The Church’s Two Gospels

08 Sep

Now before I get some flack from my few readers let me explain the title. The title stems from the two major points in a recent sermon from Omaha Bible Church senior pastor Patrick Abendroth. The points made should also be the two main priorities of the church. The two points are related and sequential. You cannot have the one without the two. These two gospels are found in the book of Ephesians chapters 2 and 4, and these are the texts where the sermon was anchored. Let me try to explain further.

The Gospel of Salvation

The book of Ephesians addresses two gospels. The gospel of salvation and the gospel of sanctification. The gospel of salvation most assuredly comes first so it is handled first. This is the gospel many of us know about. This gospel tells us who we are or were before a holy and righteous God. As the apostle Paul explains in his letter to the Ephesians:

Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV

Paul is addressing believers here. He is reminding them of who they once were. We were once condemned before a holy God for our rebellion towards him. Basically the walking dead. But then comes the gospel part or good news. Again, as mentioned in an earlier post, I love the “But God”.

Ephesians 2:4-10 ESV

This is the Gospel of Salvation. God did it all. Even though we were dead in our trespasses, and rebellious to God (Romans 1) He had mercy on us and raised us up through his son. God makes us alive. We are no longer the walking dead. We are walking alive in Christ. This salvation is all of God’s grace. Without it we remain the walking dead in our sins.

The Gospel of Sanctification

This gospel is also written about in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Our chapter 4. These verses encourage the believer to get out of their spiritual “pampers” and grow up. Paul encourage us to grow in Christian maturity. We are to walk in a manner worthy of our calling writes Paul:

Ephesians 4:1-16 ESV

We are urged to get out of our spiritual diapers. We used to walk being led around by our noses, following the course of the this world. Now, believers are to walk in our freedom found in Christ. Part of growing up is using humility, gentleness, and patience toward one another. Paul is teaching us how to walk and behave as one body in Christ. We are held together into one body with Christ as the head. We were all given gifts in order to build up the body of Christ. We are to be equipped, get along, get out of our spiritual diapers,  for when each part of the body is working properly it makes the whole body grow. Church growth means maturity, not numbers.

Lest we forget the primary focus of the church. We as believers are members of this church. We should never forget the condition we were in prior to God’s grace and merciful intervention. We should be striving daily to grow as into mature believers. These passages in Ephesians 2 and 4 emphasize this quite well.

What’s the Point Anyway?


6 responses to “The Church’s Two Gospels

  1. Steve

    September 9, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Getting out of our “spiritual diapers” is well-worded and so timely. Thanks.

  2. barrydean

    September 9, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Thank you Steve. The “spiritual diaper” reference is Pastor Pat’s.

  3. Matthew Swartz

    August 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I ain’t thrilled over the doctrine either of election (for humans) or anybody being “better than” anybody else in heaven (humans better than angels etc.) “on its face” BUT…………..if God was partial in these ways not because he had a partial nature “for no reason” but because his glory (or majesty or whatever) is magnified in this way more than it could be ANY OTHER WAY, I’d be able to not only “warm up to the doctrine” but embrace it with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

  4. Matthew Swartz

    August 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I didn’t know that there was an Obama Bible Church but that wouldnt surprise me. THAT would REALLY be “another gospel” (in the bad way: true vs. false) NOT in the way YOU talked about it: salvation vs. sanctification which is of course, GOOD

  5. Matthew Swartz

    August 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I apologize. I didn’t realize two things:
    1. that YOU are the Obama Church (I thought I was taking about someone else, not YOUR church.

    2. That its oMaHa, not “Obama”.

    My mistake(s) 🙂


  6. barrydean

    August 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for the comments. 🙂

    To your questioning of God’s partiality, this is what He does. Why would He choose to bless a man such as Jacob with descendants more than the number of stars or grains of sand. Jacob, who stole his birthright from his brother Esau. This same Jacob, whom God said in Malachi 1:2-3, Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated. Partiality? Yes. In Romans 9 His partiality is also displayed in “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” Also in verse 29 & 30 “Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump, one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

    Since creation man has attempted to attach his fairness doctrine to God. God is the creator and He does what He does whether we think it’s “fair” or not. We do not have His mind nor do we know His complete will. We are called to love Him, and worship Him.

    Nice recovery on the Obama Bible Church. Funny It would not surprise me if one of those showed up one of these days. I will still attend a church where the God of heaven is preached and magnified above all.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: