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Grace Baptist Church | Cape Coral

Preserving the Truth of the Gospel

Pastor Jared Longshore continues his series on the book of Galatians. In a message entitled “Preserving the Truth of the Gospel” the pastor opens Galatians 2:1 – 14. Over the millennia the truth of the gospel has been repeatedly challenged. Heresy and false teaching are a constant threat to the church and its members. It is the responsibility of each Christian to work to preserve the truth. In today passage we see the Apostle Paul laboring to preserve the truth of the gospel. He provides lessons and applications for us in our efforts to preserve the truth of the gospel for others.

An important key is that the gospel must be preserved by seeking doctrinal agreement in the church. Though at times in the church’s history the majority has been wrong, there is a better chance of preserving the truth with a group of faithful Christians than with one person alone. Paul sought the acknowledgment of the other apostles that his message was true to ensure his converts would not be disillusioned by later challenges.

Secondly, the gospel must be preserved by not yielding to false teachers. Some of these teachers had crept into the Galatian church unawares and the Galatians had let themselves be led astray. While Paul was sure of the truths he taught, they having been revealed directly to him from God, he sought doctrinal agreement for the good of the church. Particularly as it applied to the Galatian church, Paul was concerned that false teachers known as Judaizers were adding requirements of the Jewish Law to the gospel. The other apostles added nothing to Paul’s gospel, agreeing that salvation came by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Our responsibilities seem plain: know the gospel by studying God’s Word, take the truth of the gospel seriously, commit to a church that does the same, share this truth with the world, and train your children.

Finally, the gospel truth must be preserved by correcting Christians who falsify it with their lives. Of course, no matter what we do we cannot falsify the true gospel; it is God’s gospel. However, living a life outside of the direction of Scripture can cast the gospel in a negative light especially to unbelievers. Paul relates his confronting Peter when Peter’s actions cast doubt on the unity the gospel should provide within the church. Confrontation may be hard but it is necessary to preserve the truth and it is equally necessary to correct an erring brother or sister. Here again, it is imperative that we know the truth so we can live, teach, and correct.

One writer has called preserving the truth of the gospel to be of high cost and yet a precious privilege. Furthermore, it can be a lonely business. Nevertheless, had it not been for the likes of saints of the past such as Paul or Athanasius, Luther or Spurgeon, many in the church would have been led astray. Jesus Christ gave all to save His people. His people, therefore, ought to sacrifice to preserve the truth of the gospel.

 

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