Why is this so offensive? (Part 6 of The true Jesus/gospel)
This is part 6 of a series. I would invite you to read the whole series before this final part. The other parts can be found by clicking the link below.
Why is this Offensive?
1 Peter 2:7-8-
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
This study should spark some questions for us. Why are the True Jesus and True Gospel offensive? Is this what I believe? Is this what my church/pastor teaches?
First we will deal with why this is offensive. Although there are many scriptures that could be used I will only be using three main references for this section.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Eph 2:1-3
12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov 14:12
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.1Cor 2:11-16
We have seen Ephesians 2:1-3 come up many times in this study because it is essential that you understand fallen man's condition to understand the true gospel. The bible tells us that men are DEAD in trespasses and sins, are BY NATURE children of disobedience, and are walking according to the “prince of the power of the air (satan)” (Eph 2:1-3). These fallen men are walking according to the desires of their flesh and do not have the Spirit of God within them (Eph 2:3, 1Cor 2:13-14); therefore they can not only not understand the things of God but are HOSTILE to them (Rom 8:7-8, 1Cor 2:14). They are walking in ways that seem “right in their own eyes” (Prov 14:12). Finally they are outright rebels against God and are children of the devil (John 8:44-45).
Now that we have this quick summary of fallen man's position we can easily see why the gospel is offensive to them. Fallen men do not want God (the TRUE GOD) to be in charge of anything, especially their ultimate salvation! Fallen man rejects God law (Rom 8:7-8) and the right of God to rule His creation how he sees fit (Psalm 2). This is what happened in the garden; Satan offered Adam and Eve a chance to rule how they see fit, to decide right and wrong outside of what God would say, and to follow him in his rebellion against God's sovereign rule over all creation. Man desires to construct a God in their own image, in their own likeness, and decide their own way to attain salvation (Prov 14:12)!
The fact that all of humanity is hopelessly lost and unable to attain their own salvation through their own religious systems and philosophies is utterly offensive to fallen man. Man wants to be able to boast before God about how he was able to decide right and wrong on his own and attain his own salvation, without the help of God. Without the Spirit of God changing men's hearts NONE would accept the gospel because it is the exact opposite of the nature that fallen men and women are born with. This is why we see so many people not only reject a belief in God, the biblical God that is sovereign over all, but openly fighting against Him and the truth about Him presented in the true gospel. Even men that profess to be Christians fight against the fact the God is sovereign over EVERYTHING, including salvation. The problem is that these things must be spiritually discerned, they are not intellectually (or naturally discerned) but must be taught to men by the Spirit of God. Look how Paul explains it in 1Cor 2:11-14,
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Paul is saying that ONLY the Spirit of God can reveal the truth about God, Christ, the gospel, and/or anything else that is spiritually true. There is no truth revealed to men about these things but by the Spirit of God. The natural man will never be able to receive the truths about God because to their darkened warped minds it is foolish and offensive. This is why the True Jesus and the True Gospel are offensive to fallen man!
Now the questions left to be answered are “is this what I believe?” and “is this what my church teaches?”. If you can answer both of those questions with a yes then praise God brother or sister!!
If you can not answer those with a yes then these are very sensitive issues that you will need to work through with much study and prayer. If this is not what you believe then pray and ask God to reveal if these things are so and then dive into His word and study these topics! Do not allow rebellion to creep into your mind so that you reject the sovereignty of God over all things, including salvation, instead see the beauty in a God that is ruling all things with a Holy, righteous, perfect, and loving will. He has planned all things out, even your salvation, according to His will and His will is never confounded!
In closing, for those of you that need (or want) to study this a little deeper I will refer you to one more section of scripture. Romans 9:11-16-19-21
11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy........19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
I know there is often controversy over Romans 9 but when we let the scripture plainly speak for itself here is what it says. Before Jacob and Esau were born, not based on anything God knew they would or wouldn't do, God chose Jacob so that the purpose of ELECTION (God's choosing) would stand. Paul asks the question that would be obvious to this statement, “is this fair (verse 14)”. Paul then explains that this idea of election is not new to God's people, its is shown even in what God says to Moses, He has mercy on whomever He has mercy and compassion on whomever He wants to have compassion, NOT BASED ON WORKS OR FORESEEN WORKS. Then Paul makes an incredible statement, “its not of your own FREE WILL, or how you run the race, but of God showing mercy that you are saved", a COMPLETELY UNDESERVED mercy! Praise God! The answer against this idea of predestination is often that it is not fair and that God has to allow our “free will” to play a part in our salvation. I do not have to answer this on my own as Paul answers this very question himself in Romans 9:19-21. Paul anticipates the “it's not fair” argument and states that as God, and sovereign ruler over all creation, the One who created all things, God has the right to do as he pleases and make some men for salvation and other men for wrath. God decides what is right and wrong, NOT MAN. We can not fall into the trap set in the garden of wanting to decide what is right and wrong in salvation but trust God's decision in what is right and wrong in salvation!
3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Psalm 115:3
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Rev 4:11
I want to thank all of you who supported me on this dive into God's word on the topic of the True Jesus and the True gospel. I believe this is a topic that is at the heart of the issues the church in America faces today. Please be willing to stand up for God's truth even in the face of those who would call you mean or persecute you. This is the example that has been set for us in scripture and through out the ages (think of men like the reformers, willing to die for God's truth!).
Most of all I would like to thank God. This knowledge of His word is something He promised me years ago and is only something that comes from Him and His Holy Spirit! He put this series on my heart and guided me in writing it. All glory goes to God!