Within the ranks of the Lord’s church, there are those who advocate that there is a definite distinction that is to be made between “gospel” and “doctrine.” It is contended that one preaches “gospel” to the unsaved and teaches “doctrine” to the saved and that this is irreversible, that is, you cannot preach the “gospel” to the saved, nor can one teach “doctrine” to the unsaved.
This theory is readily seen to be false and the ultimate consequences of it devastating when we study the Scriptures. According to the Scriptures, it is the gospel that was being preached to the Christian in Galatia! As far as can understand, the Galatians were “already” saved!! Was Paul expressing deep concern to these brethren, Galatians 1:6-9, about those who would preach the gospel, and not doctrine, than those with whom we have to deal in the arena of the mind to cause them “to be grounded in the most holy faith”? If he or she has been properly called by the gospel, he is to be often reminded about what “saved them”!! What was Paul doing preaching the gospel over and over again to the saved and not doctrine?? Issues like the use of instrumental music in our worship to God, premillennialism, tongues speaking and other teachings MUST BER exposed over and over again. The liberal might consider them matters of opinion, but these false doctrines/gospels undermine the verity of the Word of God! Those who accept these false theories with open arms have committed egregious error. So, our concern over this is well-founded and it is an issue to which we must turn our attention. I had an old preacher warn me in my youth that the church is “won or lost every Lord’s Day” and has to be reminded as to just what it IS!!
Truly, if one is a faithful Christian, he is to be accepted in full fellowship, even though we might differ with others on various matters of opinion. The problem is those who call things matters of opinion have their opinion being preached and not the doctrine of Christ! We never intend to make personal these issues, but matters of opinions are not substitutes for doctrinal discussions. That is, we must assigned ourselves to the task of showing what that the Bible describes as “righteousness” and not some influential brothers pet notion.
If is contended that we preach too much on the basic principles of salvation AFTER one has obeyed the gospel call and that there is a rigid distinction made between these two concepts what did Paul mean in Romans 16:25? Paul penned these words: “now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the ministry, which is kept secret since the world began.” Let’s ask some questions! Who was to be established? The Roman Christians. By what were they to be established? According to the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ. When one preaches the gospel, he is not only preaching to the unsaved but the saved! Is it possible that the Holy Spirit did not know that there was a distinction?
If we do contend that the word gospel is used in a sense only to be taught alien sinners and doctrine is used only in the sense to be taught children of God then a new day has dawned in our understanding of the Scriptures. It was the same apostle Paul who wrote to the Church of Christ and Rome, Romans 1:16- “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God and the salvation to everyone that believers to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there in is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith.” May I ask what the righteousness of God might be? Whatever you may believe that it is, it was what Paul wanted to preach to the Church of Christ at Rome. In Acts 15:7: “And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up… the Gentiles by my mouth heard the word of the gospel, and believed.” Somebody is confused and it is not Peter!! The concepts are interchangeable!