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Getting the Gospel Right Paperback – May 16, 2017
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From the Back Cover
Getting the Gospel Right, a companion to R. C. Sproul's popular Faith Alone, contains the complete text of that statement, along with thorough, point-by-point discussion and exposition, to make a strong declaration of the abiding unity of evangelicals regarding the gospel and justification by faith alone.
Unity in the gospel touches the soul of the church itself and all of its members. After all, "to be faithful to the Great Commission," R. C. Sproul explains, "we must get the gospel right."
"Some of us just want to get the gospel right; some of us just want to get it out. With a generous combination of love and conviction, R. C. Sproul helps us all to do both better."--Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary in California
R. C. Sproul (1939-2017) was founder of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian discipleship organization located near Orlando, Florida. He was also founding pastor of Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Florida, first president of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. His radio program, Renewing Your Mind, is still broadcast daily on hundreds of radio stations around the world and can also be heard online. Dr. Sproul contributed dozens of articles to national evangelical publications, spoke at conferences, churches, colleges, and seminaries around the world, and wrote more than one hundred books, including The Holiness of God, Chosen by God, and Everyone's a Theologian. He also served as general editor of the Reformation Study Bible.
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As the Word of God says…
* We are all sinners.
* The wages of sin is death and eternal separation from God.
* But God the Father so loved us He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this world to live a sinless life and pay for our sins by dying on the cross.
* Jesus defeated sin and death by rising from the grave.
But how does one appropriate the free gift of salvation? Some say by baptism. Some say by obeying the commandments and being “good.” But the Bible says salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Back in 1994, Chuck Colson and his ecumenical Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) project declared both Evangelicals and Catholics believed in the same Gospel. Many Evangelicals were shocked by ECT. Evangelicals believe in salvation by grace through faith while Catholics believe in salvation by sacramental grace and merit. The two views are definitely not the same.
In 1995, Evangelical theologian, R.C. Sproul, responded to ECT with the book, “Faith Alone,” which contrasted the salvation theologies of Rome and Evangelicalism.
ECT’s next chess move was to issue “The Gift of Salvation” declaration in 1998, which reiterated that both Evangelicals and Catholics believe in justification and salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Sproul countered by writing this book, “Getting the Gospel Right,” which critiqued The Gift of Salvation’s studied ambiguity and clarified Evangelicalism’s view on justification and salvation in comparison to Rome even further. Every Evangelical needs to read this book.
“Getting the Gospel Right” was published in conjunction with the release of “The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration,” a declaration from Sproul and other Evangelical Protestant leaders that defined the Gospel from an Evangelical perspective. The UNCANNY thing is Sproul allowed a couple of the ECT ecumenists, Timothy George and J. I. Packer, to help draft the declaration and more than a few ECTers signed it (Bray, Bright, Brown, Colson, Land, Lucado, Moore, Mouw, Robertson and Rodgers). Essentially, Sproul allowed the ECT ecumenists to trump his efforts.
All of this might be a lot of gobbledygook to a lot of Christians. So let’s break it all down to its bare essentials:
Evangelicals believe justification comes before sanctification (being more obedient, more Christ-like). You can’t know God or please Him until you acknowledge your sinfulness and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Once you accept Christ then you can grow in obedience to the Lord. But “good” works won’t save you.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
Catholics believe the opposite. They believe sanctification comes before justification. By obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules Catholics believe they can be justified and merit salvation.
Evangelicals: Justification then sanctification.
Catholics: Sanctification then justification. This is the philosophy shared by natural man and all of the world’s religions which teach that people can become “good” and merit Heaven, Nirvana, Paradise, etc.
Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Religion won’t save you. Trying to be “good” won’t save you.
“I have not come to call the (self) righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:32