Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 13, 1956

The Gospel Does Not Change

C. D. Crouch, Baxterville, Mississippi

It is easy to note the changes that take place all about us. To visit scenes of fifty years ago one can not but note the changes that have taken place during the passing of the years. Some are impressed with these changes more than others. Some people will actually insist that everything is subject to the mutations of time. All of which is simply not so. Human beings are essentially the same, as human beings have always been. Sin is sin today as it was in yesteryear. God is the same infinite God as from eternity. Man is in need of salvation now as men were in the long ago. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea and forever." (Heb. 13:8.) And the gospel of Christ does not change. Sin condemns the souls of men today, as always. The gospel in its ancient purity Is God's power to save as it was when Christ commissioned his apostles to preach it to the whole creation. The salvation this gospel brings to us is just as "great" as it was when it was first announced by the apostles of Christ, as they were guided by the Holy Spirit to preach it the first time. (Acts 2:4.)

When people try to improve upon the simple gospel of Christ, they are unconsciously perverting the gospel, and actually getting farther away from God. People sometimes think they are "progressing" when they are actually going backward. "His divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue; whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; etc." (II Peter 1:3-5.) Not one thing can man add to what God has already given in His word, that will bring us closer to God. All attempts to change the gospel really pervert the gospel and injure men.

The Gospel Of Christ Is Adapted To Man's Needs

God made man and God knows what man needs. God designed the gospel of Christ to redeem man from sin. Romans 1:16 declares the gospel is God's power for salvation to every one who believes it. To say that God designed the gospel to save sinners, and at the same time argue that it is inadequate to do so is to charge God with failure, or else, that what is said in Romans 1:16 is not true. In the first verse of the letter to the saints in Rome it is declared to be "the gospel of God"; it is also declared to concern "his Son, who was born of the seed of David," and in the same breath Jesus Christ is declared to be that Son of God. Thus it is seen that this gospel is of God's designing. And God has declared that it is His power for salvation, and in the same breath Jesus Christ is declared to be that Son of God. Thus it is seen that this gospel is of God's designing. And God has declared that it is His power for salvation.

Now, this question: Did God design the gospel to save men, and then find out that it is inadequate to do so? Does He have to "try some other means" to save men? The fact that the Christ died for our sins is stated repeatedly in the New Testament. It is one of the facts of the gospel. That he was buried and raised again from the dead, according to the scriptures are other facts of the gospel. He commanded his apostles to preach this gospel to every creature. He demands belief of the gospel. He demands obedience, also. Man, as he is, can hear the gospel. Man, as he is, can believe the testimony God has given us. Man, as he is, can repent of his sins, as all men everywhere are commanded to do. (Acts 17:30.) Thus it is plain as day that God has not misunderstood man's needs when He designed the gospel, nor failed in what He has done. The gospel of Christ is adapted to man's need and it needs no efforts of man to change it.

Salvation Requires Power To Effect It

There may be many ways to say the same thing. Repetition is oftimes needful to impress certain things on our minds. When God declared that the gospel is His power for salvation, He declared that salvation is too difficult for man to accomplish it alone. It requires "power" to effect it. Moreover, it requires God's power to effect it.

When we think of salvation we think of deliverance, for "salvation" equals "deliverance." When one is delivered, he is delivered from something — from a state or condition. He is also delivered into some state or condition. Salvation from sin is the greatest deliverance man can contemplate. Sin separates man from God. Sin is the only thing in the universe that does separate man from God. Man's own sin can and does do just that. There is no such thing as "inherited sin." There is no such thing as transmitting our sins to our children. We are individually guilty of our own sins until God forgives us, and our sins can not in any way attach to some one else. Salvation from sin involves the removal of the guilt of sin. God also can do that. God alone can forgive sins. The gospel reveals God's love for us. It also reveals God's willingness to forgive our sins. The gospel also reveals to us the conditions of forgiveness. The gospel is the power God brings to bear upon us to bring us to Him for pardon.