Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Proof is in the Gospel

"But God gives proof of His love to us in Christ's dying for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:8, Weymouth New Testament)

Some Free Grace people don't think Christ's burial is part of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15 because according to them, "it's only a proof". This is one of the favorite talking points of groundless gospel advocates. Their mantra goes something like this: "The burial of Christ is only a proof, it's not really part of the gospel." But here's something to think about: All 4 statements in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 are proofs! Please notice the following examples: 

1. Christ's death is proof of His love (Jn. 15:13; Romans 5:8) 
2. Christ's burial is proof of His sinlessness (Isa. 53:9; 1 Pet. 2:22-23) 
3. Christ's resurrection is proof of His deity (Acts 17:31; Rom. 1:4) 
4. Christ's manifestation is proof of His resurrection (Lk. 24:39; Acts 1:3) 

So if groundless gospel advocates were consistent with their reductionist reasoning, they would have no gospel because each element of the gospel is a proof of something else. For example, Jesus' resurrection is said to be "proof" that He is God (see Acts 17:16-31; Rom. 1:1-4). So is the resurrection of Jesus Christ not part of the gospel because the Bible says it's a "proof"? Well, of course not! Such reasoning is not true in regards to Christ's resurrection and it's not true in regards to Christ's burial either. Both elements are proofs and both elements are part of the gospel. And so we see that "the proof is in the pudding" so to speak. In other words, the proof is in the gospel!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Free Grace Gospel Illustrations (1 Cor. 15:1-5)

"Now I declare to you, brothers, the gospel, which I announced as good news to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved. For what announcement have I preached to you if you retain it? Except if not, you believed to no purpose. For I delivered to you in first order of importance that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas then by the twelve." (1 Corinthians 15:1-5)

The Gospel in "four-part harmony"

In the passage of Scripture quoted above, St. Paul uses four verbs to announce the gospel:

1) Christ was dead for our sins (as John Wycliffe has put it) 
2) Christ was buried
3) Christ was raised
4) Christ was seen
 
The Gospel Quartet, & other Gospel Illustrations

Here are some illustrations to describe the gospel in four parts:

  • A gospel or barbershop quartet singing in four-part harmony
  • A table, chair, or stool with 4 legs
  • A baseball diamond with 4 bases
  • A heart with 4 chambers
  • A hand with 4 fingers
  • A square with 4 sides
  • A house with 4 walls
  • A chain with 4 links
  • A raft with 4 planks
  • A car with 4 tires

Can you think of any others?