ministry of the apostle Paul.  It is new even for many people today.  There have even been many believers who were elderly before they discovered it in the Scriptures. Now that you know it, I hope you will love it and cherish these truths always, realizing that there’s always even more about it to be learned and appreciated.  There will also always be those you will have the opportunity to introduce these wonderful truths to.  I hope and pray you’ll never be reluctant in doing so because of the opposition that is always a part of one’s environment, especially in “religious” circles.  Even the apostle Paul addressed this, knowing the opposition to these truths is always great.  This is why he had an ongoing request for prayer concerning this matter.

Ephesians 6:18-19

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, [Emphasis added]

I pray you will be one who will boldly and courageously present these truths.  Such may cost you dearly now, but in eternity there will be everlasting reward for such faithfulness.

2 Corinthians 5:10

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. [Emphasis added]

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