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Have You Heard Only 1/3 of the Gospel?

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The gospel states that through the finished work of Jesus we can be forgiven, transformed, experience intimate fellowship with God and the body, bring honor to Christ on earth by our godly obedience and reign with Him forever. The word to emphasize here is finished. No man (certainly not this one) understands the complete gospel of Christ, but some seem to have “heard’ more clearly than others. Is it possible that you are among those who have missed it?

Paul makes this statement about the gospel: I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it by men, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:12).

Note: it was not a revelation from Jesus, but of Jesus. Every need you can experience is met in a true revelation of Jesus. Gal. 1:8 says that if anyone teaches a gospel which deviates from the one Jesus revealed to Paul “let him be accursed.” Wow, that’s strong! And that’s not Paul’s opinion, gang, its God’s. He said it twice; he’s mega-serious about it. We’d all best be certain it’s the gospel Jesus gave to Paul that we’re embracing. Ever notice that the Holy Spirit did not lead Paul to do what we’d expect after he got saved…go to the eleven apostles and ask them to teach him the gospel according to Jesus? No, Jesus discipled Paul just as He had the other eleven apostles, but the difference is that He revealed the entire gospel to Paul which He did not reveal to the eleven because the gospel had yet to be completed…Jesus had yet to be crucified and resurrected. He did not teach them the glorious affect this has upon all who are crucified and regenerated in Christ. The eleven experienced this at Pentecost; up until then they all had “darkened minds.” This explains why they had such difficulty understanding the things Jesus taught. Once when Peter did understand truth, Jesus said, “Peter, you didn’t figure that out, the Father revealed it to you” (Matt. 16:17). Such is the case with all revelation.

So, it is mainly in Paul’s writings that we are to discover the complete gospel according to Jesus. Though the total Word of God is unalterably true, majoring on Matthew, Mark, Luke and John while minoring on Paul’s epistles will reveal but a partial resulting in bondage.

Many Christians have only appropriated (heard) 1/3 of the gospel Jesus revealed to Paul. Although saved, it’s small wonder such a person lives in defeat. Their approach is like using a chainsaw without starting the engine. They slug it out in Monday’s trenches, striving to do what God wants them to do calling on Him for help when the going gets too tough. That tragic misunderstanding of the gospel is merely stacking up fuel for the great wiener roast in the sky, gang. Saved, yes–free in Christ, no.

What is this partial gospel that some have believed is the normal Christian life? Are you ready for this? They know only about Christ’s blood which was shed for our forgiveness. Thus they see themselves as forgiven sinners on the way to heaven. This is not the revelation of Jesus that Paul received. It is only partially true. Their deficiency causes them to face life in much the same way that the faithful Jew did in the Old Testament. He believed God for forgiveness for his sins, too, but he had no victory over the power of sin. Is this your experience as well? Do you experience consistent victory over “the sin which so easily entangles us?” You can…but you must appropriate more of the gospel than your blessed forgiveness. Forgiveness constitutes but 1/3 of the gospel according to Jesus.

The second 1/3 of the gospel is know to every born-again Believer, “Christ in you.” Although all Christians know this, Christ may as well be living on Mars for all the benefit they experience from His presence. Do you fellowship with Him in there? Trust Him as your teacher? Marvel together at the birds He made? Laugh together at the antics of your silly dog that He created and gave to you? Cry on His shoulder when you’re hurting? Receive the wild flower He planted in the crack in the parking lot just for you? Let him put His arm around your shoulder and listen when you’ve been misunderstood?

Someone asked, “Why was John the only one who go to lay his head upon Jesus’ breast?” to whom the answer was given, “Because he was the only one who tried it.” The Holy Spirit (the “Spirit of Christ”) came into you to have intimate fellowship with you, but many Christians do not experience this.

But there is a second reason why Christ indwells you and it is to express life through you. Do you trust Him to face each day on earth through you by using the same faith you use to trust Him to take you to heaven? Are you trusting Him for your life as well as for your death? I suppose you can do the latter and ignore the former, but it’s far short of God’s grace to you. I mean this kindly; is this not an affront to Christ’s grace? Is it not acting as if you do not need all of His purpose for dying; that you are strong enough to face much of life in your own strength as if this were a virtue when in fact it is a constant sin (Rom. 14:23b)? More fuel for the fire.

Now we come to the last 1/3 of the gospel according to Jesus. Although the faithful O.T. Jews were forgiven, had they attempted to enter into God’s holy presence in the Temple, they would have died instantly. Not so with you! You are not only permanently forgiven via Jesus’ blood and permanently equipped with Jesus’ life by His Spirit, you are so permanently holy that you are permanently in the Father’s immaculate presence (Eph. 2:6)! It was through Christ’s beloved body that He accomplished this for you, dear one, not His precious blood.

Have you ever discovered the role of Jesus’ physical body in the gospel according to Jesus? We don’t hear much about His body, do we? Let no one believe I am minimizing Jesus’ precious blood; what I am saying is that many are unknowingly minimizing His precious body. They take the bread at the Lord’s Table and think of their forgiveness. That’s not the whole plan; thanks for forgiveness should accompany the taking of the wine. In Jesus’ body you were crucified as a sinner-man and reborn as a holy, pure, righteous, spirit-son of God who is now in the loving arms of the Father! Just as Jesus’ blood is necessary for the forgiveness of sin, His body was necessary to transform you from a rejected sinner into an accepted saint. This is the only way we can find rest in the presence of the Father and that constitutes the last 1/3 of the gospel. Do you have this marvelous truth locked in your heart? Do you experience its benefit? Do you walk in its truth? Do you live with the complete security of your unconditional acceptance in the presence of Jesus moment by moment even when you’ve blown it badly? Embrace this as your true identity? How unbelievable is the gospel Jesus revealed to Paul! It’s so incredible only God would dream it up! Man in his wildest dreams would never fabricate such a plan!

Summing up:

You are forgiven for all of your sins past, present and future.

You are fully equipped by the Holy Spirit within for intimate fellowship with Christ and to experience the victory of His life through you.

You are a holy, glorified saint, righteous and acceptable, already in God’s holy presence in heaven. Wow… What an identity you have! What a gracious God you serve. Worthy is the lamb to rule the universe!

Look at the testimony of just one of the many who write telling us how the revelation of Jesus to Paul has changed their lives. Those of you who are in prayer or financial partners in Lifetime Guarantee share equally with us in ministering to this dear person. Pretty exciting! Of course the glory goes to our blessed Jesus, not to you and me. “What do you have that you did not receive? Why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7).

“How blessed I am to have heard Lifetime Guarantee’s teaching. How God has used you to set me free from a lifetime of insecurities, fears, low self-esteem, and feelings of worthlessness. Oh, Satan continues to try to get me to tune into his lies but I am learning to continually remind him that I am dead to all of that. I have been a Christian for nineteen years and have been so bound by Performance Based Acceptance. What an incredibly liberating truth to know I’m accepted in the Beloved. I just want to stand on the rooftops and shout out what God has shown me through His Word. It has all left me with a humbly grateful heart. I can’t stop thanking Him that all of this is really true. Of course, there are a lot of things still in my life that don’t look like Jesus, but finally there are changes–real changes–not the ones I’ve tried to generate out of years of self-effort (and failed miserably, I might add). I was introduced to your book, Lifetime Guarantee, last summer, and this has truly been the most exciting few months of my Christian life. I look forward to all that Jesus will do in and through me as I learn more and more what Gal. 2:20 really means. Lawrenceville, GA

This person has appropriated the revelations of Jesus to Paul–the gospel.

Dear one, Jesus said you have to take up your cross–you die to live. Our sister in Christ has appropriated this. Jesus, not self, is the Faith Peg she hangs her hat on now. Have you chosen the only pathway that He said leads to peace? To see it is not sufficient; you must commit to it. You must choose by faith the way of the cross that severs the ties which bind you to the system the Bible calls death (Rom. 8:6), but which the world calls “life.” That can be scary. Many Christians back away from it; they aren’t exactly lining up to die. They love their lives. But, in Christ you have already died as a citizen of the kingdom of this world and have been reborn into the Kingdom of the Father. You must appropriate it to experience it. Have you made the decision to “die” that you might experience life in this kingdom? Have you had the revelation of Jesus which He gave to Paul?

About the Author

Bill founded Lifetime Guarantee Ministries to encourage people to experience the reality of Christ as life. His transparent, humorous, down-to-earth style and sense of humor made him one of the most effective teachers of his time. He communicated with great clarity the full extent of what God accomplished in Christ and what that means for the Christian identity. Although Bill passed away in June 2011, his messages are timeless and will continue to impact generations to come.