Summary: This was to let us be sure that we have answered the call of the gospel, by which HE adds us to HIS church and not some sort of denomination begun by a man.
Following Jesus without Denominationalism
Part 3: ‘Accepting the Call of the Gospel’
Three messages in, and the series is just now starting to really heat up; and getting really good if I should say so myself, as the LORD has actually been teaching me a thing or two here as well.
As I brought to you within the last message, I proposed to show you the following as a way out of religious division.
FIRST; by showing you how to follow the example of JESUS CHRIST; and maintain a ‘non – sectarian’ relationship with GOD.
You see, JESUS living under the Old Covenant, HE was simply an Israelite, as the Law intended.
And yet, living under the New Covenant, JESUS Disciples were simply called ‘Christians’, just as we should be, as we see in:
Acts 11: 26:
“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
AND in 1st Peter 4: 16:
“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
SECOND; JESUS wanted to ensure that we are truly members of HIS body, better known as the church, or perhaps HIS ‘called – out ones’.
This was to let us be sure that we have answered the call of the gospel, by which HE adds us to HIS church and not some sort of denomination begun by a man.
2nd Thessalonians 2: 14:
“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Acts 2: 41 & 47:
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
47 “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
And to let us follow the example of the early church, who “continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship,”
(Acts 2: 42)
With all that in mind, it’s an important key to remember that we properly answer the call of the gospel.
One reason is because it is through gospel, CHRIST is calling you to into HIS church.
BUT THE MAIN REASON when we accept the gospel call, by GOD’S grace we receive salvation and the LORD adds us to HIS church.
Unfortunately; there have been those out there that have ‘perverted’ certain elements of the gospel.
In the first century; Paul wrote of those who had perverted the gospel by trying to add elements of the Old Law to it.
Galatians 1: 8 – 9:
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
And I found a confirmation of this within Acts 15: 1 and 6:
“And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”
6 “And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.”
In later times, others attempted to change the basis of salvation by teaching a salvation of works, rather than by grace through faith.
EVEN TODAY many pervert the gospel by the manner they call upon people to respond to the gospel.
LEAVING OUT THE PROPER REPSONSE AS TAUGHT BY CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES!
IT IS FOR THIS REASON; that I see it a most important that we understand the gospel of CHRIST, and how we properly accept the call of the gospel!
There are several good ways to summarize the gospel that makes it easy to remember. And one was suggested by Walter Scott.
Not Sir Walter Scott, but the British author who wrote ‘Ivanhoe’.
A kinsman born in Scotland in 1796, Scott came to America and proclaimed the gospel throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Kentucky.
In his study of the gospel, Walter Scott summarized it as containing:
Facts to be believed
Commands to be obeyed
Promises to be received
Now indeed, accepting the call of the gospel involves a person accepting the ‘facts’ ;the ‘commands’ ; and the ‘promises’ all contained within the gospel of JESUS CHRIST.
To elaborate just a little; let’s consider first of all that to accept the call of the gospel one must.
(1) Believe the ‘FACTS’ of the gospel
I have four key points I want to make here in regards to this . . .