THAT'S JUST YOUR OPINION! (PART 4)

 

 

The following cannot be overemphasised: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in THE Faith..." (2 Corinthians 13:5) (and not in another!)

 

Scripture says in Ephesians 2 that salvation is by the grace of God through His marvellous gift of  Faith: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9 cf. Titus 2:11). Being saved by grace is being saved by God. Believing that one is saved by grace is not something which emanates from us, it is not of ourselves but is a gift from God. A saved man's Faith is not of him, for he does not savingly believe through his natural faith. The faith which originates within man is not the Faith spoken of in Ephesians 2 for it speaks of the Faith which is the gift of God. This Faith is not a work of man's but is a gift from God. Therefore, a man cannot boast in this Faith for it is not his faith but a gift from God. The Faith which saves a man is given to him by God as a gift because of His grace, His favor. God favors those He has chosen before the foundation of the world. He has chosen them, not according to their works but, according to His good pleasure, His purpose and will (see Ephesians 1:5,6,11). If this were not so then man could boast that he has chosen to believe in God. However, salvation is not of works, it is not of ourselves, but of God (see Romans 9:31,32). Salvation is God's Work, it is of HIMself. Salvation is not something which is attainable by a man's efforts but is a gift delivered to the elect by the grace of God through the gift of Faith. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us....being justified by His grace..." (Titus 3:5,7). Salvation is about what God has done to save His people from their sins and is in no way dependant on what a man can allegedly do to procure his salvation. The gift of Faith which God gives to all those He saves is provided so that those saved ones believe the Gospel, the same and only Gospel that God has Authored. THIS GIFT OF FAITH SERVES NO OTHER PURPOSE BUT TO BLESS THE ONE TO WHOM IT IS GIVEN TO BELIEVE THE TRUE GOSPEL OF THE TRUE GOD. GRACE IS GIVEN SO THAT A MAN IS SAVED THROUGH THE FAITH WHICH IS GIVEN SO THAT A MAN BELIEVES GOD'S GOSPEL. "By Whom (Jesus) we have received grace and apostleship, FOR obedience to the Faith..." (Romans1:5). Believing in Christ Jesus as the Savior is a work of God! Listen to Christ's own words: "...this is THE WORK OF GOD, that YE BELIEVE ON HIM Whom He hath sent" (John 6:29); "No man can come to Me, EXCEPT THE FATHER which hath sent Me draw him..." (John 6:44); "...no man can come unto Me, EXCEPT IT WERE GIVEN unto him of My Father" (John 6:65); "...I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, BUT BY ME" (John 14:6). Likewise, no one can come to the Father but by the Gospel of Christ wherein He is revealed. Christ is the Way but no one can know the Way unless they know the Gospel which reveals that Way. How can anyone even dare to suggest that one can come to God without knowing the Gospel of God. Faith, as a gift from God and bestowed upon all His people, is given so that they will be absolutely certain to believe what God says His Truth is concerning Who He is, what He has done and for whom He has done it. So that they will be absolutely guaranteed to believe and trust in what God has, purely by grace, done to save His people from their sins: His only Plan of Salvation, the Gospel. The importance of believing God, of trusting in what He has done - His salvation plan - provided by His Grace, cannot be overstated. The Gospel of God is the only Truth by which God saves His people from their sins. God saves His people through the instrumentality of Truth so that there will be no confusion in the minds of any of God's saved people as to Who He is, what He has done and for whom He has done it. SO THAT THERE WOULD BE UNIFORMITY UNDER ONE GOD AND HIS ONLY GOSPEL! A people of one Faith, one God and, therefore, of one Gospel. To have a sure hope of salvation, not in their sincere subject-to-change opinions but in the immutable Word of God: The Gospel. The hope of Heaven is not founded upon a man's opinions but is revealed exclusively in the Gospel of God, "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth" (Colossians 1:5,6). The hope of heaven is only within the Gospel of God and nowhere outside of it. It is declared through God's Gospel only. The Book of Acts makes clear that "...as many as were (are) ordained to eternal life BELIEVED" (Acts 13:48). To be ordained to eternal life is the guarantee that the one ordained will, in the day of salvation, believe in the true Giver of eternal life, Jesus Christ the Lord as He is revealed in the true and only Gospel of God. "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have LIFE through His name" (John 20:31). "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:2 cf. Hebrews 2:13; 5:9). To believe and trust in the true God is to trust and believe in the True Gospel of the True God and not in a counterfeit, "Therefore it is of FAITH, that it might be by GRACE; to the end the Promise might be SURE to all the Seed..." (Romans 4:16 cf. Hebrews 11:6). Salvation is made sure because it is God Who saves (grace) and all His chosen ones are assured of this because they are all given the same saving Faith to believe in the same true Gospel: the one Gospel which is God's very Power to save. God's Promise of eternal life to, and for, all His people is ONLY made SURE through, and because of, the gifts of Grace and Faith to believe His Gospel. If God had more than one salvation plan how would any know how many He did have? Where would it all end and how would one be able to differentiate one of the 'many gospels of God' from a false gospel? One must have a truth, a standard, against which all that claims to be truth is judged, measured or compared. Seeing as there is only one Way to salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6), what need would there be for even a second Gospel? And, what would this second Gospel contain that would not have been included in the 'first' Gospel of the grace of God in the salvation of His people? A second Gospel would, in order to warrant its very existence, necessarily have to contain something different from the Gospel that teaches all of God's grace in the salvation of His elect. Seeing that nothing exists outside of God's grace except a man's works, a second Gospel would stand in contradiction to the first. The only way it could not is if there were several ways to salvation - one by grace and the others either by works or grace and works - which clearly contradicts the Words of Jesus Who declared He is the ONLY Way to salvation. Therefore, if there is only ONE Way to salvation there must of necessity be only ONE Gospel that proclaims that Way. God has no contingency plan of salvation for those who believe the errors about Christ contained only in false gospels. Therefore, there is no likelihood whatsoever that any of God's chosen will not believe God's Gospel in its entirety. What the apostle Paul said of himself may, with equal certainty, be said of all God's people: We are all "...separated unto the Gospel of God" (Romans 1:1). This eternal separation unto God's Gospel is, simultaneously, and with equal certainty, an eternal separation from every false gospel. Notice, that verse 2 of Romans 1 is in parenthesis. Enclosed are explanatory remarks concerning verse 1. So, without these explanatory remarks the opening of the apostle Paul's Letter reads thusly: "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God, Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord..." (Romans 1:1,3). This puts paid to any argument which dares say that the Gospel does not concern Jesus Christ and what He has done to save His people from their sins. Why would several Gospels be required to say the same thing? Some may say that it is Christ Who saves but He does so in different ways. Even if this were true, Christ certainly does not save through someone's faith in a false christ of another Gospel. Nowhere in Scripture is there even the slightest hint that God has more than one Gospel or saves in various ways. Moreover, why would God's gift of Faith be given to His people so that they would believe in different and even conflicting gospels? God saves by grace through Faith given so that all His people will believe the only Gospel that teaches the Way to salvation.

 

 

Clearly, man by his natural faith could never savingly believe in the true God, otherwise salvation would be by works and not by the grace of God. At best man's faith vacillates. With his own faith all man can do is believe false gospels. This is testified to by the fact that God must give to His chosen ones a new Faith, a Faith which is independent of man and comes only by, and from, the grace of God. The gift of Faith which comes from God is a Faith which is grounded in God's Truth and only ever believes in God's true Gospel. This Faith never changes. It does not cause the one to whom it is given to hop about from gospel to gospel but only ever believes in God's True Gospel for it is eternally anchored in His Truth. The following verse of Scripture shows clearly that what is given to the elect children of God is the Faith to believe and trust in the true Jesus and no other. The apostle Paul, writing to the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi said: "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Philippians 1:29). "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one Faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all..." (Ephesians 4:4-6). The apostle Paul referred to saving Faith as "...mutual Faith both of you and me" (Romans 1:12), and to Titus the apostle wrote "To Titus, mine own son after the common Faith..." (Titus 1:4).The apostle Peter, in addressing his second Letter, wrote: "...to them that have obtained like precious Faith with us through the Righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:1).  Needless to say, this one, common, mutual and like precious Faith is exclusively in the true Christ Whom the apostle Paul refers to as "...OUR Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 6:24 cf. 1 Corinthians 5:4; Philippians 4:23; Colossians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:3). He speaks also of "...the SAME Lord..." in 2 Corinthians 8:19. The Gospel details Who THE Lord Jesus is. God's Gospel teaches the one, true and only Jesus Who is rightly identified as God's Son. The True Jesus is identified, and distinguished from all the charlatans described in false gospels, by the doctrines of God's Gospel. Anything which contradicts what God's Gospel teaches equals a different gospel equals a different jesus. All true believers believe, with the one Faith which is common to all of them, in the One Christ who has saved all of them. The word, 'like', in the above verse from 2 Peter, is translated equal. The Faith God's chosen received was equally precious as that which Peter and others had received because it was the same Faith given by the same God, to believe the same Gospel. The one and only Gospel of God. The word 'obtained', in 2 Peter 1:1, means: "to obtain by lot, to obtain, his lot was, literally, 'he received by lot', i.e., by Divine appointment (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:9,10), Acts 1:17 of the portion "allotted" by the Lord to His apostles in their ministry. In 2 Peter 1:1 that have obtained (a like precious faith), i.e., by its being "allotted" to them, not by acquiring it for themselves, but by Divine grace (an act independent of human control, as in the casting of "lots")." This allotted Faith is not inherent in any man, no one is born with it. This Faith can only be given to those whom God has chosen by grace to receive it.  The granting of the gift of Faith by God to His people reveals the unquestionable essentiality of it to their believing the Gospel unto salvation, and their complete and eternal rejection of all others. For, how can this allotted gift in any way be tolerant of, or make any allowances for, any continuing belief, or approval, of any other gospel. It would be like God taking up residence in a regenerated person but allowing a demon to remain in them. The One Faith given by the One God is to ensure His people will believe in the One Gospel, the only true Gospel: God's Gospel. Not in a plethora of error-ridden gospels; not in that which His people believe God's Gospel of salvation to be, but the one, real and only Gospel that can rightly be called God's Gospel. God does not have, God has not authored, several Gospels but only one. The sufficiency of this one and only Gospel is transparently obvious for it is filled with the doctrines of grace, all that was done by grace, to save His people from their sins. Just as there was no need for more than one True God, one True Spirit and one True Savior, so too, there is only one True Gospel and one True Faith required to believe it. God's people believe God's One Gospel with the One Faith He gives to all His people. "...that ye stand fast in ONE spirit, with ONE mind striving together for THE Faith of THE Gospel" (Philippians 1:27). One Faith in One Gospel. "It is like precious faith in all; and has the same Author and object, Jesus Christ, and springs from the same cause, the free grace of God, and has equally in all everlasting salvation connected with it, and consequent upon it: and there is but one doctrine of faith; the Gospel is so called, because it consists of things to be believed". Paul wrote the following , "To Titus, mine own son after the common Faith..." (Titus 1:4). The apostle's use of the word common when referring to Faith, means,  "... belonging to several", said of things had in common, (Acts 2:44; 4:32; of faith, Titus 1:4; of salvation, Jude 1:3; "ordinary, belonging to the generality, as distinct from what is peculiar to the few. It stands in contrast to idios, 'one's own'; "properly, uniquely one's own, peculiar to the individual" Interestingly, the word idios is where we get our word idiot. So in other words the Faith which God gives to His people is a common Faith belonging to them all. Those who have not received the gift of Faith from God, who, with their own faith, believe in their own private interpretation of the Gospel, or that which is peculiar to a few rather than to that which is believed by all God's people, in other words those who believe with their own faith, that which comes from and belongs to them, are, virtually, idiots. This is not some infantile exercise in name-calling, but the outcome of the Scriptural study of words and their meanings.

 

 

The doctrines of the Gospel must be believed in order that the true God be believed and trusted in. If one does not know and believe in the truth of God how can one be said to believe in the one true God, how can one rightly be said to be a Christian? Good deeds cannot prove it, nor can a turning away from a sinful life be offered as proof that one has God for many who do not even believe in the existence of God have resolved to lead better lives and perform wonderfully good, generous and charitable deeds. ONLY in believing the true Gospel of God does anyone have the prime and essential evidence that one is saved. False gospels do not and cannot lead anyone to the true God for they do not come from Him, they do not represent Him and they are certainly not authored by Him. False gospels do not consist of things which are to be believed but of things that are to be utterly shunned. False teachers, preachers and pastors are to be avoided because of the false doctrines they promote: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple" (Romans 16:17,18). Such are men pleasers and not the servants of Christ (see Galatians 1:10). The Lord Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the Door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber" (John 10:1). The True Jesus, of Whom God bears record, is the ONLY Door to salvation. Salvation frees a man from the heresy of believing in false gospels. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36). God's people do not believe in false gospels for they have all been taught of God, they have all been taught the true Gospel and  given the Faith to believe it. Jesus said "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him....They shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me" (John 6:44,45). Paul refers to true believers as those who "...have heard Him and been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus" (Ephesians 4:21 cf. Romans 10:14). Clearly, no one who has not heard and learned of the Father, who has not been taught the Gospel by Him, comes unto His true Son. Only those who have had the Gospel revealed to them by the Father, and been granted the Faith to believe it, have the Son. Christ says: "...no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him" (Matthew 11:27). To not have the true Gospel is to not have the true God. If the Gospel is lost then no one has any right to say they have the true God? The true believer of God's Gospel is not, by the gift of Faith, provided with some notional and speculative knowledge of the Person and Work of Christ, but a very particular and precise knowledge of Him, the true and definitive knowledge of Him, for what other kind of knowledge of God and His Gospel could/would God grant to His people - what else would He teach them - but that alone which is the true saving knowledge of Him as revealed in His Gospel. "According as His Divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3).

 

 

The Philippian jailer asked, "...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). Here it is! The question people argue about the world over. You are about to hear from the Holy Word of God as to exactly what the answer to this age old question is. "And they said, BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED....and they spake unto him the Word of the Lord..." (Acts 16:31, 32). In other words, they told him 'Believe this, that we are about to tell you, and you will be saved', which is to simultaneously say, 'If you do not believe what we are about to tell you, you will not/cannot be saved'. The jailer was not left to his own thoughts as to Who Jesus was and what He had done to save, He was immediately informed of the Gospel of Christ. The blind man who was given sight by Jesus was asked by the Lord: "...Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, 'Who is He, lord, that I might believe on Him?' And Jesus said unto Him, Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee. And he said, 'Lord, I believe'. And he worshipped Him" (John 9:35-38). Notice here the wise response to the question, 'Dost thou believe on the Son of God', by the formerly blind man. He did not simply say, 'Yes, I do believe', knowing full well that he did not know Who the Son of God was. Only after being told that Jesus is the Son of God, was the man able to believe on Him. Only after being told Who the Son of God was did the man begin to believe and worship Him. Prior to being informed, the man did not know who the Son of God was. After the truth was revealed to Him the man promptly believed that the One Who stood before him was the Son of God and that no other could be, for how could more than one person be the Son of God. How could more than one Gospel be the Gospel of God? Needless to say, if the man had ever believed in any of the charlatans who claimed to be the Lord he would have immediately turned his back on them, after the Lord had not only restored the man's physical sight but also opened his spiritual eyes. To believe on the True Jesus Christ is to be truly saved. But what is it to truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Everyone says, 'I believe in Jesus', from the Arminian to the Mormon to the Roman Catholic to the Calvinist and to the casual church attendee, but is it enough to simply know His name and a few general truths concerning Him. Is it enough to say, 'I love Him', whilst knowing little to nothing about Him and therefore being open to believe false teachings concerning Him? Thinking, 'Well I know there is a God, that there is a Jesus and I believe in Him. Heaven couldn't be about doctrinal details. God would not be so pedantic as to not permit a person's entering Heaven simply because they were not aware of certain doctrines or did not believe them to be God's Truth, but rather believed in false teaching about Him'. That is how the world thinks. That is man's idea of salvation and not God's. The world, to its eternal detriment, places far more emphasis on how a person lived their lives on earth than on what they believed. God's saving a man is about His revealing His glorious Gospel to him and providing him with the gift of Faith with which to believe it. Believing the Gospel is all about believing the Truth about God and His Son, and rejecting the lies about Him. Salvation is believing the Gospel of God and believing the Gospel of God is to be saved. The Lord Jesus may be heard, exclusively, in the preaching of the true Word of the Lord. This Word of the Lord, spoken in response to the jailer's question, 'What must I do to be saved?', is none other than the Gospel of the Lord for where else would the Truth of Who Jesus Christ is, what He has done and for whom He has done it, reside than in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Evidence for the phrase, "Word of the Lord", meaning the Gospel of the Lord is plentiful and, when comparing Scripture with Scripture, indubitable: "...the Word of the Gospel..." (Acts 15:7). "And they, when they had testified and preached the Word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the Gospel..." (Acts 8:25). "In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation..." (Ephesians 1:13). "For the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven, whereof ye heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel" (Colossians 1:5). "But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (1 Peter 1:25). "But they have not all obeyed the Gospel....So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:16,17). The apostle Paul also interchanges 'the preaching of the Gospel' with 'the preaching of the cross of Christ'. These both being one and the same thing: the Power of God to save: "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:17,18 cf. Romans 1:16,17; 2 Corinthians 6:7). The apostle also states, a few verses on, "...we preach Christ crucified....unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24). The words 'grace' and 'Gospel' are used interchangeably in Galatians 1:6. The Grace of Christ IS the Gospel of God (see also Acts 20:24). The preaching of Christ crucified, the preaching of the Cross, is the preaching of the Gospel of Christ is the Power of God unto Salvation. The Gospel of Christ is God's Instrument by which He delivers the Truth about Christ which is essential to a saving knowledge of Him. Since nothing else is mentioned in Scripture as the power of God unto salvation, we conclude that God saves in no other way than through Faith in the Gospel of His Dear Son.

 

 

Believing, being saved, is a work of God. It cannot be done without the Grace of God and the gift of Faith which comes from God to believe the Gospel of God. It is an operation of the Spirit of God upon the heart of man: "It is the Spirit that quickeneth..." (John 6:63; cf. John 5:21; Romans 4:17). The word quickeneth here meaning to make alive, by spiritual power to arouse and invigorate. "Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee..." (Psalm 65:4), and, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy Power..." (Psalm 110:3). Man can only be saved by the will, mercy and grace of God, and through this sole means he believes with the Faith of God given so that he will believe only the Gospel of God. Salvation is a work of God, and, as with the Gospel of God, is not at all subject to man and his views on how to get it and keep it. Salvation is not reliant upon anything man must do. Salvation does not require the faith inherent in man to savingly believe the Gospel for he cannot, with that faith, savingly believe it. No work on man's part can gain him salvation, or ensure he stays saved, for nothing man can do can draw favor from God. "But without Faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God MUST BELIEVE that He is..." (see Hebrews 11:6). Must believe that He is meaning that He exists, yet not merely His existence, but that He is Who He says He is, Sovereign Creator, Almighty God and Savior of mankind etc. He that cometh to God must believe that God is the Author of His Holy Scriptures and therefore the Gospel of Christ. In other words, to come to God, to believe that He is God is to believe the Truth about Him: Who He is and what He has done. SALVATION REQUIRES GRACE from beginning to end. Without Faith it is impossible to please Him, indeed, without the Grace which provides that Faith it is impossible to please, or even know, God. Salvation cannot do without the Grace of God for the Grace of God is the lifeblood of Faith and Salvation. The grace of God provides the Faith to believe His Gospel - Who God is and what God has done to save His people from their sins - which also includes the Righteousness of the Savior, Christ Jesus the Lord, as the only ground of salvation. To savingly believe is not a work of man's done via his indwelling, natural, sin-scarred and dead-to-God faith. A man who savingly believes has been granted the gift of Faith which comes from God. Salvation is supernatural! It does not come from within man but from without. THE GOSPEL OF GOD IS HIS POWER UNTO SALVATION. GOD'S POWER UNTO SALVATION HAS NEVER BEEN WHAT A MAN THINKS THE GOSPEL OF GOD IS. There is absolutely no room whatsoever for debate or conjecture, views and opinions as to just what the Gospel of God is, what His Plan of Salvation is, AND WHAT IT IS NOT! Salvation is not by the works of a man but by the gifts of Grace and Faith. The faith that is natural to man is of him and believes only in man's gospels. To believe with this faith is a work of man's and not of God. False gospels are a product of lost man's hopeless state. False gospels are nothing but a work of the flesh and, along with the faith that believes in them, stand as monuments of denial of the true and only Gospel of the true and Living God (see Titus 1:16). To believe with this faith is to never savingly recognize and believe the true God and His Gospel. The Faith which comes from God is indeed the fruit of the Spirit without which no man can be saved (see Galatians 5:22). "...though fidelity, both in words and actions, which is very ornamental to the Gospel, and a profession of religion may be meant here; yet faith in Christ is not to be excluded... for this is not of a man's self, nor have all men it: it is a gift of God, the operation of His power, and the work of his Spirit, whence he is styled the Spirit of Faith; and which therefore must have a place among His fruits; and which lies and shows itself in believing in Christ for salvation, in embracing the doctrines of the Gospel, and making a profession of them, which is called the profession of Faith; all which, when right, comes from the Spirit of God." A profession of faith which does not embrace all of the doctrines of the Gospel is a profession not motivated by the Spirit of Truth but simply a work of the flesh which Scripture calls, heresy.

 

 

The list of what are called, the works of the flesh, which appears in chapter 5 verse 20 of Paul's Letter to the Galatians, shows clearly that heresies are something which are a work of the flesh. A product of man. Something which, "...lusteth against the Spirit..." (Galatians 5:17). A work of the flesh is something which is always at enmity with the Truth of the Spirit of God. This list, which the apostle sent to the Galatians concerning the works of the flesh, includes within it the sins of, "Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred..."  (see Galatians 5:20). Those who commit such things, "...shall not inherit the Kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:21 cf. Titus 3:10,11). Those who commit heresy will also not inherit the Kingdom of God. To commit heresy is to engage in and express, 'A SELF-WILLED OPINION WHICH IS SUBSTITUTED IN PLACE OF SUBMISSION TO THE TRUTH'. "Such erroneous opinions are frequently the outcome of personal preference or the prospect of advantage, see 2 Peter 2:1, where the word 'destruction' signifies leading to ruin." The word, heresies, also means, 'bad principles and tenets, relating to doctrine, which are subversive of the fundamentals of the Gospel and the Christian Faith; and are the produce of a man's own invention, and the matter of his choice, without any foundation in the Word of God; and these are works of the flesh, for they spring from a corrupt and carnal mind, and are propagated with carnal views, as popular applause, worldly advantage, and indulging the lusts of the flesh'". Underpinning the Faith of every true Christian is the Rock, the true Christ of the Gospel of God. Those who hold to false gospels are like those who have built their house upon sand for their natural faith cannot support the weight of their vain hopes. "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself" (Titus 3:10,11cf. 2 Timothy 4:3,4). 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 has submitted himself unto the obedience of God's Gospel only and thus is forever freed from any self-willed opinion 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 Corinthians 9:13). But there can be no subjection unto the Gospel of Christ 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's view comes from his faith, and that which comes from a man's faith is called heresy in the Scriptures, and the man a heretic who, clearly, will not inherit the Kingdom of God, for he is subverted, or perverted, and thus condemned of himself. Those who hold to the tenets of false gospels believe they do have a strong Scriptural foundation, but in reality no false teaching, however much it is sincerely believed, has any foundation in Truth. The confusion lies in an utterly flawed understanding of what the Scriptures are truly saying for they do not have the gift of Faith with which to believe them.

 

 

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