If You Hold Fast to The Truth

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 ESV

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.”

The Two Opposing Gospels

The Apostle Paul penned thirteen to fourteen of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And the gospel message that Paul preached, not just in this passage of Scripture, but all throughout his teachings in the New Testament, is not the same as the popular gospel message of today which is permeating the American church.

Both gospels are called “the gospel of Jesus Christ,” but only one is the true gospel and the other is a counterfeit. So, it is critical that we know the difference so that we don’t buy into the counterfeit gospel thinking we have accepted the true gospel and then end up finding out that we believed in vain and therefore we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God.

People believe in Jesus, or they are thinking that they are believing in Jesus, because they want a better life for themselves than what they have. Some believe in Jesus because they want to die with Christ to sin and they want to live to him and to his righteousness, in his power. Others believe because they want to escape the guilt and the punishment of sin and they want to have the hope of heaven as their eternal destiny, but nothing else.

Only belief centered in Jesus Christ is true belief, though. For, we can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ, and even the faith to believe in Jesus comes from God, is divinely persuaded, and is gifted to us by God. And Jesus is the author and the perfecter of that faith. So such faith will submit to Christ as Lord, forsake sin, and walk in obedience to the Lord and to his commands.

[Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23]

The Counterfeit Gospel

Now this counterfeit gospel is being presented as though it is the true gospel but it is a fake substitute. For, it delivers no one from his bondage to sin, and it gives a false hope of salvation and eternal life with God based on a lie which neutralizes or reduces the true gospel message and which turns it into something which actually opposes the truth of the gospel Paul taught.

So, when people believe in this gospel of salvation they don’t die with Christ to sin because they are taught they don’t have to stop living in sin, that they don’t have to forsake their sins. And they are also taught that they don’t have to obey the Lord and his commands, because they call that works-based salvation. And so they don’t have to submit to Christ as Lord, either.

So, the result of that is that those who believe in this gospel end up continuing in deliberate and habitual sin, only now they feel they can do so without guilt or punishment for they believe all their sins are forgiven – past, present, and future, and that God can no longer see when they sin, for they are being told that all he can see is Jesus when he looks at them.

And so we have church gatherings filled with the ungodly who are still living for themselves and not for the Lord, who are still lord of their own lives, who are still living for self-pleasure, who are addicted to sin, and are living in addictive sin cycles, engaged in all manner of evil, in particular sexual immorality, who are having their guilty consciences soothed by this cheap grace gospel (the supplanter) so that they can keep on sinning.

And this is purposeful. This didn’t just happen. This was planned over many years, and it was slowly introduced into the church in small portions so that little by little they began to embrace the lies in place of the truth. And this began with people in high up positions in the government and in church denominations who then passed it down to their people and their Bible colleges, and then their pastors passed it down to their people.

And the intention was to destroy human lives, to obliterate the true gospel of salvation, and to send people to hell on the fake promise of heaven. And this is because this comes from Satan and his anti-Christ teaching of an anti-Christ gospel message which obstructs people from coming to true faith and true deliverance from their bondage to sin and from true salvation and true freedom in Christ. And far too many people are buying into it.

The True Gospel

Both gospels tell the same story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, his ascension back to heaven, his sending of the Holy Spirit to indwell those who believe in Jesus, and his coming again one day to judge and to take his bride to be with him. And they both teach about hell as the destiny for all who do not believe in Jesus, but their definition of “belief” is not the same.

Let’s begin with Paul’s words here in 1 Corinthians 15 where he speaks of the gospel that he preached to them. Notice that there is a condition attached to this salvation, and it isn’t just “belief.” And notice the verb tense regarding that salvation. We are being saved and our salvation won’t be complete until Jesus returns for us his bride and he takes us to be with him forever. Our salvation is in process, not a one-time deal.

For us to receive that salvation at the end and to have eternal life with God we have to hold fast to the word Paul preached, and this includes all that Paul preached on the subject of salvation from sin and eternal life with God, and what constitutes true salvation and what must take place in our lives in that process of salvation for us to have eternal life at the end.

So, what all did Paul teach? He taught that belief in Jesus involves us dying with Christ to sin so that we no longer live in that sin, so that we are now free from our slavery to sin so we can now live as slaves of God and of his righteousness. And he taught that we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and to sanctification and which ends in eternal life (see Rom 6:1-23; cf. Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58).

And he taught that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For, if we live according to the flesh, in sin, we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the body (the flesh), we will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God (see Rom 8:1-17).

And he taught that we are not to live like the ungodly, giving ourselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. For that is not the way we should have learned Christ. For the truth in Christ says “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (see Eph 4:17-24)

And he and the other apostles taught that those who make sin their practice, who deliberately and habitually sin against the Lord, who walk in the darkness and not in the light, who walk according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, and who sow to please the flesh and not the Spirit, that they do not have eternal life with God but they will face the wrath of God instead. So, please take this to heart.

Please believe the true gospel, the biblical gospel message, and please reject the gospel that tells you that all you have to do is just ‘believe’ in Jesus and that nothing else is required of you. For belief in Jesus Christ is not just a confession of him as Savior. Our salvation from sin and our eternal life with God are both conditional upon us forsaking our lives of sin and us following our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands.

[1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18]

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

Caution: This link may contain ads
P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

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