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Richard L. Schafer
(C) 2014

You may freely use this outline without changes to the content.

The Gospel for Salvation

People today are saved by believing that Christ died for their sins; He was buried and rose the third day.

Belief in Christ’s work is the sole basis for salvation (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

False Gospels

The Gospel for salvation is both profound in its ramifications and simple in its definition. There are many false gospels. One human tendency is to add individual worth or works. However, when any human works are added then God’s grace is redefined and the grace from God is no longer involved (Rom. 11:6). Others have a propensity to omit necessary facts such as His death for our sins, burial and/or His resurrection. He died for our sins because we are sinners. The burial expresses that Jesus’ human soul and spirit separated from His body for three days and three nights and His body genuinely died. He rose physically because He is the firstfruit of victory over death.

Common Errors Perpetrated on the Gospel

* “Soul winning” is inaccurate since the soul is not saved until the Rapture (1 Pet. 1:9). There is no Scripture directing Christians to go “soul winning”.
* “You must show your belief that Christ is Lord” is explicitly a perversion of the Word since faith is not works (Rom. 4:4-5; Eph. 2:8-9).
* “You must seek God” is not applicable today no one seeks God (Rom. 3:11).
* “You must ask Jesus into your heart” has no Scriptural basis and does not recognize that belief is in the heart, not the lip (Rom. 10:10). This “prayer” would be a work and therefore mutually exclusive to God’s grace.
* Adding 1 Corinthians 15:5 “And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:” to the Gospel is based on a misunderstanding of Biblical faith since faith is never seen. If one needs historical visual proof that Christ rose from the dead, then they do not have Biblical faith. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith provides the proof or evidence not the eye. The proof is that the promise from God is made real to you by the work of the Holy Spirit. This is an important distinction since if you include verse five why not verse six too, or seven or eight or the whole Bible?

Keeping the Gospel as an Accurate Representation of Scripture

The best way to present the Gospel correctly is to use the Word. Simply read, or quote 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 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; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
Verse one labels this precept as the Gospel. Verse two states that this Gospel is what saves a person. Verses three and four define the object of faith.

Remember any additions or omissions to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, however well- intentioned, change the object of faith and are offering another of a different kind of gospel.

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