September Newsletter

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.- (Romans 1: 6-9)


Last week I attended a theological conference in Minneapolis (Golden Valley).  One of the speakers was Gemechis Buba, the mission director of the NALC.  Dr. Buba lectured on the topic “The Gospel of God vs. the Gospel of Man”.  The Gospel of God was what Paul was called to proclaim.  As it says in Romans 1, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God”. 

But, what is the Gospel of God?  The Gospel of God contains three things:

1)      The prophetic fulfillment of God’s promise

2)      The promise fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ

3)      Recorded in the Holy Scriptures

The Gospel of God, or what Luther called the pure Gospel, must contain all three of these characteristics.  If any of the three are missing, then it stops being the Gospel of God.  

Usually, the gospel of man (what Romans calls a “different gospel”) has the first thing, the “prophetic fulfillment of God’s promise”.  Often it is missing the second part, the “fulfillment of the promise in the person and work of Jesus Christ”.  The gospel of man almost always is missing the third part, “recorded in the Holy Scriptures”.

Without all three of these characteristics, we do not have, and are not preaching the Gospel of God; we are preaching and teaching the gospel of man.  The gospel of man does not call sinners to repentance.  It speaks of grace, but not the grace of Jesus.  And it substitutes the inspired Word of God with the flawed opinion of sinful humans.  The gospel of man leads to confusion and ultimately despair, which is why Paul said in Romans, “If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.”

On Sunday, September 9 we celebrate our Rally Day, the day we begin Sunday School for the year.  Sunday School is where we bring the good news, the Gospel of God to the people.  But we need all three parts of the Gospel of God, or we will be bringing the gospel of man.  We need the promise of God, we need Jesus Christ, and we need the Holy Scriptures.

There are times when all of us feel sorry for what we have done.  That is called repentance.  In those times, the only comfort we have is the promise of Jesus Christ, seen in the Scriptures.  The only comfort and hope we have in the true Gospel, the Gospel of God.

Your friend in Christ,  Pastor Ron