A REASON AND PURPOSE FOR EVERYTHING (PART 9)
As a consequence of God’s will, grace and the granting of faith, all Christians only believe God’s Gospel, His Word of Truth. Salvation cannot do without grace, and grace does not do without the Gospel of God. Any other gospel is a false gospel, for it preaches not the God of the Gospel of Christ. Christians are saved and kept by the power of God through faith (see 1 Pet. 1:5). The elect of God all share the same faith which is given to them so that they can and will believe the same Gospel: God’s Gospel. Man’s faith will lead him to believe in a wide variety of false gospels and false gods, but the faith which God gives causes all His people to believe only in the true God and His only Gospel. The apostle Paul refers to “…the faith of God’s elect…” (Titus 1:1), and "...the faith of the Gospel" (Phil. 1:27); Christians are exhorted to “…earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). Those who receive Him were ordained to receive and believe in Him by Him (see Acts 13:48). The only way to believe in the true God is to believe only in His Gospel. Writing unto the church of the Thessalonians, Paul stated that they were “…chosen…to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our Gospel…” (2 Thess. 2:13,14). The saved man receives God because of God, because of His will. The origin of salvation is God; the reason for a man’s salvation is the will of God, and the means of salvation is the grace and mercy of God. Jesus explains John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name”, in John 17:2: “As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him” (cf. Matt. 28:18). Those who receive Him are all born “…not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:13). To receive Him is not to accept Him, but to be given Him. To receive Him is a work of God performed in His chosen people (see Jn. 6:29). The sum total of all this, is succinctly clarified in the following verse of Scripture: the Lord Jesus says: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37). The Christian is not one who accepts God, but who has been made accepted by God. If the Father has not given you to the Son, you will not come to Him. Salvation is not a matter of man accepting God, for God’s loving the man comes way before any love of man for God. All that the Father has given to the Son will come to Him because of Him. Christ adds: “…Behold I and the children which God hath given Me” (Heb. 2:13; 7:25 cf. Jn. 10:27-29; 17:9). The Christian is not a creature which has given itself to God, or come to Him independently by its own power, or by anything which proceeds from itself, but one which is under the Sovereign Reign of God and has been given by the Father to the Son in order that He give eternal life to them. Christians are not those who have accepted God, but are those whom God has accepted based solely upon His will, grace, mercy and purpose, the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on their behalf and the imputation of their sins to Him, and His Righteousness to them. True Christians are the accepted ones, not the ones accepting.
The Christian is a born again creature, a new creature born of God (see 1 Jn. 2:29; 3:9), created by God in Christ with the Word of Truth, the Gospel: “Being born again…by the Word of God…And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pet. 1:23,25 cf. Eph. 2:10). No Christian has ever been born again without the Gospel of God. James phrases it thusly: “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth…” (Jas. 1:18). When it comes to God’s dealings with His chosen, it is always HE before us. That is grace. He chose us, he came to us, He found us, He saved us by His grace not our works. The apostle Paul, like Peter, makes clear just exactly what this Word of Truth is: “…in Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation…” (Eph. 1:13). “And there they preached the Gospel” (Acts 14:7), the Gospel is referred to in verse 3 of the same chapter as “…the Word of His grace…” (Acts 14:3). And, in his Letter to the Colossians, Paul writes: “For the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven, whereof ye heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel” (Col. 1:5). Paul also says: “…for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15). A man cannot, therefore, does not choose to be conceived, or born physically, likewise, a man cannot choose to be born again, for this new creature is produced only by God’s will through His Gospel, not by man’s will via his choice. “…God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13,14). All of salvation rests upon the principle of grace: “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you…” (Jn. 15:16). Man has no say in his physically being, for he did not exist before his conception, likewise, a man has no say, no will, in being born again, for prior to his being made spiritually alive he was dead in sins: a creature without any will to be. In fact, the spiritually dead do not believe they are spiritually dead, and so, have no appetite, no awareness of their need, to be made alive.
There is no other way for a man to be made right, acceptable to, God, than by the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who follow the religions of the world and believe that their own obedience coupled with Christ’s obedience is the way to salvation, make Christ Jesus the Lord only a part Savior, a co-Savior with man, and not THE Savior Who is the only Hope of Salvation. To add one’s own obedience to that of Christ’s is to say Christ’s obedience alone is not sufficient enough to save anyone. To then add one’s own obedience to Christ’s obedience is to reduce His part in the theatre of salvation to that of a supporting role, rather than the lead role. To add to Christ’s work is to nullify, cancel out, what Christ has done by grace to save His people from their sins. Paul the apostle did not nullify grace or anything which Christ did for him by adding his works to it, saying: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21). Upon becoming a follower of Christ the Lord, the apostle Paul turned his back on all he had considered himself to be and all that he had ever done which he had thought produced for him the Righteousness which the Law demands. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil.3:7-9). What the apostle once believed contributed to his gaining salvation, he now rejected out of hand upon being blessed with the accurate knowledge of Christ and His Righteousness. One either believes in what Christ has done as sufficient for all of salvation, or one cannot appeal to Him at all seeing that any reliance upon one’s own obedience immediately cancels out, and is an instant relinquishment of, Christ’s Obedience.
If Christ’s obedience alone is not enough for a man to trust in for his salvation, what makes any man think for a moment that man’s obedience will be enough for God to accept him? God sent His Son to be THE Saviour, the ONLY Saviour of His people. This means that salvation comes only by the Righteousness of Jesus Christ, and no other. Christ’s Righteousness is imputed to those whose sins He has taken away. If one’s sins can only be taken away by Christ the Lamb of God, then it stands to biblical reason that only His Righteousness will meet the Standard of obedience set by God. Salvation is by the Saviour, not by each individual’s efforts. “…thou shalt call His name Jesus: for HE shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). HE SHALL SAVE THEM BY WHAT HE DOES, FOR HE ALONE IS THE SAVIOUR!! As a man cannot take away his own sins, so too, no man can forge a righteousness which is acceptable to God. Only the Saviour saves! Only the Saviour could do what needed to be done. The Saviour saves by what He does, not by what someone else does, or by what He enables someone else to do, or in conjunction with what anyone else supposedly must do. Imagine a Saviour who saves only by what you do! Such is the ‘Saviour’ of every false gospel. Christ’s sacrificial death points to the fact that man is so hopeless, so sodden with sin, that he “…needed something supplied outside of himself and his efforts to make a way to Heaven. This is offensive to self-righteous man and to his pride. Because it says: ‘Man, you are NOT good. You are so bad and sinful that God had to slaughter His own Son as a sacrifice in order to make a way for you to be saved from your sin that is so filthy’.” One who needs something supplied "outside of himself and his efforts" is a man who is hopeless within himself, a man who requires mercy and grace, for he has nothing to offer. The Word of God teaches that man is dead in sins, and because of this there are none by nature who know or even seek the true God. The evidence for this is clearly made manifest by observing what men by nature believe about God, and in their believing that there is something they can do to get right with God. Becoming a Christian goes way beyond man’s religious concept of ‘getting right with God’, for being a true Christian is not about a man’s efforts to get right with God, but of God making the man alive to Him by grace.
By nature, all men are “…children of Wrath…dead in sins…without Christ…having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:3,5,12). And yet, religion, that carnally-minded, flesh fed carnivore invented by man, persists with, and perpetuates, Satan’s Lie to Eve that says man is not dead in sins, and, therefore, man concludes that he can, by his own efforts and will, get to God and be right with Him. Scripture proclaims: “There is none (by nature) that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11 cf. Rom. 8:7,8). Jesus said: “…NO MAN CAN COME unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:65). This shows that in his natural unregenerate state—a product of sinful man’s corruptible seed—man is dead in sins, without God, and, therefore, without any hope in the world (see Eph. 2:12). No man can come to God unless it is by way of something God has done and given to the man. Without God man is without hope. If a man cannot, if no man can, if he is not able to come, then he is evidently without hope, and does not have God on his side. There is no hope if one cannot find, let alone, does not seek the true God. There is no hope if one cannot do, much less, if one cannot will to do. 'Where there's a will there's a way', but WHERE THERE IS NO WILL THERE IS NO WAY! Man’s inability to come to the true God far outweighs man’s alleged ability to do what must be done, for his sinful nature precludes him from even being willing to come. This is why grace is required, this is why salvation can only be by the will of God, why it can only be a work of God which saves a man, why a man must be born again, made alive by God to God.
Grace comes from God and is based on His everlasting will, mercy and compassion. As grace cannot be a reward, it must be that grace is in no way given because of anything a man has done. Grace, therefore, comes from God and according to nothing and no one, but God and His will. Salvation comes only after what God has done. No man, by nature, has within him a will to seek the true God: “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11). “A proof of the corruption of the will” (cf. Psa. 14:1-3; 53:1-3). Man not seeking the true God proves conclusively that not only is man dead in sins and dead to God, but that the will of man to seek the true God, to want the true God, is just as dead. Far from having a free will, man’s will is completely dead to the true God. Everything about man reeks of death. There may well be a freedom of religion, but there is no freedom in a man who is without God to seek and love the only true God. Man’s will for ‘God’ is exclusively reserved for false gods. His seeming freedom is trapped, restricted, within a world of death, a world where nothing and no one can save him. Man, according to his sinful nature, is without the will to love the true God. Only by God’s will is there a way, and only by God’s will can a man come unto the Savior. Without God, man cannot love God. Man cannot do what only the Father can do. Love for God comes from God. Love for God comes from God’s love. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19). God does not love His chosen because they loved Him. Love for God cannot come without love from God, and, therefore, without the love of God. Jesus said: “...no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:65). “…A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven” (Jn. 3:27). Receiving God is not some noble act of man’s, but is a gift from God. To receive Him is to be chosen to receive, or chosen to be given, Him. When you receive a gift it is not you accepting it, but you being given it. There are many sincere, religious people in the world, many who are striving to do and obey, believing that their own efforts will gain them favour from, and with, God. However, religion has never saved anybody, for all of religion stands as a monument of hatred toward the only true God and His Gospel of salvation by grace alone through the Righteousness of Christ alone. All religion is anti-Christ, it is an utter denial of the Biblical fact that man is dead in sins with no way of coming to God by anything a man does, or by anything a man is. The Word of God states emphatically that man by nature is without the true God, and, therefore, mankind has NO hope!
Religion teaches that salvation is not by grace alone. Religion states that salvation cannot come without a man’s personal obedience to lure it or sustain it. True Christianity states ONLY by the obedience of Christ shall a man be saved. True Christianity states that a man is kept by the power of God (see 1 Pet. 1:5). Religion points to self, true Christianity points ONLY to God. Religion points to man as the ultimate redeemer, true Christianity points only to Christ. Religion says you can do, the Scriptures declare you cannot do. Religion says you must do or you will die, the Word of God states you cannot do, for you are already dead. There is no such thing as safety in numbers when the majority are trusting in false ways to salvation (see Prov. 11:21). Truth is not forged by man, but is declared so by Almighty God. Truth is not what man’s sincerity, devotion, or conviction believes it to be, but only and always what God has declared it is. All religion—that is, everything outside true Christianity—has ever provided is a false hope through hopeless people, and given to hopeless people who know not God. “In spite of any (outward) indications (or inward convictions), or expectations to the contrary”, religion is nothing but an invalid and illegitimate attempt, by ignorant, lost men at reaching God. Religion comes from man, the truth comes from God. Religion is man’s way, true Christianity is God’s Way. No religion looks SOLELY to Christ and what He has done as the only Way to salvation, for religion either discounts Christ altogether, minimizes or adds to what He has done, thereby, not merely taking away from what He has done, but actually nullifying His work and negating the principle of salvation by grace alone through faith in the Righteousness of Christ alone. A saved man stands atop an apex in perfect balance with the Death and Righteousness of Christ for His people. Add the minutest teaching or practice which adds to, or takes away from, Christ’s Death and Righteousness alone as the ground of salvation, and you upset the balance. Man cannot stand before a Holy God with anything less or anything more than the Atoning Death and Perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ Imputed. Add anything to what Christ has done and Paul the apostle says "...Christ shall profit you nothing" (Gal. 5:2). If you believe any part of salvation is conditioned on what you do, in addition to what Christ has done, you are "...a debtor to do the whole law" (Gal. 5:3), you are a believer in another gospel which tells of another jesus. You have not the Jesus of the Bible, for you abide not in His doctrine. You have another jesus who did not do enough to save anyone.
Most people who claim to be Christian wholeheartedly believe they have been saved by grace, however, their understanding of what grace is, what they have been taught grace is, is nothing but a form of works dressed to look like grace. ‘God empowers you to do what you must do before you can be saved, or so you will remain’ saved', is the Satanic lie spouted by many blasphemously claiming to be teachers of God’s Word. They are like the Pharisee, who trusted in himself that he was righteous (see Lk. 18:9), who made sure he thanked God for what he, the Pharisee, had done: “God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are…I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Lk. 18:12), Satan seeks to subtly deceive by insisting that what a man does to get saved is only due to the grace of God. Grace never leads a man to thank God for what the man himself has done, but always to praise God for what GOD has done in being merciful to yet another unworthy sinner (see Lk. 18:13). The apostle Paul noted: “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10). “The ‘not I, but grace’, implies, that though the human will concurred with God when brought by His Spirit into conformity with His will, yet ‘grace’ so preponderated in the work, that his own co-operation is regarded as nothing, and grace as virtually the sole agent. (Compare 1Cor. 3:9; Matt. 10:20; 2 Cor. 6:1; Phil. 2:12,13).” The difference between the Pharisee, which Paul once was, and Paul the apostle, is the Pharisee praised God for what the Pharisee had done, whilst Paul thanked God for what God had done in him and with him. “…Paul attributes all to the grace of God, and nothing to himself; it was the grace of God that made him an apostle of Christ, and preacher of the Gospel; it was that which being bestowed on him qualified him for it; it was that which enabled him to labour and toil, to do and suffer all he did, and which gave success to all his ministrations. He is exceedingly careful to magnify the free favour of God, and the gifts of his grace; and means not the grace that was in him, but the grace that was without him, though with him.” The whole idea, the picture which salvation paints, is one of someone being helped who cannot in any way help themselves. The help which a chosen man receives is salvation itself, not some endless list of what to do and what not to do in order to get saved, or stay saved. HOW ELSE CAN A DEAD MAN BE HELPED OTHER THAN BY BEING MADE ALIVE AGAIN! Salvation is someone being saved by what someone else has done. The hopeless being saved by the hope-Giver. Salvation is by grace. Grace is God doing, not God enabling a man to do. Salvation is by the grace of God through the faith given by God to believe in God and what He has done to save His people from their sins. GOD IS THE SAVIOUR, AND HE ONLY SAVES BY WHAT HE DOES. Grace does not help a man to get saved, or to save himself, grace makes a man alive unto God. Grace is by the will of God. All the glory for salvation belongs to God, therefore, all of salvation is by God, by what HE has done. Grace is what God has done. Grace is God doing first. Grace is God loving first. Grace is God saving by what He has done. Grace is God saving you. Grace is God acting independently of everything outside of Himself. Grace does not enable anyone to do what must be done for one to be saved, for grace is the action of God saving by what He has done. Grace is not an enabler, nor an equipper, for grace is that which saves: “…by grace ye are saved…” (Eph. 2:5).
The apostle Paul sates: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by (obedience to) the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21 cf. Gal. 5:2). There is no Scriptural basis upon which to justifiably claim that salvation comes by the obedience of any, but Christ Jesus alone. This is the only teaching which rightly gives God ALL the glory for ALL of salvation. GOD IS THE CAUSE, AND SALVATION IS THE EFFECT. God’s will and love are the reason for God being the cause, and grace alone produces salvation as the effect. The gift of faith given by the grace of the true God to believe and trust solely in the obedience of Christ for one’s salvation, is the heart and soul of the true Gospel of the only God. Grace is God doing what the sinner cannot do, therefore, salvation is ALL by God doing what the sinner cannot do, “For by grace are ye saved...” (Eph. 2:8). Salvation by grace is not about thanking God for what you have done, but is all about thanking God for what HE HAS DONE, for "...Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9 cf. Lk. 18:9-14). Salvation is by the grace of God, not by any act of man. The principle of salvation by grace is not ‘Thank you God that I…’ but, ‘Thank you God that YOU…’ The principle of salvation, and the meaning of grace is summed up perfectly in this next verse: "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what HE HATH DONE for my soul" (Psa. 66:16). Again salvation is what God has done, not what He has enabled a man to do. Christ is the Saviour, therefore it is He that saves, therefore, it is by grace that any are saved. Salvation is by an act of God, for it cannot be obtained by any act of man. If it was by an act of man, then it could not be by the act of God—Grace (see Eph. 2:8-10). What can a man do, indeed need to do, who has been saved by the grace of God through the faith that is given by God to one who is the workmanship of God and has been made alive by God! “Salvation cannot be bought by the currency of (anyone’s) obedience”, but Christ’s alone. What is there for a man to do? Obey? Obey to be saved? Is that what it means to be saved by grace? Saved by what God has done through what you have done? If this is the picture that you have in your mind, or what others have presented to you about what salvation by grace is, then I tell you that you have been fed a lie, a picture so distorted that only the blind can accept.
Salvation is by grace, by what grace does, and not by anything a man does whether it is claimed to be because of grace or not. Grace is what God does. Salvation is not by what a man does, but only by what God does. No man, by what he is or by what he can do, is in any way responsible for the grace of God which saves. The grace of God that saves His people from their sins includes nothing which they have done, for all of grace is purely that which God has done. A saved man is a recipient of that grace because of God’s love for him. Salvation is wholly something which is done by God through grace. Grace means God—not man, not man and God—but solely and exclusively GOD! Grace does not open the door so that a man can walk through it, grace takes the man and brings him through the door of salvation. It is “…the grace of God that bringeth salvation…” (Titus 2:11). Salvation does not wait upon an act of man, whether it is by his being enabled by grace to do it or not. Grace does not await a man’s permission, or for a welcome mat to be laid out for it. Grace does not look to man, but only to God. Salvation is by grace, for it is grace which saves—salvation is what grace does. Salvation is not merely made possible by grace, and is then conditioned on what a man does, for salvation is what only grace can do and does do—salvation is what God does, and once He has done it there is nothing left to be done by man. Grace is what God has done for His people, and not what He has enabled them to do for themselves. It is by what God has done that they are saved. ‘By God are ye saved…and that not of yourselves.’ Grace does not save a man after he has chosen to believe, for grace saves a man and grants him the faith with which to believe the Gospel. Salvation is not God helping us to do for ourselves, but solely about God doing all for those He wills to save. Salvation does not depend on man and his works, but solely upon the God of all grace. Salvation looks only to God before it can save any man. Add any condition, any stipulation to salvation that requires any act of man—whether or not he claims to have been enabled by grace to perform it—before he can be saved, and you no longer have the Gospel of God, but a worthless counterfeit, a religion, which does not convey God’s Testimony concerning His Son. Salvation is by grace—an act of God—it, therefore, cannot be by any act of man. Salvation is a supernatural act of God, not something which is naturally attainable by something a man does. The only time when man has anything to do with salvation is when he is given it by grace. “…Salvation is of the Lord” FOR “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord…” (Jon. 2:9; Psa. 3:8 cf. Psa. 37:39). Salvation is not by grace through works which we have done, but through faith in what GOD has done! Salvation is as much God’s to give to whomsoever He will as is His mercy. God has mercy upon whomsoever He wills to be merciful toward, so too, God grants salvation to whomsoever He wants saved. Therefore, salvation is a gift which God gives to those He wills to be merciful toward by grace through the gift of faith, NOT AS A REWARD BECAUSE OF ANY EFFORT OF MAN’S. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Rom. 4:4). If salvation comes because of anything a man has done, or was enabled by God to do, then it is a ‘salvation’ which is not by the gift of grace, but by a debt paid, something which God was obliged to reward because of something done by someone else. Grace does not enable work in order to gain salvation, for grace is contrasted with works. Grace has nothing in the world to do with a man doing something in order to get saved, but everything to do with what God needed to do to save His chosen. Salvation is not by means of debt, but only by grace. Again, salvation is not by what a man does, but only by what God does. Salvation’s only obligation is to the grace of God, not to the works of men. Neither salvation, or mercy, are “debts of gratitude” on God’s part, but are gifts freely given according to His good pleasure. A gift is not a reward, a gift is never given after something else has been done first, but is always and only provided by the gift-giver because of a self-obligating desire to love the one to whom the gift is given. Grace is the exclusive servant of God. It hears no voice but God’s, and, therefore, comes only at His command.
Man is very religious and zealous for his idea, his concept, his perception of ‘God’, but all any man can do in his lost, dead-in-sins state is to seek out the gods of his imagination—which are nothing but an extension of himself—‘gods’ which demand obedience in return for self-acceptance, self-justification, self-righteousness and ‘salvation’; ‘gods’ which are obliged to award ‘salvation’ only to those who have worked to attain it. However, no man living, that has ever lived, or will ever live has ever, or will ever, by nature, seek the true God: the One Who conditions salvation on the obedience of His Son, and gives that salvation to whomsoever He pleases based on His will, grace, mercy and purpose—the only true salvation which can only and is only attained by the obedience, the Righteousness, of ONE. The famous guitar virtuoso, Jimi Hendrix, once sang “Now, if a 6 turned out to be 9, I don’t mind”. The problem with man is his carnal understanding of salvation is like the man looking at a 6 from the wrong end. What man is convinced is a 6, has in actuality always been a 9…and he’d better mind. Religion has it all in reverse. Religion is all about man getting to God while the Word of God, in clearly teaching that salvation is by the will, grace and mercy of God, describes salvation as God coming to a man. The lost sheep of God do not set about seeking Him, for the Word of God states there are none that seek Him (see Rom. 3:11). God says: “…I will both search My sheep, and seek them out…so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them…” (Ezek. 34:11,12 cf. Lk. 15:4,5). Salvation is brought by God, not bought by man. Salvation is a gift. It is given not offered. It is given not taken. It is given not earned. Salvation is not freely available, but only freely given. Man’s natural and religious zeal for ‘God’, like that of the Jews, is steeped in ignorance of the truth of God and about God, and, therefore, the true God Himself. It is based on fables, and the corrupt teachings of men. Lost men are facing the wrong direction, wrongfully seeking that which they cannot see. If you are wrong about the answer to a mathematical equation you do not have the right answer, but another answer, a completely different answer: the wrong answer. Likewise, if you hold to erroneous beliefs about the true God you do not have the true God, but another god altogether, a completely different god: the wrong god. The seriousness of the situation is that if you believe error, you are not merely wrong about the true God, you are trusting in another god. One’s intention to be correct is nullified by one’s incorrect answer. So too, one’s intention to believe in the true God is nullified by the false doctrines one believes. The false doctrines a person believes in define another god whose attributes do not belong to the true God. Therefore, those who believe error about God do not know God, and so, do “…service (are slaves) unto them which by nature are no gods” (Gal. 4:8).
The importance of believing right doctrine cannot be overemphasized, as is evidenced in the following Scripture passage: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9 cf. Lk. 10:16; Jn. 12:46; 15:6; 1 Jn. 2:24). The key to having God is abiding in His doctrine. The difference between having the Father and the Son, and not having the Father and the Son, is whether or not one abides in the doctrine of Christ. If you hold to false doctrine, i.e., a false gospel, then you do not have God. The Lord Jesus states clearly: “…he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me” (Jn. 13:20); "...if a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the Word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father's which sent Me" (Jn. 14:23,24). The apostle John goes on to say, in his second Letter: "If there come any unto you, and bring not THIS Doctrine, (the Doctrine of Christ) receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed" (2 Jn. 10). Notice the like-mindedness in John's approach concerning the exclusivity to save of the Doctrine of Christ, and Paul's godly attitude in Galatians 1 concerning the Gospel: “But though we, or an angel from Heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). Despite what a person is like or how knowledgeable, even scholarly, they appear to be, no matter who it is, or how large a group of people, or how lovely they are, if they do not abide in the Gospel of Christ: THEY HAVE NOT GOD! If God were their Father they would love the True Jesus of the Gospel, and He would have given them the faith with which to believe His Gospel. Christ said: "...If God were your Father, ye would love Me..." (Jn. 8:42). “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also” (1 Jn. 2:23). Why? Because if you do not acknowledge the true Son of God as He is defined in the Gospel of God and testified of by God the Father, you cannot have the Father, it cannot be the true God Who has taught you, and, therefore, you cannot be worshipping Him! How can you love the true God if you do not acknowledge Him by believing His one and only Gospel? The Lord Jesus spoke directly to those who would not believe Him, saying “…ye have not His Word abiding in you: for Whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not…And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life…ye have not the love of God in you” (Jn. 5:38,40,42). If one has the love of God in them there is nothing that can stop their believing His Gospel. If one has the Word of God abiding in them there is nothing that can prevent their believing in the Son of God Whom the Father has sent. If one has the love of God and the Word of God in them there is nothing which can stop them from believing the true God as He is defined, described and identified in the only Gospel God has. Believing any other gospel shows one has not the love of God in them; it shows that one has not the Word of God abiding in them; it shows that one is not saved. Not having, or abiding, in the Word of God, the Gospel of God, is to not believe in the true and only God. To not abide is to disbelieve is to not come to the true Jesus. Those who do not believe in the exclusive power of God’s Gospel to save, do not have God. You cannot believe in God if you do not hold to His Gospel. Such people do not have eternal life abiding in them, for they do not abide in the Gospel of God, for they do not have the love of God in them.
The only thing some people are sure of is their uncertainty. Those who claim to neither believe or disbelieve the Gospel are only fooling themselves. Despite what anyone might believe, if they do not believe that 2 + 2 = 4 then they cannot be in possession of the right answer. The only way to not disbelieve is to believe. To not believe is the essence of what it is to disbelieve. One cannot logically deny disbelief by anything apart from belief. How can you believe a man who says he does not disbelieve the Gospel when he tells you he does not believe it! For all a man’s great words of passion and desire for God, none have the true God if they do not abide in His Word, if they do not believe His Gospel. Far from acknowledging the Son, and abiding in His doctrine, believing in the false doctrine of a false gospel is a denial of the true and only Son of God. To not abide in the Gospel of Christ is to deny the Christ of the Gospel. To acknowledge the Son of God is to be subject to, submitted to, the Gospel of God wherein He is revealed. The Christian is one who has been made subject to the Gospel of God by the grace of God through the gift of Faith. By this means the now saved man is wholly submitted unto the obedience of God's Gospel only, and thus is forever freed from any self-willed opinion, or heresy, spawned by his natural faith which seeks to lust against the Spirit and His Truth and usurp the place of the gift of Faith which comes from God. When a person professes to be a Christian they are professing "...SUBJECTION unto the Gospel of Christ..." (2 Cor. 9:13). If one is not submitted to the Gospel of Christ one has no legitimate, legal or biblical right to call oneself a Christian. There can be no subjection unto the Gospel of Christ present, when one's love is for another christ of a gospel which is not God's. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever in the Scriptures that would lead a man to rightly consider himself saved based on his view of what the Gospel is. Quite the contrary. A man who does not believe God’s Gospel, but only what he believes God’s Gospel to be is a heretic. Only the man who remains in the doctrine of Christ has God.
Whom do you acknowledge is Jesus Christ? The Jesus of God’s Gospel, or the jesus of another gospel? The faith given to all God’s elect acknowledges the truth of God about His Son (see Titus 1:1). Christ said of them which believed not on Him: “That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not SEE with their eyes, nor UNDERSTAND with their heart, and be CONVERTED, and I should heal them” (Jn. 12:38-40 cf. Isa. 6:9,10; Matt. 13:15; Acts 28:27; 1 Cor. 2:9,10). Here we see incontrovertible and substantive evidence that seeing and understanding are inseparably connected with conversion. Seeing and understanding what? The Gospel of course (see Rom. 10:15-17). If there is no seeing and understanding there can be no conversion, and if no conversion, then no Christian. Conversion from believing lies about God to believing the truth of God—His Gospel—is the evidence of a man who has been made alive by God. Jesus said: “…repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mk. 1:15). Writing to believers, John stated: “…the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, THAT WE MAY KNOW HIM that is true…” (1 Jn. 5:20). Believing a false gospel is no evidence that one has been given an understanding to know the true Jesus. Without God-given understanding one cannot/does not know the true God.
God reveals Himself through the Gospel to all whom He has ordained to eternal life. He reveals Himself by His Spirit of truth Who leads all His people into the truth that is His Gospel, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14 cf. Gal. 5:18). “…when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth…” (Jn. 16:13 cf. Gal. 2:5,14; Col. 1:5). Scripture says of believers that "...the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true..." (1 Jn. 5:20 cf. 1 Cor. 2:11,12). Believers have been given an understanding so that they would know the true Messiah, the true God, and reject all counterfeits presented in false gospels. This shows that the only way one can, or will, know Him that is true is if one is given an understanding from God. It simultaneously shows that if one has been given an understanding to know the true, then one will never recognise a false Christ as the true, nor the true Christ as a false Messiah. This understanding and knowing is linked with believing only the record (testimony) that God has given of His Son, revealed in the Gospel. "...he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son" (1 Jn. 5:10). No person ever born, except the Lord Jesus Christ, fits the description God has given of His Only Son. And, no other description identifies and distinguishes God’s true Son, other than the one given by God in His Holy Gospel. If you do not believe God’s testimony of Who His Son is, and what His Son has done, you neither have the Son or the Father. Believe God and Whom He says His Son is, or you will perish. If one does not believe the record that God gave of His Son, one simply cannot be believing in the true Saviour, but only a false one which cannot save. So we see by this that only the one who believes the Gospel has the Son, and he that does not believe the Gospel cannot possibly have the Son of God, and, therefore, does not have life (see 1 Jn. 5:11). Say what you will, do what you will, think of yourself what you will, the Word of God clearly states that if a man does not acknowledge and believe solely in the Gospel of Christ: HE HAS NOT GOD! If a man does not believe the truth, he can show no conclusive sign of being led by the Spirit of truth, and thus, of being a son of God. The believer in a false gospel has a god, but he does not have THE God. He may believe he has the true God, and everyone in the entire world may believe he has the true God, but the Scriptures, the Word of God, the Gospel of God clearly testify that a man who does not believe the truth as God declares it and reveals it in His Gospel to His people, cannot be believing in the true God. Whatever he does believe has not been revealed to him by God through the Gospel, but is merely head knowledge—his, or some other’s mere perception of the truth, an opinion, a corrupt, and, therefore, false and heretical understanding of it. A man’s beliefs clearly define the god/God he believes in. We recognize a JW not by his manner of life, but by what he believes. We recognize a Mormon not by his lifestyle, but by what he believes. We recognize a Roman Catholic not principally by his lifestyle, but by the doctrines, and thus, the god he believes in.