It may seem unnecessary to some to make this an emphasis, but nothing could be further from the truth. Satan desires to do two things above all else against the church. Either to pervert our understanding of the gospel or to cause other things to dominate our message in the church.
The one thing that is to be the source of life and warmth in our churches is the gospel.
The gospel is the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ.
Built Upon the Foundation of the Old Testament
An example of how the gospel is to be central is how the Old Testatment is to be rightly understood. To approach the Old Testament by any other means than the gospel is to submit ourselves to the rigours of the Law and to a hope that fails to see the Old Testament as a means to an end and not the end in itself.
False teachers have burdened the people of God because of a wrong understanding of the Law and generations of well meaning Christians have purposed to create a nationalistic kingdom of God in fulfilment of the promises to Israel.
What a blessing to rightly understand the gospel and to see how the good news about Jesus is the fulfilment of the Old Testament and how we can have true hope with joy everlasting. Truly, the gospel is the greatest business of the church of Jesus Christ!
Jesus Christ is the focus and fulfilment of the Old Testament. Any view that places any other emphasis is to undermine our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, all dispensational views are to be exposed for what they are – the making of a theological idea into idolatry. It is idolatry against Jesus to promote a teaching that anticipates a nationalistic kingdom of the Jews. The gospel is a stumbling block to the Jews because it necessitates a view that has brought about the complete fulfilment and end of those stewardships that were given to the Jews. Any view that says that God’s plan anticipates a rebuilding of a temple and the reinstating of sacrifices is an abomination.
Guarded and Furthered by a Right understanding of the New Testament
1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”.
1 Timothy 4:16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
The New Testament was given to us for the safe keeping and for the furthering of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our sole authority by which we can rightly understand the Old Testament and the gospel that has come to us. We have not merely inherited an oral tradition that could be misunderstood, we have inherited an inspired revelation that can be tested and proved for a right understanding.
Rightly understanding the New Testament will ensure that we do not embrace a false gospel.