What Does the Gospel Include?
by Bob Waldron

Introduction: As I read the history of religion, it is interesting to me to see how many modern ideas have their origin in the past. There is an expression that one reads often in literature in and around the time of the Protestant Reformation. It is Sola Scriptura, Latin for "only Scripture," and it meant that Scripture is the only standard of right and wrong, not the Papacy, not any man, or any council of men. Nevertheless, in reading the literature of that period, the fact that Scripture says nothing about infants' being baptized made no difference among most of the churches. The necessity of baptism itself was not clearly recognized. Many other things were believed and done even though it either ignored what plain scripture said or was completely without Scriptural basis.

  In view of these things I come to the present day when I see a continuing degradation in respect for the Scripture as the basis for authority. There continues to be a peeling away of things that are scripturally important or necessary, like the layers of an onion. What will be left when all the layers are peeled away?

  Therefore, I want to study with you what the gospel includes, and see that it was not merely the idea that Jesus died and rose again. It was also given to be a standard and guide for us to follow today.

  First I want to note several of the epistles, beginning with the letter to the Colossians.

 I. The letter to the Colossians.

II. The first letter to the Thessalonians.

III. The letter to the Galatians.

IV. The gospel includes not only the message of salvation but the guide to discipleship in all areas.

V. We cannot diminish any of the gospel without giving it all up.

Conclusion: I know of only two consistent alternatives in dealing with the gospel. One is to believe it, teach it, and follow it just as the New Testament church did. The other is to reject it completely in unbelief. Anything else is just compromise.

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