Author: Ron Graham
There is an idea in some people's minds that the gospel is for the lost but not for the saved —when one is saved one no longer needs the gospel.
People with this idea usually make a distinction between the gospel of Christ and the new covenant of Christ. They feel that once the gospel has brought someone into the church, it has done its job.
That idea sees a person brought into the church as entering into a “covenant relationship” with Christ and no longer under the gospel. That person is now under the faith or doctrine of Christ, which is exclusively for the saved —whereas the gospel is exclusively for aliens or sinners.
We will notice some points that show this view to be incorrect.
1. Paul preached the gospel to the holy people in Rome (Romans 1:15-17). Why did Paul do that if the gospel is not for the church?
2. Paul preached the gospel to the congregation in Corinth (2Corinthians 11:7-8). Why did Paul do that if the gospel is not for the church?
3. Paul preached the gospel to the church in Thessalonica (1Thessalonians 2:2-12). Why did Paul do that if the gospel is not for the church?
4. Paul preached the gospel to the gathering of Christians at Ephesus (Acts 20:24-27). Why did Paul do that if the gospel is not for the church?
1. Christians are expected to "walk straight with the truth of the gospel" (Galatians 2:14 rendered literally). How can they do that if the gospel is not for Christians?
2. The Christian has a suit of armour, and part of that armor is "having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel" (Ephesians 6:15-17 esp v15). How can the gospel prepare the Christian to fight the good fight if the gospel is not for the Christian?
3. Sergius Paulus (not a Christian) was being taught "the faith" (Acts 13:6-12 esp v8). Since he should have been taught the gospel, “the faith” must be the gospel (see Philippians 1:27). Yet churches were strengthened in the faith (Acts 16:5, Romans 16:25). How can that be so if the faith of the gospel is not for the churches?
1. Evangelists are gospel preachers, yet they edify the church (Ephesians 4:11-12). How can they do that if the gospel is not for the church?
2. Sound doctrine is for the church (Acts 2:42). Yet sound doctrine is "according to the gospel" (1Timothy 1:10-11). How can that be so if the gospel is not for the church?
3. Paul wrote to Timothy so that Timothy might know how to conduct himself "in the household of God which is the church" (lTm 3:15). Part of that behaviour was continuing in the things he had learned (2Timothy 3:14) and to make it his ministry to teach those things to others (2Timothy 2:2, 4:2). Now Timothy had learned Paul's gospel (2Timothy 2:7-8). How could Timothy continue in the gospel as part of his behaviour in the church, if the gospel is not for the church?