In Romans 1:1, the Apostle Paul says he was separated unto the gospel only. He says we should copy him, and model after him, so we should be separated unto the gospel too.
But the truth is, most Christians are not separated unto the gospel, and are not totally absorbed in it. Jesus says to repent from all other beliefs and believe the gospel only (Mark 1:15). With this as his very first command, why don't we do this? It was undoubtedly the most important thing on his mind and in his heart for this to be his first declaration. If it was the most important thing to Jesus, shouldn't it be the most important thing to us too?
A HODGE-PODGE OF THEOLOGY AND OPINION
We hear such a hodgepodge of teaching, from so many different perspectives, and from different pulpits that we often can't tell the light from dark. It just all runs together, and sounds like The Second Tower of Babel. We mix the Old and New Testaments together like there was no difference between them at all.
We often fail to realize the New rescinded the Old and replaced it with the New. Jesus did this, and in so doing says he was doing God's will (Heb 10:9). The Old has vanished away (Heb 8:13). The Old was nailed to the cross of Jesus (Col 2:14). Paul says to only minister the New (II Cor 3:6).
IF A LAW IS CHANGED, EVERYTHING CHANGES
I started law practice in 1971, and at this time Colorado was still a 'fault' divorce state. In other words, you had to prove a 'ground for divorce,' such as adultery, in order for the court to grant you a divorce. But within the year the law changed and Colorado became one of the first 'No-Fault Divorce' states. After the law was changed you could not allege or prove any fault in requesting a divorce. Adultery was no longer an issue. Now, all you could allege was that your marriage was 'irretrievably broken.'
There was a total change in the law in Colorado at this time. Similarly, there was a total change in what was to be believed, and how life was to be lived in God's Kingdom. Paul says that 'ALL things were made new' (II Cor 5:17). All things means ALL things.
THE GOSPEL OF PAUL WAS ALL EARLY CHRISTIANS HAD
During the time of the first century church, they totally obeyed the original command of Jesus: "Repent (of all other beliefs) and believe the gospel." Almost the only thing people had to read and think about was the writing of the Apostle Paul -- about the gospel of the finished work of Christ. He had been given the revelation of the gospel by God, and he was appointed to preserve it, proclaim it, and defend it (Gal 1:12-18, I Tim 1:11, Eph 3:1-3, Phil 1:7, 17, etc.) The first century church was focused on understanding what the finished work of the cross meant to them. They were totally absorbed in the gospel -- separated unto the gospel
THE GOSPEL SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
With our religious mindset today, with law and legalism preached from so many pulpits, we are totally different from the first century church. Because of all the legalism we hear preached, when people hear the pure gospel preached, they think it is biblical error. It just seems too good to be true - so most Christians don't believe it.
Most Christians walk off down a legalistic road today (I call it 'The Dirt Road'). Most do not walk The Gospel Road. Thus the poem by Robert Frost doesn't apply to them:
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both, and be one traveler long I stood, and looked down one as far as I could, to where it bent in the undergrowth.
"Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear, though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same.
"And both that morning equally lay, in leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I marked the first for another day, yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
"I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
THE GOSPEL IS SO GOOD IT CAN ONLY BE TRUE
The gospel is what makes the difference in life -- nothing else.
When I hear someone say that the gospel just sounds too good to be true, my response is that the gospel is so good it could only be true. This is because the mind of man could never invent the gospel. Only God could invent the gospel.
Become adventuresome! Try taking The Gospel Road: the road less traveled.
The gospel makes Christianity unique to every other religion in the world. Every religion has its system of rules, laws, principles, methods, etc. This is also true of non-gospel Christianity. Only in gospel Christianity does God merge himself into our spirits. This is the illustration Jesus uses of the Vine and the branch.
If you take the gospel out of Christianity, there is no Christianity. You only have a religion like all other religions of the world. The gospel, and the gospel only, is what makes Christianity truly unique.
As The Gospel Life Coach, Roger shows how the gospel is the power of God, enabling us to live life better by accident than we ever could on purpose. http://www.TheGospelCoach.com. You will begin to find new coaching videos at: http://RogerHimesLifeCoach-GospelTranformation.com. Read regular tweets on Twitter: /TheGospelCoach