By Jarrod Belcher
We began a couple of weeks ago talking about the need for clarity among Christians in defining the gospel. We spoke the first week about distinguishing the true gospel from the false gospels that are often propagated. Last week we covered two points that distinguish the true gospel in that it teaches that righteousness is found apart from the Law and that it is received by faith alone. A third gospel particular is that it is for all that believe without distinction (Rom. 3:22). That is to say that Christ died for a people from the whole world regardless of whether they are Jews or Gentiles, Middle Eastern or Native American, Chinese or African.
In our day and time this doesn’t seem all that revolutionary but it was hard for the new Jewish Christians to conceive of the idea that salvation was also for the Gentiles. And until Jesus gave the Great Commission to preach the gospel to the whole world salvation was found predominantly in Judaea because that’s where all the worshipers of the One True God were. The obedience of those early Christians to spread the gospel to the whole world has trickled down through the years to where we can now truly say that God has a people of every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Another gospel particular is that salvation is by grace alone (Rom. 3:24). Last week we mentioned that salvation is received by faith alone. But we should know that even the faith we have is a gift from God. It is not something the best of us conjure up from within in order to please God.
The Bible says that no one seeks after God and it says in another place that we are dead in our sins. Unless God had been gracious towards us we would not have believed him. All of these things are so that no one may boast before God about their contribution in salvation. We cannot say that God did his part and then I did mine, for salvation is from the Lord and it is by grace through faith in Christ. The pure gospel says that we must fall completely upon Christ and his finished work on the cross for our salvation.