Good News Of the Gospel (evangel) is that Jesus saves us not in our sins, but from our sins. (see Matth.1:21) This brings us to the question; ’what is sin?’ The apostle Paul had not known sin by any other way except that the holy moral law of God had said, ‘you must not covet’ (Romans 7:7) .
How do we know we have sin? ‘All have sinned and come short’ (Rom.3:23). Our self-righteousness is as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) But Christ’s robe is spotless and as white as snow. He offers it free to you and me.
We cannot repent nor forsake sin by ourselves. Read Isaiah 53 and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John’s account of the Gospel. God is only a prayer away.
Jesus, God’s Son, took our place on the cross. That is how guilty a sinner we are. But God Himself paid the price to buy us back. Salvation is a free gift. (Romans 6:23) We must not insult the giver, God, by trying to offer payment such as good works, as I used to do as a Roman Catholic, and received nothing. Even faith and grace is a free gift so that by saving faith we are renewed unto good works [Ephesians 2:8-10].
Today, God’s love fills my whole life and His Holy spirit brings me joy, peace and self-control that I never had before. Good works are now the fruit of salvation and no longer the root.
When Protestantism still believed in the binding of all the Ten Commandments as Paul in Romans 7:7 quoted, the Gospel was preached with that law as the needle to wound the transgressor and then the Gospel bandages were applied. A lawless Gospel is no Gospel at all. There is no sin to point out and nothing to be forgiven nor to repent from. Jesus does not save us in, but from sin!!!
Luther was big on righteousness by faith (alone) Gospel! Translating the Bible from the dead language of Latin into German, and the invention of the Gutenburg press, sparked the protestant ‘Reformation’. The catch cry: ‘by faith alone and by scriptures alone’ would unite Christianity today, if followed!
Jesus sets us free from sin and its law of death (Romans 8:2). ' For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteousness (right doing) of the law might be fulfilled inside us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit'-Romans 8:3,4. Earlier the apostle had asked the question, do we make void the law by faith? God forbid, yes we establish the law.-3:31
Spiritualism that has now become the new Christianity, contradicts the New Testament by saying that God’s holy moral law of the 10 Commandments are a yoke of bondage. But the N.T. calls it a royal law of liberty (James 2:8-12) and shows us that every one of the 10 are of equal importance with God and includes Christ’s seventh day Sabbath of the 4th commandment. (note: the corrupt version of catechism shows it as the third commandment). Eccl.12:13,14 shows us that the O.T. people are going to be judged by the very same law.
Theologians make the Gospel more complicated and use terms such as ‘Justification’, which is our title to heaven on the basis of what Jesus did for us outside of ourselves. And ‘Sanctification’ which is our fitness for heaven and is what God’s Holy Spirit does inside us. But mark this, a lack of sanctification (loving obedience to God’s law) cancels the saving effects of justification. Jesus sets me free and I can not be a slave to sin.
The Gospel commission in Matthew 28:16-20 is an invitation only. Some in the past have used political force-rape. God does not accept forced allegiance! In the Gospel commission we can see the proper relationship with Law & Gospel: 'teaching them to obey whatever I have commanded you.' Also the new covenant has God putting his moral law inside our hearts and minds when He forgives our sins, the righteousness of Jesus by faith alone (Heb.8,10).
Why the "negative" approach? Why not just focus on God's love and on Heaven and let sin take care of itself? Because unsaved man does not understand nor appreciate the love of God until he understands the holiness and justice of God. When Paul preached the gospel in the book of Romans, he did not even mention the love of God until chapter 5. He spent almost three chapters describing God's holiness and wrath toward sin and man's wretched spiritual and moral condition before he got to God's free gift of salvation in Christ. God uses the Law to create in man the understanding that he needs salvation. The Law is the schoolmaster to bring sinners to CHRIST [Gal. 3:24].
The Bible does not start with God's love. It starts with God's character and with man's fall. In fact, the entire first two thirds of the Bible deals with God's Law before it gets to the New Testament presentation of Christ. Why is this? Who would deny that the Old Testament is overwhelmingly negative? And why is this? Are we to ignore the fact that God lays a foundation of law for the presentation of the gospel? Evangelists and revivalists of old followed the Bible's pattern in this. Who are we to change it?
No where in the Bible is GOD'S love divorced from His justice and mercy!