“What makes the gospel what it is, is the Lord”
No matter how men have shattered the gospel, the gospel remains the gospel. First we must know that the gospel is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL OF CHRIST: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
This scripture makes something clear
- The gospel is of Christ
- The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation
Now note the word “Christ” in there and the word “power of God” so then you will understand the scripture that says Christ the power and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, CHRIST THE POWER OF GOD, AND THE WISDOM OF GOD.
So you’ll understand that when we preach the gospel of Christ then we truly reveal the power of God and that’s what makes man saved and when we preach ourselves we do not make available the release of the power of God.
2 Corinthians 4:5 FOR WE PREACH not ourselves, but CHRIST JESUS THE LORD; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
So we must understand that as the gospel of Christ goes forth out of our mouth the power of God is released to save men, this is one of the reason we shouldn’t sell the gospel for bread. We must hold to the integrity of the gospel by the preaching of Christ that God might be made manifest to men.
Now I cherish the grace of God upon Apostle Paul, who knows that as the gospel have power, he also have a measure of power to do some things because he ministers it. But what did he do? He never used that means to get things from men to eat of the gospel. He was talking about the things that the authority of the office give to us but he never used that authority over men. We lack integrity of the gospel and we make shame the name of Christ if our main focus for the gospel is bread and not Christ. I know bread can drive a man to be hungry and cause their belly to be their god.
“Any man that makes the gospel a place of bread for his belly is an enemy of the cross”
- Men who pervert the gospel
Many have position themselves in the place of the gospel to use it to worship their belly which is their god and not after Christ. The sign of an enemy of the cross and such that does not recognize the integrity of the gospel is a man that is not after Christ.
Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
For which cause which saw men have perverted the gospel by being introduced to another gospel
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the GRACE OF CHRIST UNTO ANOTHER GOSPEL:
1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, AND WOULD PERVERT THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
Men who call gain of the gospel as godliness, perverting great souls of men from God to themselves.
1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
We must run from such men, all they will seek after is to pervert many more people.
- Paul understood the power of the office but embraced the integrity of the gospel
Paul knew that some men do use that power of the office to get the things that preaching the gospel brings but he understood that those things will hinder the gospel so he withdrew by focusing more on the gospel of Christ even till it became his gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
He stated here that, yes, the Lord ordained it that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel, so Paul understood all this but HE DIDN’T MAKE IT HIS FOCUS FOR THE GOSPEL.
9:15 But I HAVE USED NONE OF THESE THINGS: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
One of the things that was running through his mind was to obtain
1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, THAT YE MAY OBTAIN.
Obtain in what sense?
- To obtain the prize
Our major work as believers is to run to obtain even as we run or press towards the mark of the high calling of Jesus Christ
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Our walk and work has reward from the Lord and we must ensure that as the gospel is being preached by us, we run to obtain even the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. What we need therefore is to hold forth the word of life till that day so that we can obtain, for in that day that we shall obtain, it is the day of the Lord
Philippians 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Paul spoke about that day alot, a friend opened my eyes to see it that Paul always have that day of the Lord in mind. That should be our pursuit to obtain! The integrity of the gospel lies in staying on the course of the preaching of Christ and to obtain. It is vain to work and not to obtain.