Bible Study Lessons

(1---25)

 Part 1The Incredible Good News of the Gospel 

Part 2

Experiencing the Power of the Gospel

 Part 3Biblical Doctrines in the Light of the Gospel 

Part 4―Last Day Events (Eschatology)

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The Great Compromise

Augustine (354--430 A.D.)..........Image #1
After much debate, the battle for the official word to use for "love" was finally settled!!

 

It was Augustine, one of the church leaders of the fourth century, who united these two opposite kinds of love and produced a synthesis, calling it CARITAS.[1]  

 

The result was a perversion of the gospel namely, that man is saved partly by God’s grace, based on His AGAPE love, and partly by human effort, based on human EROS.[1]  

 

This perverted gospel plunged the Christian church into what history calls the “Dark Ages.”[1]

 

Thus, by modifying the true meaning of God's love, the devil managed to pervert the pure gospel from being good news to good advice – “I must do my best and God will make up the difference.”[1]  

 

This is what robbed the gospel of its power.  Justification or righteousness was no longer by faith alone but is obtained partly because of human effort and partly by God's grace.[1]

 

Words and messages are not enough to communicate the all-encompassing, never-failing love of God.  Our Father knew that the only way we would ever fully understand His love would be through Jesus, the perfect revelation of the character of God.[2]

 

John 14  (v. 9) Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?   He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, Show us the Father?

 

How CARITAS Perverted the Gospel:  The battle between AGAPE love and EROS love in church history resulted in CARITAS love, a mixture of truth and error.[1]

 

These 3 loves have produced 3 gospels comprising today’s world religions.[1]

 

 

EROS GOSPEL

 

 

Salvation by

Works Alone

 

CARITAS

GOSPEL

 

Salvation by Faith

+ Works

 

 

AGAPE GOSPEL

 

 

Salvation by

Grace Alone

 

God

Man

 

PAGANISM

 

God

Man

 

PERVERTED

GOSPEL

 

 

God

Man

 

TRUE GOSPEL

 

Many well-intentioned Christians err by adopting a perverted, CARITAS gospel, which is no gospel at all (Galatians 1:6, 7).[1]  

 

Good works, or law-keeping, are kept in order to earn salvation, despite Scripture’s clear teaching that “by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Galatians 2:16).[1]

 

Under the AGAPE gospel, we are saved by grace alone, and this grace is received by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8). Good works (Ephesians 2:10), motivated by God’s (agape) love for us, are the fruit of the Spirit.[1]

 

While glorifying God, these works do not contribute one iota to our salvation; rather they evidence the salvation that is already ours in Christ.

 

At the cross, Jesus proved alot.  He proved that God would hold back nothing to save usincluding His own beloved Son.  He proved that sin kills.  He proved that satan would sooner murder his own Maker than give up his quest for control of the universe.[3]

 

Do you believe that God’s agape love for you is unconditional and that is "WHY" He saved you in Christ, even though you are a sinner who has failed to perfectly keep His law?[1]

 

References:

1. Savior of the world Bible Course, (2000). Lesson 2, “The Love of God.”

2. Mark Finley, (1995). Beyond Orion's Gates, p.31, Hart Research Center.

3. Mark Finley, (1995). Beyond Orion's Gates, p.59, Hart Research Center.

Image #1: Univeristy of St. Thomas, (2011). Saint Augustine of Hippo. Retrieved from https://libguides.stthomas.edu/c.php?g=88810&p=572605

 

 

 

 

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