Critically examining the basic principles of what the gospel teaches
Every Christian group proclaims what they believe to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as we all claim to follow his leading and his life. The problem arises when we compare our doctrine, principles and life objectives with one another. Simply stated, it all just does not line up. There are SO many variations of Christianity; it is safe to say that we can find disagreement on just about any aspect of what Christianity is. The age-old question is, who's right? How do I know that the view of Christianity I adhere to is sound? How do I know that what I stand for is truly a God-honoring belief system? The only way we can think to answer these questions is to look at Christianity solely based on Scripture. Let’s put aside tradition and try to eliminate our bias and see how God’s word describes the Gospel of Jesus!
The gospel did not start with Jesus
While there is no question about his central role in it, the good news was put in place when sin entered. In proclaiming consequences for sin, God in a veiled way told Satan that the seed of the woman would destroy him. The New Testament book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus will do exactly that. The point is that God proclaimed the remedy for sin before Adam and Eve had a family. Because Adam sinned willfully and Jesus died for him, we can see that the unborn family of the sinful Adam was already under the blood of Jesus. There are MANY Scriptures supporting this concept. All of humanity will have a legitimate opportunity for life!
Throughout the history of Christianity, traditions have grown. In many cases, they have replaced the core values of the original message. Facing this debacle presents two challenges. First, we need to be courageous enough to willingly and thoroughly examine the original gospel. The Scriptures must be allowed to stand on their own message. Second, we need to be willing to let go of any teaching or tradition that according to Scripture we conclude is false. This is hard in light of Christianity’s long denominational history of belief systems. Why would we even question their adherence to the gospel?
The most direct answer to this comes from the New Testament itself. Jesus, Paul and Peter, Jude and John all warned about the message being corrupted over time. They warned us to be diligent in our adherence to truth. Check out our August 31, 2020 podcast, “Does Christianity Preach the Gospel?” for more. We examined and challenged several common Christian teachings in light of the Bible. Then we looked at things like speaking in tongues, healing and financial support. Analyzing the way these things were exercised in the early church, we compared their use today. We also looked at the teachings of hell and prosperity, seeking the New Testament for clarity. Do you have the courage to examine such things? This journey is not for the faint of heart!
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