Mohler’s Article, “How Did This Happen? Why Same-Sex Marriage Makes Sense to So Many”

In this insightful article, Mohler addresses the increasing embrace of the idea of homosexual marriage in our culture.

He addresses three factors that contribute to its embrace:
(1) A Progressive Understanding of History
(2) A Radical Individualism
(3) The Claim of Moral Autonomy

No Other Gospel of Christ

When Paul expressed astonishment that the Galatians were turning to a different gospel (Gal 1:6), he didn’t want them to wrongly conclude that he was actually acknowledging other gospels as legitimate.  This concern led him to quickly add, “not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ” (1:7).

For Paul, the gospel is the message about Christ, and there is no other legitimate gospel for sinners.  Other messages distort the true gospel.  Put another way, other messages lead to a false understanding of Christ and salvation.

Christians must beware of falsehoods that smell good and look genuine.  Our five senses do not detect deception, so we need to pray for discernment from the Holy Spirit and cultivate a love for the truth of God’s Word.

There is no other legitimate gospel other than the good news about Jesus Christ.  All other messages are illegitimate and powerless to save–thus, those messages are bad news masquerading as something worth believing.

Other Gospels Lead Away from God

Paul told the Galatians, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel” (Gal 1:6).

Two observations about this verse:
(1) The phrase “him who called you” refers to God the Father.
(2) They are (literally) “turning from” the Father “to another gospel.”

Now we can draw three conclusions:
(1) Other religious messages do not lead to more knowledge of God.
(2)  Turning to other gospels is simultaneously desertion from God, or apostasy–because other gospels aren’t actually legitimate (1:7a).
(3) If the Father called them in the grace of Christ, then turning away from God is also a departure from His grace.

Underlying Paul’s concern is this truth: other gospels aren’t legitimate messages that save sinners but, instead, are deceptive messages that distort  the way of salvation, lead away from a true knowledge of God, and substitute a system of works for divine grace.

Like the Galatians, we need the reminder to hold to the biblical gospel about the grace of God displayed in the cross of Christ on behalf of sinners.

The Cumulative Impact of Preaching

Trevin Wax reflects wisely and helpfully about the need for pastors to invest in their congregation through sound, consistent, expository preaching.  Such preaching does not exclude, but is more important than, individual pastoral care.

After narrating some personal experience with the emphasis of his post, Trevin exhorts pastors to understand the long-term benefit of preaching.

Here’s an excerpt: “So let’s not pit pastoral presence against sermon preparation. Your preaching influences your presence, and vice versa. May the Lord open our eyes to see the quiet, subtle influence that 1000 sermons have on the people God has entrusted to our care.”

Main Points from The Gospel is for Christians

Here are three key ideas from each chapter of my book, The Gospel is for Christians:

Chapter 1: “The Gospel Planned Before All Creation”
(1) God planned the death of Jesus on the cross before He made the universe.
(2) The gospel is “good news” about Jesus for us.
(3) Even though God planned the death of Jesus, his opponents were morally responsible for their deeds.

Chapter 2: “A Christ-Centered Plan”
(1) Everything in the universe exists to magnify God through Jesus Christ.
(2) God saves self-exalting sinners in order to make them glory-beholding worshipers.
(3) Even though God is the rightful king of the world, we have all committed cosmic treason by rejecting his rule and going our own way.

Chapter 3: “God is Holy, Man is Wicked”
(1) Since God is righteous and holy, he could not ignore the transgression of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
(2) God’s wrath is his righteous response to sin.
(3) Our only entitlement is everlasting judgment by a righteous God.

Chapter 4: “Where Wrath and Mercy Meet”
(1) In order for God to forgive sinners, he cannot ignore his righteousness.
(2) At the cross of Jesus, his mercy toward sinners finds expression in his wrath on his Son.
(3) Jesus, who had no sin, bore our sin on the cross and died under the judgment of his Father.

Chapter 5: “Deepening the Roots”
(1) Believers are commanded to grow in faith–the question is, How?
(2) Believers live with hearts of repentance and faith.
(3) True Christian growth does not occur apart from the gospel but in the gospel.

Chapter 6: “Preaching the Gospel to Yourself”
(1) Christians need the gospel every day, not just at the moment of salvation.
(2) Christians are paradoxically both saints and sinners until Jesus returns.
(3) Christians should preach the gospel to themselves in times of happiness as well as despair.

Chapter 7: “Saved by the Head to Serve the Body”
(1) It is wrong to hate what Jesus loves, and Jesus loves the church.
(2) Not caring about the Bride of Christ dishonors the Bridegroom (Jesus) whom you profess to love.
(3) There are some commands in the New Testament which can only be obeyed in the context of serving in a local church–thus, church involvement is not optional for faithful disciples.

Chapter 8: “Body Building”
(1) We should want churches to grow by exercising God-honoring methods, knowing that–in the end–God alone grants the growth of his Church.
(2) In a consumeristic culture, churches face temptation to operate as a business pushing a product to consumers.
(3) God, not man, is the center of corporate worship.

Chapter 9: “A Global Gospel”
(1) The church’s mission is to make disciples of all nations.
(2) No one can be saved unless they respond in faith and repentance to the true gospel about Jesus Christ.
(3) Jesus anchored the Great Commission in the truth of his universal sovereignty.

Chapter 10: “Jesus and His Bride”
(1) Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church.
(2) At the core, all spouses are incompatible because of sin–which is why grace is crucial in the marital covenant.
(3) Marriage is a means of sanctification for the Christian.

Chapter 11: “Making It Clear”
(1) We must not assume the gospel; we must boldly declare and clearly explain the gospel to the next generation.
(2) The gospel is offensive because it calls us sinners and demands our repentance, but we are stewards–not engineers–of this message.
(3) Parents and churches should think strategically about how they will pass the gospel to their children and members.

If these main points interest you, I invite you to the book’s Amazon page for more information.

May the Lord use this book to encourage and challenge his people to hold to the gospel, for his glory among the nations.