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Gospel 101 – An Apostolic Introduction, Part 8: A Gospel Handed Down and Delivered

February 14, 2008

hc541.jpg(The following is completely and accurately excerpted from HeartCry Missionary Society’s Magazine, Issue 54 pgs. 8-13)

One of the greatest truths about the Gospel is its divine nature and origin: it is the Gospel of God! And our duty as Christians is to preserve and pass down this Gospel to all. This is a huge privilege and a heavy responsibility. But it is also a large liberating truth because we don’t have to build on, add to, take away from, condense, simplify, or change the message. We have to simply preach it faithfully and sincerely to all creatures. So may we all preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and seek to pass down to others the same Gospel that saved us and sustains us!

——————the following is excerpted from HeartCry’s 54th Edition———-

A Gospel Handed Down and Delivered

For I delivered to you…what I also received.
I Corinthians 15:3

In the above text, we learn two important truths about the
Gospel – it is handed down, and it is to be delivered. When the
Apostle Paul writes that he “received” the Gospel, he is making
a claim to special revelation. He did not fabricate this message,
nor was it borrowed from others. Rather it came to him through
an extraordinary revelation of Jesus Christ. In Galatians 1:11-12,
Paul describes this experience in greater detail:

“For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel
which was preached by me is not according to man. For
I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I
received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”

There is only one true Gospel. It was born in the heart of God
and handed down to the church through the Apostles. These men,
under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, were quite clear regarding
the content of their Gospel and its immutability. It was not to be changed or adapted to
please the palate of differing cultures or epochs, but was to
be held in the highest regard as absolute truth. We who have
become recipients and stewards of this Gospel would do well
to listen to their admonitions and handle the Gospel with the
greatest caution, even fear. Jude exhorts us to contend earnestly
for this faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.29
Paul admonishes us to guard it as an entrusted treasure,30 and
even goes so far as to pronounce a curse upon any man or angel
who would adapt the Gospel message to any preconceived
notion of culture or religion:

“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 received,
he is to be accursed!”31

Each generation of Christians must realize that an “eternal”
Gospel has been handed down to them. As stewards, it is our charge
to preserve that Gospel without additions, subtractions, or any sort
of modification. To alter the Gospel in any way is to damn our own
souls, and to hand down a corrupt Gospel to the following generation.
For this reason, the Apostle Paul warned young Timothy to
take pains with the truths entrusted to him, and promised him that
in doing so he would ensure salvation both for himself and for those
who heard him.32

We, who have received the Gospel, have a fearful obligation
to deliver it. This obligation is not only to God, but also to our
own generation and the generations to come. Although the Gospel
can be corrupted in an instant, it may take the Church years, even
centuries to recover it. If Church history teaches us anything, it
teaches us that though heretical movements abound, there are few
genuine reformations. There is something worse than holding our
silence while the lost world runs headlong into hell. It is the crime
of preaching to them a watered down, culturally carved, truncated
Gospel that allows them to hold to a form of godliness, while denying
its power,33 to profess to know God, while denying Him with
their deeds,34 and to call Jesus “Lord, Lord”, while not doing the
Father’s will.35 Woe to us if we preach not the Gospel, but even
greater woe if we do so incorrectly!36

29 Jude 1:3
30 II Timothy 1:14
31 Galatians 1:8-9
32 I Timothy 4:15-16
33 II Timothy 3:5
34 Titus 1:16
35 Matthew 7:21
36 I Corinthians 9:16

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