There are Two Gospels in the New Testament
I will be arguing in favor of the existence of two distinct gospels, offering two distinct salvation messages. While there is certainly some overlap, such as the fact that both are concerned with the New Testament promised to Israel, both are distinct from each other in key doctrinal areas such as salvation and prophecy.
Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Opening Arguments (No Rebuttals)
Round 3 - Rebuttals Only (No New Arguments / No Defense of Arguments)
Round 4 - Defense of Arguments Only (No New Arguments / No Rebuttals)
1. Only Bible-believing Christians can accept this debate
2. Con must believe that the Gospel that saves people today is the truth that those who put their faith in the finished work of Christ upon the cross alone, the shedding of His blood for the remission of every sin, are forgiven, justified, and shall inherit everlasting life at the resurrection.
3. Con must believe Israel and the Body of Christ are two distinct groups of believers in scripture.
4. Definitions and concerns about the resolution must be settled in the comment section or via messaging before accepting the debate.
5. Only the Bible may be cited as support for an argument, not Christian writings, church creeds, etc. Greek and Hebrew may be cited provided a supporting reference is given. I will be using the King James Bible, but Con may use any version they like.
Violation of any of the five rules stated above or the stipulated format of the four rounds of this debate should at least earn me the conduct point.
creationtruth forfeited this round.
It's a mark of cowardice almost, on your part. Are you even going to debate? Or are you going to insist on running away?
To clarify, as it seems my opponent may have misinterpreted the resolution, I am not arguing that the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John contain different gospel messages, I believe they teach one gospel which Jesus preached in His earthly ministry to Israel. Rather, I am advocating that in the 29 books of the New Testament (Matthew-Revelation), there lies two distinct gospel messages, or "good news" messages given to different groups of believers. I hope this is clear.
I wholeheartedly agree that we are saved today through faith in the power of the precious shed blood of our Savior Jesus Christ to atone for our sins and justify us before God. The issue is that this amazing message of God's grace has not always been the gospel known by saints of old. In times past, a different gospel message was preached, and a different hope was had. Indeed, the same unchanging God declared this hope to His children, but He had not revealed to them His ultimate plan for the redemption of mankind which was kept hid from the foundation of the world.
I think most Bible-believing (and especially Bible-reading) Christians would agree with what I am saying thus far concerning a different gospel in times past. The point of contention which I shall be addressing in this debate is the fact that during Christ's earthly ministry, after His resurrection, and immediately after Pentecost, a different gospel was preached than that which saves people today.
Allow me to first address typical knee-jerk reaction many Christians have to the idea that there be two gospels in the New Testament. When presented first with the idea, many Christians will reference Galatians 1:8 in a seeming noble attempt to thwart any notion that there be any more than one gospel message. While this verse does not in any way negate my case, it is important to address it as it is often brought up by people who have never received the revelation of this truth from God through His word, the Bible.
I agree with Paul that if any gospel other than that which He had been preaching is taught today, the one who is guilty of teaching such heresy should be accursed for leading people to their destruction. The problem is, Paul is not ruling out the existence of another valid gospel which may have been rightfully preached in times past, rather, he is warning against the preaching of any other gospel, once valid or not, at this time. Indeed there were at least two other gospels in times past.
While one of these is not necessarily important to know for the purposes of this debate, it is helpful for us to recognize and consider that God has given different messages of salvation throughout history; again, at least two in the Old Testament. The first which I shall not describe or defend, as it has no weight in this debate, is the good news, or hope saints had before the Torah was given to Israel. The second, which I shall describe and defend below, as the message preached by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the disciples immediately after Pentecost, is the good news during the time of God's first covenant with Israel and all who would sojourn with her.
The Gospel of the Kingdom
In short, Christ came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to the lost sheep of Israel, as was promised in the Tanakh (Old Testament). We can find this promise of a future Kingdom to come in which the King Messiah shall reign in many passages including Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 11:1-9, Amos 9:11-15, et al. Jesus Christ, just as John the Baptist, preached, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). Israel was called to repentance in recognition of the fulfillment of both the promised Messiah and the kingdom to come. Jesus even taught these lost sheep of Israel to pray, "Thy kingdom come. . ." (Matthew 6:10).
Believing Israel looked to the coming Messiah ben David (Anointed-One, Son of David) as the promised King of Israel who would execute divine justice (Jeremiah 23:5), establish God's kingdom on Earth (Daniel2:44), restore worship in Israel (Jeremiah 23:5-8, Jeremiah 33:6-18, Micah 4:1-2) and make peace in the world (Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:1-10, Micah 4:3) among other things. They were very much aware of the coming kingdom (Mark 11:10, Mark 15:43, Acts 1:6, et al). Jesus commanded His disciples to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom throughout Israel (Matthew 10:7, Luke 9:2, Luke 9:60). Indeed the disciples continued preaching this gospel after His resurrection as they were commanded (Acts 3:19-21, Acts 8:12, et al). All this time God is continuing to deal with Israel according to the dispensation of the Torah, or Law. The Torah was in effect during Christ's earthly ministry and even after His death (Matthew 5:18-19, Acts 2:1, Acts 3:1, Acts 5:42, Acts 10:28, et al). This shows us that, though Christ died on the cross to be the testator of a new covenant, the Gospel of Grace was unknown to the saints at this point.
While it is fairly simple to recognize that the Gospel of the Kingdom was preached in the Old Testament, many Christians seem to have a hard time accepting that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and at least the first 8 chapters of the book of Acts are historical accounts of God's continued dealings with Israel according to the Law which includes this gospel message. Such Christians have an even harder time accepting that the Gospel of Grace which we believe today was unknown to the disciples both during and after Christ's earthly ministry until it was revealed to them through the Apostle Paul.
The Gospel of Grace
Identifying what the Gospel of Grace truly is helps us to see the difference between it and the Gospel of the Kingdom. While Israel was commanded to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, a justification by works, today we are commanded to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work (Acts 2:38, Romans 4:23-25). In the dispensation of the Law, God accepted those who worked righteousness, as we see the Apostle Peter attesting to after his vision of the unclean animals (Psalm 15:1-2, Acts 10:35). Notice the stark contrast given in Paul's message of grace, ". . .to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:5).
The concept of works is key in understanding the difference between Law and Grace. Ultimately we know that we have all fallen short of God's glory and righteousness, but for those living in the dispensation of the Law, works were a necessary requirement to enter God's kingdom (Matthew 7:21). The amazing Gospel of Grace given to the Apostle Paul by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was that Jesus died and shed His blood for our sins, and if we put our faith in the vicarious death of Christ and the atoning power of His shed blood to pay for our sins, we shall be justified in the sight of God, receive the imputation of His righteousness to our account, and thus be accounted worthy to enter God's heavenly kingdom (Romans 3-5, Galatians 1:11-12, Ephesians 1-3).
This unique, new revelation given first to Paul was unknown to the apostles before him and indeed was kept hidden from the beginning of creation (Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:1-10, Colossians 1:25-27). The gospel given to Paul was that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures (this truth, for example, shed illuminating light on such passages as Isaiah 53); Jesus lived a holy, sinless life so that He could provide Himself as the Lamb to atone for the sins of all who will believe upon Him (1 Corinthians 15:3)!
The defining factors in the differentiation of these two gospel are the method and object of salvation. While Israel looked for an earthly kingdom inherited only by those who worked righteousness according to the Law, the Church, the body of Christ looks for a heavenly kingdom inherited by all those who put their faith in Him apart from any works.
Con has made it clear to me that while he did not quite understand the debate resolution, he certainly does not agree with my claims thus far. I wonder why then he chose not to respond as he suggested cowardice on my part for the forfeiture, yet when I present my argument Con decides to bow out. Hmm...
In either case, thus far I am the only one to have presented evidence. Con may only rebut my case in the final round with arguments of his own. The winner should be decided based on who presented the stronger case.
Thus far I have made a clear case based on scripture for the existence of two distinct gospel messages, one directed to Israel and the other to the Church, the body of Christ. Using salvation as the measure by which to discern the difference between the two gospels, I have shown that God's Kingdom message to Israel was within the context of the dispensation of the Law beginning with Moses, while His Grace message to the Church is given in the context of the new dispensation of Grace where works shall by no means justify a single soul.
The key element of the atoning power of Christ's blood for the remission of our sins is the ultimate defining factor in determining the variance between the two New Testament gospels. Where His shed blood was preached as an indictment against Israel after Christ's resurrection and during the apostolic commission to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, Paul gloried in His blood stained cross for the power over sin and death Christ through it gave us (Acts 4:10, Galatians 6:14).
I let my case rest. Vote Pro! God bless!
I simply said that I agreed with him for the most part, yet I disagree with him on his stances on things such as Young Earth Creationism which is clearly false.
I said that I misread what this debate was about, and that for the most part I agreed with His ideas on the Gospel. Oh well.