The Gospel means different things to different people. For many Charismatics, it has little to do with repentance. The emphasis is placed on the individual just believing with his heart and confessing with his mouth.
Most of us have experienced food that has not been prepared correctly. Recently in a restaurant I ordered chicken that had not been grilled for the correct period of time. Being afraid of sending it back to the kitchen, not knowing what a disgruntled chef may do, I took it home in a doggy-bag. I felt cheated that I had to pay for a service and ended up doing it myself.
Well, salvation can never be achieved by what we do. Salvation pertains to everything God has done. God is our soul Chef. He does the calling, regeneration, implanting of faith and adoption. Paul the Apostle reminds us of this in Romans 1:16-17. “16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
The gospel or the cross of Jesus is an offence to the modern charismatic, intellectual, philosopher and the feel-good Christian. We have learnt from society to present a Gospel that makes Jesus a superhero, or a message that never deals with the core issue every person has to address: sin.
The offence of the cross is simply this: I am condemned and so lost and so hopeless that if Jesus Christ had not died for me, I would never know God, and I could never be forgiven. That hurts, that annoys, that tells me the truth – that I am vile, useless, and a sinner. The natural man does not like these facts. Let’s face the fact that the true Gospel offends the sinner. Some today would distance themselves and say that God is love, and never deal with the facts. This is an incorrect assumption. Most Charismatics have become managers of their own sin.
I close with a quote from Martin Lloyd-Jones:
“If you tell me you are not ashamed of the Gospel, I have the right to ask you why you are not ashamed of it”.
The reason why we must not be ashamed of the Gospel is that we must be unique, separate, distinct, God glorifying, Christ glorifying, Glorifying the Spirit! Something that no man can say, save he has been called by God’s grace, born-again (regenerated), given a new nature and understands it is all about God and not about man. Finally, salvation begins with God and ends with God. We cannot save ourselves!
The authentic Gospel is all about an authentic God.