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Romans Series #18[i]
Title: “My Gospel”
Text: Romans 2:16
Subject: Identifying the Gospel
In the first chapter of Romans the Apostle Paul declared that he was a man separated unto the Gospel, and shows us precisely what he meant by the word “Gospel.” It is…
· The Gospel of God (v. 1).
· The Gospel promised of God and proclaimed by the prophets of the Old Testament (v. 2).
· It is concerning his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 3).
· It is the power of God unto salvation (v. 16).
· It is the revelation of the righteousness of God (v. 17).
Then, beginning in verse 18 Paul was inspired of God the demonstrated the universal need of the Gospel by showing us the universal depravity of man, Jew and Gentile, religious and irreligious, moral and immoral, civilized barbarians and uncivilized barbarians (1:18-3:19).
In chapter 2, verse 16 we read…
Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my Gospel.
I call your attention to just two words at the end of Romans 2:16 — “my Gospel.” I am going to talk to you today about “My Gospel,” the Gospel upon which I hang my hope for eternity in Christ, the Gospel I preach, the Gospel preached from this pulpit. Like the Apostle Paul, I call it “my Gospel” because I’ve experienced it, I believe it, I own it, and I preach it without apology everywhere I go. There is a day appointed in which — “God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my Gospel.”
I want everyone here to frankly and honestly examine what I have to say in this message by the Word of God. I want you to make a personal determination. I want to set before you seven distinctive points of my Gospel. I want you to look at the Word of God and make this determination: — Is my Gospel the Gospel of God? There is only one Gospel. Is the Gospel I believe that one, true, saving Gospel. — A lot is at stake here!
I want to be honest with the Word of God and honest with you. And I want, by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit, to be crystal clear in my preaching. I know that my preaching offends people; but as the servant of God Almighty, I cannot, dare not, and will not alter my message or try in any way to evade the controversial points of Gospel truth in an effort to please men and avoid causing division among religious people. The Gospel of God truly unites the people of God; but Christ and His Gospel are a stumbling block and rock of offense lost to religionists. Yes, the Gospel is offensive to the natural man, and very offensive to lost religious men and women. It causes strife, division, and confusion among the masses.
Our Lord said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I come not to send peace, but a sword!” Everywhere our Lord and His Apostles went preaching the Gospel three things happened…
· The religious crowd got mad.
· The saints of God were made glad.
· And the rest of the people were confused.
If we preach the Gospel of Christ we will see the same things happen in our day. — The offense of the cross has not ceased, and will not cease while the world stands.
Refuge of Lies
All men are religious. Everyone has a religious refuge. But most make a refuge for themselves (a decision — a doctrinal system — a family relationship — an experience — a reformed life — a religious sacrament); but the refuge you have made is a refuge of lies. It is written in the Scriptures: – “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
Proverbs 16:2 “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”
Isaiah 28:14-20 “Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. (15) Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: (16) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (17) Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (18) And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. (19) From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. (20) For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Proposition: Let me say one more time, (I hope you will hear what God says!), according to the Word of God there is only one Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).
Galatians 1:6-9 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Romans 1:1-4 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God, (2) (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) (3) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (4) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:”
· It is the Gospel of God.
· It is the Gospel promised in the Old Testament.
· It is the Gospel concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Seed of David/Son of God!).
Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
1 Corinthians 15:1-3
1 Corinthians 15:1-3 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.”
“H.O.W. that Christ died for our Sins according to the Scriptures.”
There is only one true Gospel, only one message of good news from God in heaven to perishing sinners on the earth. Every other gospel is a sham, a pretense, a fake, a false gospel, invented by Satan for the damning of men’s souls; and those who preach it are messengers of Satan. God saves sinners through the preaching of the Gospel. He does not save sinners through the preaching of a false gospel.
Every false gospel makes salvation to be, in some measure, dependent upon or determined by the worth of man, the work of man, or the will of man. It matters not whether the gospel you believe is liberal or conservative, papist or protestant, pagan or evangelical. If your gospel (the message of salvation upon which you hang the hope of your immortal soul for eternal salvation) makes salvation to be in anyway dependent upon or determined by you, you are a lost, unregenerate soul. Your god is an idol. Your religion is idolatry. The old whore of Revelation, Babylon, has made you drunk with the wine of her fornication. Unless you come out of her, you will perish with her (Revelation 18:4; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
The only true Gospel is a message of free salvation by the unconditional grace of God, purchased for chosen sinners by the sin-atoning blood of Christ, and effectually wrought in those same chosen sinners by the sovereign, irresistible power and grace of God the Holy Spirit.
· It describes man in his true character. The Gospel always represents man as a fallen, depraved, helpless, spiritually dead sinner, cursed and condemned by the law of God.
· The Gospel reveals God in His true character, sovereign, gracious, just, and holy. Any message that lowers the character of God, or presents Him as somewhat weak and frustrated, is a false gospel.
· The Gospel proclaims salvation as a gracious work of the Triune God alone. The Gospel of God is a declaration of salvation by the purpose of God the Father, the purchase of God the Son, and the power of God the Holy Spirit. It declares salvation to be entirely the result of the gracious, sovereign operations of the Triune God for, in, and upon chosen sinners.
Is my Gospel the Gospel of God? There is only one Gospel. Is the Gospel I believe and preach that one, true, saving Gospel? I repeat: — A lot is at stake here! Alright, here are seven plain statements that will clearly demonstrate that the Gospel we preach is the Gospel of God, the only true Gospel.
1st — My Gospel exalts a God who is totally sovereign in all things (Psalm 115:1-3; 135:6).
Psalms 115:1-3 “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. (2) Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? (3) But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”
Psalms 135:6 “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.”
Here are five things that this Book declares it pleased God to do. “It pleased the Lord…”
· to make you His people (1 Samuel 12:22).
· that all fullness dwell in His Son (Colossians 1:18).
· to bruise Christ in the place of His people (Isaiah 53:10).
· to reveal His Son in me (Galatians 1:15-16).
· to do it by the preaching of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:21).
2nd — My Gospel recognizes and declares the total depravity and spiritual inability of all men since the fall of our father Adam. What happened in the garden? Did man fall or stump his toe? Did he get sick, or did he die? If he just stumped his toe, all he needs is a walking stick. If he just got sick, all he needs is a little religious medicine. If he died, he must have a Savior! What does the Word of God say? ― “Man, at his best estate, is altogether vanity!” ― (Psalm 14:2-3; 51:5; 58:3; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Isaiah 1:4-6; Romans 3:10-14; 5:12-19; John 5:40-44; Ephesians 2:1-4; Colossians 2:13)
Psalms 14:2-3 “The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. (3) They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Psalms 51:5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Psalms 58:3 “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”
Ecclesiastes 7:29 “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.”
Isaiah 1:4-6 “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. (5) Why should ye be stricken anymore? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. (6) From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”
John 5:40-44 “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (41) I receive not honour from men. (42) But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. (43) I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (44) How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?”
Romans 3:10-14 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (13) Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (14) Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
Romans 5:12-19 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
Ephesians 2:1-4 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.”
Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.”
· Because man is depraved, he cannot do good.
· Because man is dead, he cannot change his condition.
· Because man is a fallen, depraved, spiritually dead creature, if he is saved, it must be declared, “Salvation is of the Lord!” — “Ye must be born again.”
Illustrations: Jarius’ Daughter
The Widow’s Son
3rd. — My Gospel is “the everlasting Gospel” (Romans 14:6) of “the blood of the everlasting covenant” (Hebrews 13:20). The word “covenant” appears in the Word of God more than 250 times. God made many covenants (Adam – Noah – Abraham – David). But I am talking about the everlasting covenant of grace, of which these covenants were only types. Throughout the Book of God this covenant of grace and salvation is “the everlasting covenant.” My Gospel is “the everlasting Gospel” (Romans 14:6) of “the blood of the everlasting covenant”
· David sang about it (2 Samuel 23:5) when he was dying!
· Paul rejoiced in it (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6; 13:20).
· Our Lord Jesus made it the basis of His prayer and His work (John 17:2, 9, 24; 6:37-39).
· Our Salvation was accomplished by this blessed covenant before God made the world (2 Timothy 1:9-10).
2 Timothy 1:9 God “hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (11) Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”
Illustrations: Judah, Surety for Benjamin
4th — My Gospel declares a Savior who is Himself God, the incarnate God – (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; John 1:1-3, 14; 1 Timothy 3:16). The Gospel we preach proclaims to men a God who sacrificed Himself to save His people! —— Find a match for that in your study of religious history! — “What think ye of Christ?” — Tell me what a man thinks of Christ, and I will tell you whether he knows the Gospel of God or is deluded by a false gospel.
Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Jesus Our Savior is Jehovah our God! — “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” All the fulness of the Triune God dwells in the Man Christ Jesus.
· God alone can bring in everlasting righteousness!
· God alone can satisfy justice!
· God alone can save!
An Effectual Savior
5th — My Gospel declares an effectual salvation and an effectual Savior (Isaiah 42:1-4; Matthew 1:21).
Isaiah 42:1-4 “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. (3) A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (4) He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”
Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
There are some people in this world who are His people.
· “My Sheep” (John 10).
· “All which He hath given me!”
Christ shall save His people (John 10:16).
John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
· He was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
· He brought in righteousness for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). — He makes us righteous, the very righteousness of God!
· He redeemed us (Ephesians 1:7).
· He sanctifies us (1 Corinthians 1:30).
· He bought and obtained forgiveness for us (Ephesians 1:7).
· He is all we need (Colossians 2:9-10).
6th — My Gospel is a Gospel of pure, free, unconditional, unqualified grace – (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 11:6).
Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
· Electing Grace.
· Predestinating Grace.
· Redeeming Grace.
· Prevenient Grace.
· Regenerating Grace.
· Preserving Grace.
· Resurrecting Grace.
· Glorifying Grace.
7th — My Gospel is good news to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 4:20-25 “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (21) And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (22) And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. (23) Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; (24) But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; (25) Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
Romans 5:1-11 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”
Hebrews 10:10-22 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (19) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (21) And having an high priest over the house of God; (22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Come to Christ now, right where you are; but don’t move a muscle! To Come to Christ is to…
· Acknowledge your need of Him (1 John 1:9).
· Believe on His name. – Trust His work!
· Bow to Him as Lord!
Without question, there is only one true Gospel. Every other gospel is a false gospel. Those who preach a false gospel are false prophets. And those who believe a false gospel are yet lost, under the wrath and curse of God. Serious as that charge is, it cannot be ignored or denied.
I am fully convinced that the one true Gospel is the Gospel of salvation by grace alone. By that statement I mean that salvation comes to helpless, depraved, lost, and justly condemned sinners only by…
Salvation is the free, unconditional gift of God's eternal, immutable grace. It is not in any way determined by or dependent upon the will, works, or worth of the sinner (2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 9:11-16).
You might ask, “But, pastor, “How can I be sure the Gospel you preach is the only true Gospel?” That is a fair, honest, and reasonable question. It is a question you would be wise to ask and a question every preacher should be required to answer.
Back in 1983, as Bro. Henry Mahan and I were driving back from a meeting, one of us raised the question, “How can I know that my Gospel is the Gospel?” And we began to work on some answers to that question together. I jotted them down on a piece of paper. I ran across it last week. That is what got me started with this message. —— By these ten things I know that the Gospel I preach is the Gospel of God, the only Gospel there is.
1. This is the only Gospel that gives all glory to God alone (1 Corinthians 1:29-31).
2. This is the only Gospel that is true to all the Scriptures (O.T. & N.T.). The Gospel I preach to you is the only Gospel revealed in all the Holy Scriptures (Luke 24:44-47; Acts 13:38-39) — “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20)
3. This is the only Gospel that magnifies, honors, and satisfies all the demands of God’s holy law (Romans 3:31).
4. This is the only Gospel that enables God to be just and the Justifier, the only Gospel that glorifies God in all His attributes (Romans 3:24-26; Psalm 85:10-11).
5. This is the only Gospel that gives real hope to real sinners who can do nothing for themselves (Ephesians 2:1-5).
6. This is the only Gospel that will keep a man saved. – “They shall never perish!”
7. This is the only Gospel that that forbids boasting in the flesh (Psalm 115:1).
8. This is the only Gospel that allows a sinner to have real assurance before God.
9. This is the only Gospel that compels saved sinners to consecrate themselves to God with grateful, devoted hearts (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 19-20).
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
10. This is the Gospel I have experienced it in my very soul! — “By the grace of God I am what I am!”
Illustration: The Indian & The Worm – “That’s what my Jesus did for me!”
Come, ye sinners poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore,
Jesus ready, stands to save you,
Full of pity, joined with power.
Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Bruised and mangled by the fall,
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.
Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream,
All the fitness He requireth,
Is to feel your need of Him!
I will arise and go to Jesus!
He will embrace me in His arms!
In the arms of my dear Savior,
Oh, there are ten thousand charms!
[i] Danville — Sunday Morning — June 22, 2014
Sovereign Grace Church — Kingsport, TN — (PM – 06/22/14)
Reading: Luke 13:1-35