Monday, September 12, 2016

The Gospel Concerns the Son of God

Sermon Audio (NOT RECORDED)
Studies in the Epistle of Paul to the Romans
The Gospel Concerns the Son of God

Is the “doctrine of Christ” an essential element in the explanation of the Gospel?  This is an important question that needs to be addressed.  Many Evangelicals these days would say that the “doctrine of Christ” is NOT an essential element in the explanation of the Gospel.  This heresy is the substance of Ecumenical Evangelism, which de-emphasizes the doctrine of Christ and a biblical response to the Gospel of salvation for some silly notion of pseudo-unity.  

We need only look to one warning in Scripture to see that such people are absolutely wrong.  They are not only absolutely wrong, but they are absolutely wrong in ways critical to a biblical salvation decision and what defines belief in Christ.  Critical to this is the deity of Jesus as Jehovah incarnate.  Therefore, to believe and confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9) is to understand and recognize the Sovereignty of Jesus as the final authority in one’s life.

“7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth {stay or dwell} not in the doctrine {teaching} of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth {stay or dwell} in the doctrine {teaching} of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (II John 1:7-11).

Obviously, according to II John 1:11, the true Christian is not to have any type of a working relationship in ministry cooperation with someone who does not abide in the teachings of Jesus.  The teachings of Jesus are to be viewed as the boundaries for sacrosanctity defining the Christian’s life and biblical evangelism. 

The true Christian should be preoccupied with knowing the teachings of Jesus (discipleship) and living, or observing, those teachings.  When we consider the substance of the teachings of Jesus, we must understand that this includes Jesus’ teachings about Who He is as well as His teachings regarding how He expected people to be “born again.  This includes how they were expected to live AFTER they were “born again.”  Jesus extensively taught about Who He is as recorded in the four Gospels.  Rightly understanding the doctrine of Jesus Christ is critical to understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

In other words, if the doctrine of Jesus Christ is corrupted, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is corrupted, which will lead to false professions and false Christianity.  This is the substance of what Paul is addressing in Romans 1:3. 

“1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;” (Romans 1:1-3).

The “gospel of God,” to which Paul was “separated unto,” concerns the Son of God, “Jesus Christ our Lord.”  In other words, the Gospel is Christo-centric If the incarnation of the eternal Son of God in Jesus is taken away from the Gospel, the Gospel is no longer good news.  The Gospel is not about sociological reformation (the Social Gospel).   The Gospel is not about a good man with great philosophyThe Gospel is an historical account of God’s love sent to earth written in the Heart of the eternal Son of God incarnate in human flesh.  The Gospel is about the eternal Son of God becoming man for the purpose of redemption.  This means His dying in the place of sinners.  Paul puts it another way in the book of Hebrews.

“1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by {literally, in} his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 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” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

Hebrews 1:1-2 could be translated, “God, who in many parts and in many different ways spoke in the past, unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days (of the Old Covenant) spoken to us in His Son Jesus, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the ages (dispensations)”.
In the Old Covenant, God used prophets to communicate His message to man.  He did so, not in one lump sum or always in the same manner.  He did so in different ways through various prophets.  He spoke to them with an audible voice, in dreams, and by visions.  He sent angelic host to speak to them.  On numerous occasions, the pre-incarnate Son of God spoke with them (known as a Christophany).  God’s message to the people of the New Covenant came as a Person.  God’s revelation of Himself is not just what Jesus said, but who and what He is as well.
Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Christ “by Himself purged our sins.”  This is the only purgatory mentioned in the Bible.  The finished work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary is our purgatory (place of purging from sin).  He has already purged (Aorist tense) our sins.  This purging refers to taking something unclean and, therefore unacceptable to a relationship with God, and making that thing or person clean.  This is a critical truth to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This truth is the very foundation for reconciliation with God and the possibility of fellowship with God. 
When Hebrews 1:3 tells us Jesus “sat Himself down,” it means after a finished work was done.  A finished work allowed a person to sit down.  A central truth to the epistle to the Hebrews is the finished work of Jesus Christ.  This truth is central to dealing with the heresy of Sacramental and Sacerdotal Theology.  What Christ did, He did once for all.  The once for all sacrifice of Christ never needs to be repeated in a sacrament.  Nothing can be, or needs to be, added to what Christ has already done.  Again, this is the substance of the statement of Hebrews 10:10; “By the which will we are sanctified {i.e., ‘made holy’, perfect tense, passive voice, which is why the words ‘for all’ are added in italics for clarification after the word ‘once’} through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

“28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:28-30).

Jesus is not on the Cross today.  He is not continually dying to give us forgiveness of sin.  Such nonsense is absolute heresy and a complete corruption of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  His once for all sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary has “once for all” propitiated God’s wrath on sin, fully satisfied and remitted the penalty of sin, and is fully capable of justifying “whosover will” respond to the Gospel according to the detailed directions given in Scripture (repent, believe, confess, call, and receive).  Jesus has “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3, 13, 8:1, and 10:12); the position of power and judgment of the Majesty on high. 

These are all essential truths to a biblical faith decision to trust in Christ for the gift of salvation.  This is why Ecumenicism and Ecumenical Evangelism are so dangerous to the doctrine of salvation.  In Ecumenicism and Ecumenical Evangelism, the corruptions of the Gospel in various ways by different denominations of Christianity (falsely so called) are tolerated and minimized to the place where all these false responses to the Gospel are accepted as equal.  Toleration in Ecumenicism simply means they will not talk about their obvious differences accepting every position as equal and all under the big umbrella of Christianity.  Such nonsense is a huge corruption leading many well-meaning people into disobedience regarding the Bible’s teaching on the “doctrine of Christ” (II John 1:9).
The term Son of God has definitive doctrinal significance and meaning.  Many people refer to Jesus as the Son of God without any comprehension of the doctrinal significance of the terminology.  The doctrinal significance and meaning of the term Son of God is essential to the Gospel message.   George W. Zeller and Renald E. Showers give a threefold theological significance to the term Son of God in their book The Eternal Sonship of Christ (published by Loizeaux Brothers, Inc.)

A son is a separate person from his father.

“19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will” (John 5:19-21).

“37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:37-40).

A son is the heir, not the servant, of his father (Primogeniture).

“1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:1-6).

“5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:5-14)?

“1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:1-7).

A son has the same nature as his father.

“9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:9-18).

“24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” (John 10:24-38).

“23 That all men should honour {revere, venerate, worship} the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:23-29).

The term Son of man denotes two natures perfectly united in Jesus Christ.  The term Son of God denotes the nature of deity.  The term Son of man denotes the nature of humanity, although sinless.
Here, we must briefly discuss two supposedly opposing theological arguments.  These arguments involve the eternal Sonship of the “Son God” and the incarnational Sonship of Jesus (“Son of man”).  The arguments are usually either/or.  The either the one or the other is why the theological tension exists.  The “Son of God” is the second Person of the Tri-unity of God and is eternally existent.  This is the eternal Sonship of the “Son of God.”  He is the Creator (Colossians 1:12-17).  Jesus has a beginning in time and history as the “Son of man.”  At the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary, God created a perfect theanthropic union of God and man.  This is why the word “Son” is capitalized in the term “Son of man.”  Upon the incarnation, Jesus became a theanthropic union of perfect God and perfect man.  This is the incarnational Sonship of God.  If these things are not properly understood, the ignorance will create all kinds of other theological problems including the denial of the deity of Jesus Christ. 

The Heresy of Modalism

Modalism is a very common theological error concerning the nature of God.  It is a denial of the Trinity, or Tri-unity of the Godhead.  Modalism teaches that God is a single person who, throughout biblical history, has revealed Himself in three consecutive modes, or forms.  Thus, God is a single person who first manifested himself in the mode of the Father in Old Testament times.  They will say that at the incarnation, the mode was the Son.  After Jesus’ ascension, the mode is the Holy Spirit.  These modes are consecutive and never simultaneous.  In other words, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never all exist at the same time, only one after another.  Modalism denies the distinctiveness of the three persons in the Trinity even though it retains the divinity of Christ.
Present day groups that hold to this error are the United Pentecostal and United Apostolic Churches.  These groups deny the Trinity, teach that the name of God is Jesus, and require baptism for salvation.  These Modalism churches often accuse Trinitarians of teaching three gods.  This is not what the Trinity is.  The correct teaching of the Trinity is one God in three eternal coexistent personages:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


Tri-theism is the teaching that the Godhead is really three separate beings forming three separate gods.  This erring view is often confused by the cults as the same as the doctrine of the Trinity, which states that there is but one God in three persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The doctrine of the Trinity is, by definition, monotheistic.  That is, it is a doctrine that affirms that there is only one God in all the universe.
Tri-theism has taken different forms throughout the centuries.  In the early church, the Christians were accused of being tri-theists by those who either refused to understand or could not understand the doctrine of the Trinity.  In the late 11th century, a Catholic monk of Compiegne in France named Roscelin considered the three Divine Persons as three independent beings and that it could be said they were three gods.  He maintained that God the Father and God the Holy Ghost would have become incarnate with God the Son unless there were three Gods.
Present day Mormonism is tri-theistic - but with a twist.  Mormonism teaches that there are many God’s in the universe, but they serve and worship only one of them.  The godhead for earth is to them really three separate gods: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  They believe that the Father used to be a man on another world who brought one of his wives with him to this world.  They believe they both had bodies of flesh and bones.  They believe the son is a second god who was literally begotten between god the father and his goddess wife.  They believe Jesus and Satan are brothers.  They believe the holy ghost is a third god.  Therefore, in reality, Mormonism is polytheistic with a tri-theistic emphasis. 

Of course, tri-theism clearly contradicts the teaching of the Bible regarding monotheism - that there is only one God.

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me” (Isaiah 43:10).

“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).

“Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any” (Isaiah 44:8).

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Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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