Posts Tagged ‘gospel’

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Irenaeus Said What?

October 8, 2012

Chapter I.—The apostles did not commence to preach the Gospel, or to place anything on record until they were endowed with the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit. They preached one God alone, Maker of heaven and earth.

We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith. For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed “perfect knowledge,” as some do even venture to say, boasting themselves as improvers of the apostles. For, after our Lord rose from the dead, [the apostles] were invested with power from on high when the Holy Spirit came down [upon them], were filled from all [His gifts], and had perfect knowledge: they departed to the ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things [sent] from God to us, and proclaiming the peace of heaven to men, who indeed do all equally and individually possess the Gospel of God. Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.

2. These have all declared to us that there is one God, Creator of heaven and earth, announced by the law and the prophets; and one Christ the Son of God. If any one do not agree to these truths, he despises the companions of the Lord; nay more, he despises Christ Himself the Lord; yea, he despises the Father also, and stands self-condemned, resisting and opposing his own salvation, as is the case with all heretics.

Chapter II.—The heretics follow neither Scripture nor tradition.

 

When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but vivâ voce: wherefore also Paul declared, “But we speak wisdom among those that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world.” And this wisdom each one of them alleges to be the fiction of his own inventing, forsooth; so that, according to their idea, the truth properly resides at one time in Valentinus, at another in Marcion, at another in Cerinthus, then afterwards in Basilides, or has even been indifferently in any other opponent, who could speak nothing pertaining to salvation. For every one of these men, being altogether of a perverse disposition, depraving the system of truth, is not ashamed to preach himself.” – Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III: Chapter 1 & 2, 2nd Century.

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Benny Hinn Said What? (II)

February 26, 2012

Three Keys to Prepare You for the Coming Wealth Transfer!

Why is God causing me to focus so much on Proverbs 13:22 and the three keys that will prepare us for the coming wealth transfer?

I believe that we are going to see an anointing soon that will amaze believers. As we grasp what God wants to do through His children, this can literally sweep around the world.

And it is time to get ready right now!

I believe to the core of my being that 2012 is our year of answered prayer. God has directed me again and again to proclaim from His Word, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).

What are those “great and mighty things”?
We have only seen a foretaste of what is to come!

God is about to pour extraordinary abundance into your hands, just as He did with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Israel, and Solomon. And you are next!

God is looking for people He can trust with the wealth of the sinner!

I urge you to be part of this unprecedented anointing and outpouring.

Your Step of Faith
At the end of this message is a special reply box for you write what you believe God wants to do for you and through as the supernatural wealth transfer begins for you and your loved ones. I know this is a major step of faith, daring to type out what you believe God is revealing to you, but I want you to reply to me so I can agree in faith with you.

Every single wealth transfer in the Bible was preceded by giving.

It is up to you to plant the seed which determines the harvest. What a wonderful, eternal opportunity! In fact, Jesus described the measure of harvest that is in store for you when He said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

Wrap your faith around your financial seed and sow it with excitement and expectation! Do not negotiate with the Lord, but obey Him today. Be faithful to God, and He will never let you down.

When a seed meets the right soil, it will produce abundantly. This ministry has proven again and again to be fertile soil for the spreading of the Gospel! And you are about to be overwhelmed by what takes place next.

Sow your seed. Prove your faithfulness to God, and watch what God will do with you in this glorious day as the great wealth transfer continues for the righteous!

For we know it is “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6)…

Preaching the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ,
teaching the unchanging Word of God, and
expecting the mighty and miraculous
power of the Holy Spirit,


Benny Hinn” – Benny Hinn, Three Keys to Prepare You for the Coming Wealth Transfer!, http://www.bennyhinn.org/emailletters/8648/three-keys-to-prepare-you-for-the-coming-wealth-transfer, (Accessed 25/02/2012.)

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Samuel Schuldheisz Said What?

November 29, 2011

“Obviously, there are more than ten ways that the Gospel is abused, misused and confused.  Sadly, as long as the Church is militant, that is, in this life until Christ’s return, she will still remain under assault from the devil, the world and our sinful nature.  Therefore, we can expect nothing less than errors, heresies and conflict both from without and from within the visible Christian church, which are both lamentable and grievous.

Even so, and in spite of these villains, our Lord Jesus Christ has promised that His Word will remain (Isaiah 55:10-11), that He will never leave nor forsake His Bride, the Church (Matthew 28:20, Psalm 94:14, Ephesians 5) and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her (Matthew 16:18).  Accordingly, our Lord warns us to beware of false teachers (Matthew 7:15; Matthew 24:11) who, by deceitful and errors of the Word of the Lord will try and deceive good Christian people in every place.   Therefore, as God’s holy people (1 Peter 2) we are encouraged by the prophets and apostles to likewise speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), declare the Good News (Luke 24:47), and teach the pattern of sound words (2 Timothy 2:13) so that we might speak of our common salvation and contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

With that in mind, we examine the top ten ways that the Gospel is abused, misused and confused.  The Gospel is abused, misused and confused:

10. …when it is presented as one of several possible ways to heaven.

9. …when, after delivering a sermon or Bible study on the forgiveness of sins purchased and won for us by Christ Crucified, the forgiven sinners are returned to the threats of the Law (also known as the Law-Gospel-Law Sandwich).

8. …when it is proclaimed that Christ only died for the elect and when God’s sovereignty is declared over and above His mercy.

7. …when people are told that their sins are forgiven in the Name of Jesus, if and when they make a decision to invite Him into their hearts (watch out for backsliders).

6. …when satisfaction, merit, worthiness, or any involvement of the human will are included or allowed as pre-conditions for receiving the free gift of salvation in Christ.

5. …when social statements, public declarations of churches, denominational rulings or other such statements of man contradict the clear teachings of Scripture and the Christian faith.

4. …when it is declared as positive thinking, purpose-driven living, prosperity and success, a personal self-esteem builder, and people who are in need of forgiveness are rather directed to their own struggle, wrestling, prayer and positive attitude for assurance of salvation.

3. …when hearers are directed inward to their thoughts and feelings to find hope, comfort, consolation and the promise of salvation.

2. …when it does not predominate in the study and preaching of God’s Word.

And the number one way that the Gospel is abused, misused and confused is…

1. …when the Gospel is left undefined, assumed and unspoken.
Perhaps you have heard similar statements to the ones just listed.  A list like this encourages us to think critically and Biblically about what we hear, read, watch and take to heart.

But it’s not all bad news.   Even though we cry out with disciples, “Lord, who then can be saved?”, our Lord says in return: “With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible (Mark 10:26-27).”   By His water and word, body and blood, He turns sinners into saints, the dead into living and those condemned by the Law into those who are declared righteous in His sight through the free gift of salvation won for us in Christ on the Cross.   In His Gospel – Christ Crucified for our sins – we live and move and have our being, now and forevermore.” – Samuel Schuldheisz, Top Ten Ways that the Gospel is Abused, Misused and Confused, http://www.redeemer-lutheran.net/Mobile/default.aspx?article_id=1000058274, 2011. (Accessed 29/11/2011)

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Albert Mohler Said What?

November 13, 2011

“One of the most amazing statements by the Apostle Paul is his indictment of the Galatian Christians for abandoning the Gospel. “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel,” Paul declared. As he stated so emphatically, the Galatians had failed in the crucial test of discerning the authentic Gospel from its counterfeits.

His words could not be more clear: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you have received, he is to be accursed!” [Gal. 1:8-9]

This warning from the Apostle Paul, expressed in the language of the Apostle’s shock and grief, is addressed not only to the church in Galatia, but to every congregation in every age. In our own day — and in our own churches — we desperately need to hear and to heed this warning. In our own time, we face false gospels no less subversive and seductive than those encountered and embraced by the Galatians.

In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this — the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.

Sadly, this false gospel is particularly attractive to those who believe themselves to be evangelicals motivated by a biblical impulse. Far too many believers and their churches succumb to the logic of moralism and reduce the Gospel to a message of moral improvement. In other words, we communicate to lost persons the message that what God desires for them and demands of them is to get their lives straight.

In one sense, we are born to be moralists. Created in God’s image, we have been given the moral capacity of conscience. From our earliest days our conscience cries out to us the knowledge of our guilt, shortcomings, and misbehaviors. In other words, our conscience communicates our sinfulness.

Add to this the fact that the process of parenting and child rearing tends to inculcate moralism from our earliest years. Very quickly we learn that our parents are concerned with our behavior. Well behaved children are rewarded with parental approval, while misbehavior brings parental sanction. This message is reinforced by other authorities in young lives and pervades the culture at large.

Writing about his own childhood in rural Georgia, the novelist Ferrol Sams described the deeply-ingrained tradition of being “raised right.” As he explained, the child who is “raised right” pleases his parents and other adults by adhering to moral conventions and social etiquette. A young person who is “raised right” emerges as an adult who obeys the laws, respects his neighbors, gives at least lip service to religious expectations, and stays away from scandal. The point is clear — this is what parents expect, the culture affirms, and many churches celebrate. But our communities are filled with people who have been “raised right” but are headed for hell.

The seduction of moralism is the essence of its power. We are so easily seduced into believing that we actually can gain all the approval we need by our behavior. Of course, in order to participate in this seduction, we must negotiate a moral code that defines acceptable behavior with innumerable loopholes. Most moralists would not claim to be without sin, but merely beyond scandal. That is considered sufficient.

Moralists can be categorized as both liberal and conservative. In each case, a specific set of moral concerns frames the moral expectation. As a generalization, it is often true that liberals focus on a set of moral expectations related to social ethics while conservatives tend to focus on personal ethics. The essence of moralism is apparent in both — the belief that we can achieve righteousness by means of proper behavior.

The theological temptation of moralism is one many Christians and churches find it difficult to resist. The danger is that the church will communicate by both direct and indirect means that what God expects of fallen humanity is moral improvement. In so doing, the church subverts the Gospel and communicates a false gospel to a fallen world.

Christ’s Church has no option but to teach the Word of God, and the Bible faithfully reveals the law of God and a comprehensive moral code. Christians understand that God has revealed Himself throughout creation in such a way that He has gifted all humanity with the restraining power of the law. Furthermore, He has spoken to us in His word with the gift of specific commands and comprehensive moral instruction. The faithful Church of the Lord Jesus Christ must contend for the righteousness of these commands and the grace given to us in the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. We also have a responsibility to bear witness of this knowledge of good and evil to our neighbors. The restraining power of the law is essential to human community and to civilization.

Just as parents rightly teach their children to obey moral instruction, the church also bears responsibility to teach its own the moral commands of God and to bear witness to the larger society of what God has declared to be right and good for His human creatures.

But these impulses, right and necessary as they are, are not the Gospel. Indeed, one of the most insidious false gospels is a moralism that promises the favor of God and the satisfaction of God’s righteousness to sinners if they will only behave and commit themselves to moral improvement.

The moralist impulse in the church reduces the Bible to a codebook for human behavior and substitutes moral instruction for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Far too many evangelical pulpits are given over to moralistic messages rather than the preaching of the Gospel.

The corrective to moralism comes directly from the Apostle Paul when he insists that “a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus.” Salvation comes to those who are “justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” [Gal. 2:16]

We sin against Christ and we misrepresent the Gospel when we suggest to sinners that what God demands of them is moral improvement in accordance with the Law. Moralism makes sense to sinners, for it is but an expansion of what we have been taught from our earliest days. But moralism is not the Gospel, and it will not save. The only gospel that saves is the Gospel of Christ. As Paul reminded the Galatians, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” [Gal. 4:4-5]

We are justified by faith alone, saved by grace alone, and redeemed from our sin by Christ alone. Moralism produces sinners who are (potentially) better behaved. The Gospel of Christ transforms sinners into the adopted sons and daughters of God.

The Church must never evade, accommodate, revise, or hide the law of God. Indeed, it is the Law that shows us our sin and makes clear our inadequacy and our total lack of righteousness. The Law cannot impart life but, as Paul insists, it “has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.” [Gal. 3:24]

The deadly danger of moralism has been a constant temptation to the church and an everconvenient substitute for the Gospel. Clearly, millions of our neighbors believe that moralism is our message. Nothing less than the boldest preaching of the Gospel will suffice to correct this impression and to lead sinners to salvation in Christ.

Hell will be highly populated with those who were “raised right.” The citizens of heaven will be those who, by the sheer grace and mercy of God, are there solely because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Moralism is not the gospel.” – Albert Mohler, Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel — And Why So Many Christians Think It Is, http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_print.php?id=4388, 9/11/2009. (Accessed 13/11/2011)