Use the Gospel to Explain
“No intelligent student of the Scriptures believes, or teaches, that there is only one gospel in the Scriptures; but all such students should agree that there is only one gospel by which sinners are saved in this day of grace, the gospel of the grace of God, which is called in Ephesians 1:13, ‘the gospel of your salvation.’ No one has ever been saved except on the grounds of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.” – J.C. O’Hair. Unsearchable Riches of Christ. p 131.
1. Salvation is only on the basis of the death, blood, and resurrection of Christ.
2. This is the only gospel that saves today.
3. There is more than one gospel in the Bible.
This is the beginning of right division.
A failure to rightly divide is a sign that a person misunderstands one of these gospel statements. Rejecting any of the three statements will confuse the scripture, and most likely confuse the gospel.
Statement 1 and 2 are needed to be saved. Statement 3 is needed to make sense of the Bible. You can’t find the ‘gospel of your salvation’ (statement 1) anywhere other than Paul’s epistles in the Bible.
When explaining to someone how to rightly divide the scripture, start with the gospel that saves. You may discover that therein is the problem.
If they understand the gospel of Christ, they can identify what it is not (Deu 6:5; Matt 3:2; John 3:16; Acts 2:38). If they can’t tell the difference go back to steps 1 and 2.
Right division is a tool to preach the gospel clearly. Our mission is gospel clarity. This results in souls saved.
For His glory,
Justin “gospel centered” Johnson