"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IV No.II Pg.9-11a
September 1941

Conditions Of The Gospel

R. O. Kenley

In legal parlance contracts between men have many and varied classifications, among which are executed (meaning one in which all conditions have been perform ed, as a deed to land in which the entire consideration has been paid), and executory) meaning one in which all or a part of the conditions are to be performed in the future, as a deed with none or only a part of the consideration paid, balance to be paid at some time or various times in the future).

Conditions embraced in contracts are classified as conditions precedent, and conditions subsequent. Both of these conditions are many times present in the same contract. Precedent conditions must first be performed before one can enjoy the fruits of the contract. For example, one buying land or personal property in most instances, must pay something down in cash before he can get possession of the property. The cash payment in such case as a condition precedent to the enjoyment of the property to any degree. Subsequent conditions must be performed as provided in the contract in order to secure continuous enjoyment and use of the property. For example, one may get possession of a home or personal property by making a small cash payment, with the further provision that other payments would be made in the future at stated times, future payments are conditions subsequent, and a failure to perform them would result in the loss of all prior payments as well as the use and enjoyment of the property.

The conditions of the Gospel, in many respects are similar to the conditions in contracts. God has always used language and terms in dealing with man that could be understood by man. Our first inquiry might be, What is the gospel? Paul's definition cannot be improved upon. Rom. 1:16. "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."

It is the agency or instrumentality through which the Holy Spirit and all other needed divine power operates for the regeneration and salvation of man.

It is both inclusive and exclusive. Paul says in 2 Tim. 3:16-17 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

The gospel is what we read in the New Testament rightly divided.

Grace is the love and mercy of God behind and which prompted the giving of the gospel. Grace and the gospel are frequently used interchangeably, whereas the gospel is the fruit or product of grace.

Grace is divine, it is party of the first part in the gospel, it provides, through the gospel, the one and only remedy for sin and for man's spiritual regeneration, however, this is subject to conditions precedent and subsequent on man's part. Faith belongs exclusively to man. It is the means through which man appropriates the gospel given through the Grace of God. It is optional with man as to whether or not he accepts the terms of the gospel. Man is and has always been a free moral agent. Adam had this option and exercised it in the Garden of Eden. Judas Iscariot had and exercised the same option.

By the terms of the gospel the unregenerated man is to hear about the love of God for fallen and sinful man, of the great sacrifice God made in the giving of his only son to suffer and die upon the cross; and the willing sacrifice made by Jesus to the end that a remedy or prescription might be given for Sin; also man must hear and learn the terms and conditions of this remedy or prescription. This prescription is known as the gospel, and embraces facts to be believed, commands to be obeyed, and promises to be enjoyed. Man must understand and believe the things he has heard, with such a degree of faith, that he will promptly obey all commandments thereof; as one of the commandments growing out of belief, man must repent of his sins, and completely change the course of his life and thereafter look to Jesus Christ as his example and to the word of truth as his guide; and man, as a part of his belief, must confess Christ as his Savior and as the son of God, and, as the final act of obedience growing out of his belief, man must be baptized for the remission of sins. The above are conditions precedent to man's enjoyment of any of the benefits and promises of the gospel. AS a reward for performance of the aforesaid precedent conditions, God grants to man absolute pardon for all past sins and adds him to his Church. Man's citizenship is thereby changed from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of Christ.

Upon the change of citizenship, man has constantly with him, as subsequent conditions, the duty of Hearing, believing, repenting and confessing; these will be needed daily, Baptism alone becomes a condition precedent, and will not again be repeated. In the stead of Baptism, the new citizen is given the command and privilege of prayer. Therefore, the Christian is daily confronted with the performance of conditions subsequent in order to enjoy the hope and promises of eternal life. Paul greatly feared that he would fail in the performance and observance of the conditions subsequent of the gospel.

1 Cor. 2: 27. "But I keep under my body, and bring it into Subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

The most popular, numerically, religious denominations in the world say that Paul's fear was groundless, as he could not have apostatized to the extent that he could have been "a castaway."

The two greatest religious errors today are:

1. That man will receive pardon from God for past sins short of full compliance with the precedent conditions of the gospel.

2. That in event man has complied with the conditions precedent, he will be saved without continuous compliance with the conditions subsequent of the gospel.