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The indented outline is attached below.
What is the Purpose of the Gospel?
I. Most people have a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of the gospel.
Arminians believe that believing the gospel is the means through which a man gets eternal life.
Calvinists believe that all of the elect will believe the gospel, which is a necessary requirement for salvation; and if a man doesn't believe it, or if he loses his faith, he was never elect in the first place.
Both of these beliefs display a gross ignorance of what the gospel actually is.
II. What is the gospel? Let's let the Bible define it.
The gospel is good tidings (good news).
Rom 10:15 - And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Isa 52:7 - How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Specifically, the gospel is the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ which saved His people from their sins.
1Co 15:1 - Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 - By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 - For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 - And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
The gospel is not the means to get eternal salvation, but rather is the good news about how Jesus gave us eternal salvation.
III. Believing the gospel has eternally saved nobody.
Rather, it was Jesus Christ's work on the cross that eternally saved His people.
Mat 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.
Heb 1:3 - Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 9:12 - Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Heb 10:14 - For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Tit 2:14 - Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Joh 17:2 - As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Joh 17:3 - And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Joh 17:4 - I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Believing the good news that Jesus Christ saved me from my sins and gave me eternal life no more saves me from my sins and gives me eternal life, than does believing the good news that Hillary Clinton lost the election make her lose the election.
IV. Believing the gospel is a good and important thing, but it is not necessary for eternal life.
If belief of the gospel is necessary for eternal life, then every aborted baby and every infant that dies goes to hell because they did not believe the gospel.
If belief of the gospel is necessary for eternal life, then every severely mentally retarded person that dies goes to hell because they did not believe the gospel.
If belief of the gospel is necessary for eternal life, then every Gentile who lived prior to the coming of Christ went to hell because they didn't believe the gospel.
If belief of the gospel is necessary for eternal life, then every person in remote parts of the world who never hears the gospel goes to hell because they did not believe the gospel.
If belief of the gospel is necessary for eternal life, then eternal salvation is by works, not grace.
V. What then is the purpose of the gospel?
The purpose of the gospel to inform God's lost sheep of their salvation that Jesus gave them and exhort them to believe it.
2Ti 1:10 - 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:
Eph 1:12 - That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13 - In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
The purpose of the gospel is to tell God's lost sheep to repent and keep His commandments and live their lives in obedience to Jesus Christ.
Mar 1:15 - And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Tit 2:11 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 - Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
The purpose of the gospel is to give God's lost sheep the hope of eternal life in heaven.
Col 1:5 - For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 - Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
In summary, the purpose of the gospel is to locate and educate the regenerate.
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