The 'core' of the Gospel

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by IfbReformer, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    I see many discussion going on about views of the Gospel from Lordship advocates, Easybelievists and those in between the camps. We also have discussion about the Gospel of Rome and that of Charismatics.

    Often times we simply write off those as unsaved who believe differently on certain items and I think we miss the core of the Gospel. Yes I believe we should preach against error, and seperate from those who teach errors, whether they are few or many.

    But what is the core of the Gospel?

    I believe the core of the Gospel is that if someone places their faith and trust(believes in their heart(not just their head) that Jesus Christ came as God in the flesh, the Son of God to die for the sins of world(their sins included) and rose again on the third day they will be saved.

    It is implicit in their trusting Jesus as God that he is their Lord and Master, whether they fully understand the implications of that or not. It is also implicit in their trusting Christ as Savior that they are convicted of their sins and recognize they are wretched sinners who deserve hell and that Christ has paid the price they deserved.

    A person can be saved and be in error about works. Some believe works must be infuesed with their faith in order to be saved - while this is an error, they are still saved. Others believes works must be consistant and continuous pattern of works must exists to the end in order for someone to prove the genuiness of their salvation. While I believe this is an error, it does not invalidate their salvation. Others believe unconfessed sin can cause the loss of their salvation, while this is an error, it does not invalidate their salvation.

    What I am saying is that if someone trusts in Jesus Christ as God and Savior, he saved regardless of his works, whether he believes that or not.

    That is the core of the Gospel.

    So with that in view, how do you view those who hold to the various camps, do they include the core of the Gospel in their view, and if so are they saved, even if they are in error?

    First I will handle the Catholics.

    1.)I have basically come across two different kinds of Catholics in my witnessing. There are those who know next to nothing about their church, except that they give money to it(not like we don't have those in our churches to). If I ask them how they are saved, they will say something like "if I do enough good works, and my good outweights my bad, God will let me into heaven, and I also have to believe in Jesus as my savior".

    2.)Then I have ran into the born-again Catholics, who will answer my question this way - "I will be saved because I have trusted in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, believing he has paid the penalty for my sins and if I live a righteous and holy life and do not die in a mortal sin I will be saved."

    3.)Then ask the same question of Lordship Advocates and they may answer this way: "I will be saved because I surrendered my will and life to Christ and left my sins, believing he has paid the penalty for my sins and if I live a righteous and holy life, with only moments of failure, and do not die in a backslidden state I will prove my faith is a genuine saving faith."


    4.)Then ask the same question to a Charismatic and they may answer this way:"I will be saved because I have trusted in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, believing he has paid the penalty for my sins and if I live a righteous and holy life and do not die in a state with unconfessed sin I will not loose my salvation."

    5.)Then ask the same question to a Hyles style easy-believist and they may answer this way:"I am saved because I prayed a prayer and asked Jesus into my heart, believing he paid the penalty for my sins."


    6.)Then ask the person(me) who holds a view(unamed) between the easy believist and Lordship views and I will answer this way:"I am saved because I believed in my heart that Jesus Christ is my God and Savior, and that he has paid the penalty for my sins.

    When Christ saved me, he changed my nature and gave me the ability through his strenghth to now have victory over sin. God commands me as a believer to leave my old ways and follow him, he wants me to be like Jesus Christ and follow his example.

    I strive to obey and submit to my Lord, not to prove my salvation is genuine or keep my salvation, but because of my love for Christ. Regardless though, if I failed to live the life my Lord commands, his salvation has already been granted to me based on Christ's perfect obedience and not my own imperfect obedience.

    My assurance is not dependent on my life displaying a pattern of obedience, but on the perfect pattern of Christ that has been credited to me when God saved me."

    So of the six people here(including me) - who is saved? Who has believed the core of the Gospel?

    IFBReformer

    [ April 05, 2005, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: IfbReformer ]
     
  2. IfbReformer

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    I will give my own answers and I look forward to yours.

    I believe 2, 3, 4 and 6 are definitely saved.
    1 would not be a saved person.
    5 I would need to ask more questions to, might be, might not be.

    IFBReformer
     
  3. Craigbythesea

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    Numbers 1 - 5 are not saved. :(

    The rules of this board do not allow me to respond to number 6. :rolleyes:

    P.S. I did not find the core of the gospel anywhere in your post.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. IfbReformer

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    Numbers 1 - 5 are not saved. :(

    The rules of this board do not allow me to respond to number 6. :rolleyes:

    P.S. I did not find the core of the gospel anywhere in your post.

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Wow! - your presense on this board may be rules violation if you do not believe in salvation by faith alone.

    I believe a Baptist distinctive is Salvation by grace through faith alone. If you belief it is faith plus works you probably don't belong on Baptist Board.

    Moderator, feel free to correct me if I am misunderstanding the rules of the Baptist Board.

    Otherwise, Craigbythesea, take what I have written, any statement that even close to what you believe the Bible teaches, and add what I am missing so we can see what you believe the core of the Gospel is.

    Right now by your standards, no one on this board is saved but you.

    I look forward to your explaination.

    IFBReformer
     
  5. mcgyver

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    Hi IFBReformer,

    Interesting thread........

    Given the information listed, I would agree with you, although there are some who are in error...

    Just an aside inre. the core of the Gospel:

    I was talking recently to a friend of mine, a staunch Catholic who really has a burden to feed the poor in our area. He goes far above "the call of duty" in providing food to whoever needs it; regardless of religious inclination.

    We were having lunch and he remarked the he "envied" us baptists because of the assurance we had of our salvation. I asked the questions that I normally ask to one whose salvation I question, the gist of which is to wit: "what do you understand it takes for you to go to heaven?", and "why should God let you in?" His response was to the effect that He loves Jesus, and had asked Him to forgive his sins; and that the reason he provides all this food was to touch people and show them the love of Christ.

    Now, I don't want to tell what happened from that point just yet, but if a Catholic responded in that manner (keeping in mind that he's worried about purgatory, etc.) what would you think as to his salvation?
     
  6. Gold Dragon

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    Maybe asking for the "core of the gospel" is not quite the right question to ask in that the answers won't be all that useful. Why do we just want the core when we can have the whole of the gospel, Jesus Christ?
     
  7. mcgyver

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    Hi Gold Dragon,

    I may be wrong, but I think that IFB meant "laying aside the periphery and going to the scriptural doctrine of salvation"... [​IMG]
     
  8. Gold Dragon

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    Yeah, I know. I'm just trying to get us to think about the actual benefits of this exercise which we engage ourselves in quite often as evangelical Christians. I'm not suggesting that there are no benefits.

    Maybe the periphery is not as peripheral as we make it out to be?
     
  9. IfbReformer

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    I would need to ask him more questions(and I always do). I would lean towards he is saved - one of my clues as to whether a Catholic I am witnessing to is saved is whether he starts off with his works first or with Christ first.

    If he start off that he has trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior and asked him to forgive him of his sins and then goes into error how about his works relate to his salvation I usually would not doubt his salvation, though I will try to correct his error in regard to works.

    If he starts off, like many Catholics I have witnessed to, that if he has enough good works and his good outweighs his bad then God will let him into heaven, oh and then he offers an aside that he believes in Jesus, I can pretty much tell he is not saved.

    IFBReformer
     
  10. IfbReformer

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    Gold Dragon,

    I don't want just the core of the Gospel. I want the whole Gospel from what happens before we are saved(election), to what happens at the point of salvation(regeneration, faith, belief, justification), to what happens after salvation(sanctification and then glorification).

    But these are all things we grow in during our Christian walk. We do not understand all these things when we come to Christ, neither are we required to do so. I believe we are required to believe the core of the Gospel, as I explained in my intial post, at the time of conversion, beyond that we can be in error on many things, even in understanding the relation of our works in regard to our salvation.

    However, while I might acknowledge a Catholic or Charismatic or any other person who has been saved is a brother in the Lord, that does not mean I must cooperate with him in regards to evangelism. So I definitely do believe in ecclesiastical seperation, and truth is important to defend. I just don't condemn to hell all Christians who are in error in regards to things like misunderstanding of progressive sanctifacation and the relation of works to salvation.

    IFBReformer
     
  11. Gold Dragon

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    Excellent. If you feel like I'm hijacking this thread, I'll stop now. But this is the type of discussion that I think is much more fruitful than trying to come up with a list of magic words that will give us our meal ticket into the elite "saved" club and give us permission to call everyone else heretics/apostates/false prophets that we can look down on and not show brotherly love to.
     
  12. mcgyver

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    Posted by IFBReformer:

    It seems to me that if we could all have this attitude, we might actually make an impact in lovingly pointing out certain error, without insult.
     
  13. mcgyver

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    Posted by IFBReformer:

    Very true.....

    In this particular case, I was able to point out to him in the Catholic bible the verses addressing salvation (Eph. 1:7, 2:8 etc.) and assurance (Rom. 10:9&10, 1 John 5:13,etc.), and from his tears of joy I upon hearing these passages and others, I don't doubt his salvation..

    Brings up an interesting point however, although a Catholic for 50 years; he had never read his bible........
     
  14. IfbReformer

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    Excellent. If you feel like I'm hijacking this thread, I'll stop now. But this is the type of discussion that I think is much more fruitful than trying to come up with a list of magic words that will give us our meal ticket into the elite "saved" club and give us permission to call everyone else heretics/apostates/false prophets that we can look down on and not show brotherly love to. </font>[/QUOTE]Gold Dragon,

    I don't feel you are hijacking this thread yet, as long as we stay away from the cooperation aspect, which it the other thread you are discussing.

    I just want to use this thread to make people put their money where there mouth is.

    So many of my conservative buddies have gone from trying to correct and seperate from error - which we should do, to questioning the salvation of those who hold to differing views on things which do not relate to the core of the Gospel, what is indeed saving faith.

    I have ran into some who claim if you don't believe in inerrancy the way you do will die and go to hell.

    Others may maintain if you don't have our church structure, you will die and go to hell.

    Others spend so much time telling us about how many works we need to do merit, maintain or prove our salvation and so little time talking about what really saves us as Jesus Christ said in John 6:28-29(NIV)

    IFBReformer
    http://www.ifbreformation.org
     
  15. Gold Dragon

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    I want to encourage you in this and I think it is great that you are trying to help your brethern correct mistakes in questioning the salvation of others. But I would suggest that your solution is simply another form of the same problem, albeit a better one.
     
  16. mcgyver

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    Posted by Gold Dragon:

    Kind of lost you there, brother.....Can you explain/expand upon your premise?
     
  17. Gold Dragon

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    Kind of lost you there, brother.....Can you explain/expand upon your premise? </font>[/QUOTE]I think the whole premise of "distilling salvation to core principles" is one of the major problems of evangelical Christianity today.

    Those that IfbReformer are rightly trying to correct are folks who simply have more "core principles" in their list. And IfbReformer is trying to help them to biblical remove items from their list. Those folks could easily respond by pointing to scripture and saying "look here, its in the bible".

    Don't get me wrong, I think it is important to have a right biblical understanding of what salvation is. But do "core principles" really help us understand that? Or is that simply the way our cultural mindset absorbs understanding.

    Three easy steps. Powerpoint bullets. Statements of faith. Chapter 2, Section 5, Heading 3, Line 9.2.

    I'm just as much a victim of this culture as the rest of you. Maybe understanding salvation is not just a logical/rational/cerebral exercise (God is definitely a God of reason and logic) but also something more.
     
  18. tfisher1

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  19. StraightAndNarrow

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    The Bible says that there is one unforgivable sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit or as I have always understood it, rejection of Jesus Christ as your Savior. All others are covered by God's grace. However, as Paul says in Romans, that doesn't mean that we can continue our old way of life:

    Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    A true change (born again experience) accompanies an authenic salvation experience.

    Now, compared to these core principles, what does it matter if someone believes in a pre, mid, or post trib rapture?
     
  20. El_Guero

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    Ifb

    I have heard this before, I think it came from a charismatic. They really liked emotional conversion. But, I wonder is that what you meant?

    I think the Roman Road covers the core of the Gospel pretty good.
     

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