Grasping the Gospel
I am angry.
Not in a sinful way, but I am angry.
I am angry that there are preachers and teachers out there in this world who are doing their dead-level best to convince you, my brethren, that you will never fully comprehend the Gospel.
Listen to me. If you cannot comprehend the Gospel, you cannot be saved at all. If you cannot grasp the Gospel in this life before it is over for you, you will die in your sins and suffer eternal punishment in Hell under the wrath of God Almighty, forever, do you understand that?
If you cannot grasp the Gospel, than God stuttered, did not communicate clearly, and your damnation will have an excuse, but that is not the case, is it?
No, God did not stutter, He did not mis-communicate, He was not vague, nor did He make the one thing necessary for salvation incomprehensible. Such thinking is no less than post-modernism.
The only thing necessary for the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, to be effective, is the application of its truth through its preaching by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.
Any man who tells you the Gospel cannot or will never be fully grasped, is either ignorant of sound biblical theology and deceived himself, or, is intentionally deceiving others. What other options are there?
The following video is of Paul Washer. You should know that I love him. He is my brother in Christ. I have fellowshipped with this man in his church plant, and have enjoyed his company for well over a year. We have prayed, eaten, fellowshipped, joked around and I have learned much from him, and for that I am grateful and have been blessed. I have enjoyed the fellowship of HeartCry ministry immensely.
But I cannot, and must not, approve of any teaching that says the Gospel cannot be grasped, or that the Gospel is the only thing necessary for one to contemplate in order to be made ethically sanctified.
Within the first few minutes in this video, Bro. Washer says:
You will spend an eternity of eternities in heaven and you will still not begin to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If that’s true, no one can be saved. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and if it cannot be fully understood or grasped, the hearers of it will be lost. If they cannot understand or grasp it, how can they be saved at all? This is New Calvinism Gospel sanctification, and that is just not true. It’s not biblical teaching.
Paul Washer accuses the Church of reducing the Gospel to 4 spiritual laws and an alter call – and he is spot on right! Amen.
At the same time, Paul Washer has reduced Christianity to Gospel contemplation, and that is spot-on wrong, totally unbiblical. I challenge any Christian in this world to show me a consistent teaching in Scripture where the Gospel will never fully be grasped, or that it is the only thing whereby we will be made righteous in an ethical, moral sense.
Anyone? I didn’t think so.
So the Gospel and ALL that it entails is known? I agree with Paul Washer. And further that history looked forward to the cross and backwards.
That God, would design, implement a plan to demonstrate His Love to the universe is not grasped by a finite mind.
How may the finite grasp the infinite?
We may understand what has been revealed, and only then by the illuminating of the Holy Spirit as we read His word.
To me you are in danger of elevating intellect above its ability and place. There is much we do not know, comprehend nor have even been told about the gospel.
I prefer to believe that there are any mysteries not yet revealed, as Paul himself stated.
Is there a shorter sound bite of what you are talking about? I remember listening to alot of Paul Washer in the past. I do remember him saying “We will spend an eternity seeking to understand the Glory of God” … I don’t remember him saying we will spend an eternity trying to understand the Gospel.
Bryan, in the first couple minutes of that video, Washer says the very quote I have posted, and elaborates on it.
The gospel is an historical reality that CAN be fully known. The implications and import and richness of the fulfillment of the gospel provided in and by the Lord Jesus is a whole ‘nuther thing – the glory and fulness of which we will never grasp totally. Our God is beyond even our glorified ability to comprehend. But eh gospel is fully documented in the Word of God!
I do not have the time or inclination to watch or listen to Paul Washer for an hour.
I’m with Manfred. I’m not inclined to invest an hour plus in this video either, and AM inclined to believe you are representing Mr. Washer fairly Joel.
And I agree with you as well. The Good News is clear & succinct and not some veiled mystery barely grasped. So, Washer is confused. Or perhaps it is possible he isnt really – maybe he is just not communicating clearly. Either way, he is seriouisly mistaken.
What’s with the seven thumbs down (as I type this) RE Manfred’s comments? Sometimes I find I have all sorts of thumbs down – more than I have had readers methinks. Something is rotten in Thumbmark.
I’ve noticed. Those strongly opposed to certain views come back again, and again, just to express their disapproval (thumbs down). Tsk, tsk.
I’m with Manfred & Leach on this one. “The implications and import and richness of the fulfillment of the Gospel provided in and by the Lord Jesus is a whole ‘nuther thing – the glory and fullness of which we will never grasp totally” AMEN.
I hope he is just not clearly communicating his point.
To be a Christian – I have to realize and understand that I am a sinner before God. Does this mean that I will totally understand the depth of my sin and God’s real view of it. I also need to know and understand that I am under the wrath of God, without Christ. Does this mean I will totally comprehend the reality of an Almighty God of the entire universe, in His wrath. I think I also have to have an understanding of hell and have a healthy fear of it. Does this mean I totally comprehend the depths of hell. To all the queries – don’t I have to answer no? This seems to me what Paul Washer is getting at. As another commenter alluded – there are many mysteries. Some we know of to some extent – many we don’t. Like, why would such a huge God decide to love humanity – while we are in our sin – or at any time – enough to put the sin of man upon His own Son. I can’t quote it – but somewhere in the 66 books it speaks of man’s simpleness compared to God and how His thoughts are not ours. Isn’t it very possible that God will be able to broaden our understanding of many things once we are glorified and in His presence. But for now – He has given us sufficient to understand what we need to.
BTW – I SO much appreciate the respect you pay to Washer as a brother before (or in) your critisism of him. So much can be miscommunicated in the written word on a blog.
I listened to the first 2 minutes.
Furthering his confusion – heaven is NOT where we will spend eternity. If he would READ the BOOK, he would read about the new Earth upon which we will live.
And while he’s right about gospel reductionism, he has been saying the same thing for years.
Joel, I would like to hear Washer’s definition of the Gospel. One of the things I am catching onto is they seem to have a different definition than the one I have understood for most of my life.
I listened to Washer a lot when he first started his ministry back here. At first, I was like, wow! Finally someone who is taking on shallow Christianity of the seekers. But after a few years, I started seeing problems and it is the problem you mention here. In fact, he becomes more confusing and one can actually feel despair on not being able to grasp what I had always known as the simple truth of the Good news. (Otherwise, how would the 1st Century illiterate slave be able to grasp the “Gospel”?)
Reblogged this on Paul's Passing Thoughts.