Pristine Grace

Another Gospel
by Don Fortner
Another Gospel

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. - Gal1:6

    If the world will not come to Christ, if the people of our “enlightened” age will not accept the gospel of Christ, the wisdom of the world tells us that we must make Christ more acceptable, we must tone down his teachings, that we must take the offence out of the gospel. Such foolishness we have come to expect from self- serving, man-pleasing religious hucksters. Sadly, today there are many who claim to believe the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ who have succumbed to the philosophy of the world. They vainly imagine that the offence can be taken out of the cross and that the gospel of the grace of God can be presented in a way that will make it palatable to unregenerate men.

    Rather than proclaiming the gospel as good news, the good news of redemption accomplished (Gal. 3:13), they present it as good advice and an offer of possible redemption. Rather than proclaiming God’s grace as the special, distinct operation of salvation (Gal. 1:15-16; Eph. 2:8-9; Col. 1:12), they present it as a thing common to all. Rather than proclaiming the efficacy of God’s grace (Gal. 3:14; Rom. 9:16), they present a notion of grace that makes the operation of grace dependent upon the will of man. Rather than setting forth the distinct love of God for his own elect which results in their salvation (Gal. 2:21; Jer. 31:3; Rom. 9:13-18; 1 John 4:19), they make the love of God a universal, and therefore insignificant, helpless passion in God. Rather than declaring that faith is that which God gives to and works in chosen sinners by the revelation of Christ in them (Gal. 1:15-16; Col. 1:12), they make faith a work done by the sinner for God. While claiming to preach the gospel of Christ, they have so perverted the gospel that the gospel they preach is another gospel, a gospel that is no gospel at all (Gal. 1:6-9).

    How often I have been told that my message is out of date, that it will not suit people, and that if I would reach the people of this age I must tone down my message and modify my doctrines. Such a message is all right for the Bible College or seminary, or for private, intellectual discussion, but it ought to be modified for the pulpit. Oh, we may use the old phrases so as to please the obstinately orthodox, but we must dress them in new meanings so as to neutralize their force and make them palatable to natural men. The spirit of the age suggests that the wise preacher will abandon all that is too severely righteous and all that is too surely of God. Away with such nonsense! God has given us the message that men need, and he has supplied us with the means of communicating that message. The message is the gospel of the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ and his death upon the cross. And God’s method of communicating that message is preaching. We must not be deterred by the opinions of men. We must not be “corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). We must not be “removed from him that called us into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Gal. 1:6).

    He, and he alone, who preaches the gospel that Paul sets before us in this epistle is the messenger of the grace of God. Such men have many characteristics by which they are identified. They are set forth in many ways in the Book of God. But as they are revealed in these verses, they are threefold.