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Christ’s Standard of Salvation & Discipleship for His Kingdom | Part B

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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It is all too easy to reduce (as theologians say) the Gospel, to sandpaper down its rough, tough edges — to forget the words of Yahushua and rest content in the fact that he died and rose. It is all too easy to quote a single passage (out of context) from Paul and completely forget the words of Yahushua about salvation. But that is to shrink the Gospel. Yes, one can find one’s comforting proof texts. I Corinthians 15:1-3 is often held out as a complete statement of the Gospel, although Paul deliberately said there that the dying and rising of Yahushua are “among items of the first importance [en protois]” in the Gospel, not the entire Gospel. Yahushua died and rose is certainly absolutely non-negotiable as Gospel. Belief in his supernatural origin as virginally begotten is also part of New Testament faith. Following him in obedience to his words and preaching is also indispensable. And that is where we should start.

Yahushua said, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will be saved.” Paul said, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” A contradiction? Of course not. Paul was Yahushua’ beloved servant. But can these verses be mishandled? Certainly. Mainly by quoting Paul out of his own context and not allowing Yahushua to be heard.

That is where the danger lies. Yahushua can be “reduced” and almost eliminated. How can this be done? It’s not difficult. You simply don’t preach much from the word and teachings of the historical Yahushua. You preach all the time from the letters of Paul, not realizing that Paul is writing to believers who already knew the faith from their earlier exposure to evangelists. The letters of Paul are designed to deal with special problems facing the churches. They assume a lot. They assume that we have fully grasped the Gospel as Yahushua preached it, the Gospel about the Kingdom of Yahuwah.

Yahushua had warned clearly enough. “He who hears my word and believes the one who sent me” is on the way to salvation (John 5:24). Let’s hear it again in a refreshing modern translation: “Truly I say to you, The man whose ears are open to my word and who has faith in him who sent me, has eternal life; he will not be judged, but has come from death into life” (BBE).

But what is hearing and believing his word? What does that innocent phrase mean? We are back to obedience of course. And that means intelligent understanding and obedient acceptance of Yahushua’ Gospel about the Kingdom. My word, said Yahushua, is the key to everything, the key to your obedience and salvation. The word in question is called “the word about the Kingdom” (Matt. 13:19). That word is like a seed (Luke 8:11). It contains the life-giving spark of immortality. It enters your life as the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is the agent of rebirth (1 Pet. 1:23-25). All this Yahushua summarized when he said, “You must be born again...born of the spirit” (John 3:5, 7).

This is a non-WLC article by: Focus on the Kingdom, Vol. 9 No. 10, July 2007.

We have taken out from the original article all pagan names and titles of the Father and Son, and have replaced them with the original given names. Furthermore, we have restored in the Scriptures quoted the names of the Father and Son, as they were originally written by the inspired authors of the Bible. -WLC Team
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