There are gospels and there are ‘other gospels.’ There is Christ and there are false Christs. Christs’ gospel is the gospel of the Kingdom which is the teaching of Jesus and the apostles, known also as THE ‘APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE.’ Such doctrine is life-giving, legitimate and the engine of the new creation. It is the product of a new covenant relationship where the human teacher and our Father are one. The result is the accurate interpretation of the word of the Bible – accurate, firstly because it is the word of truth RIGHTLY DIVIDED and accurate because it is apostolic. Apostolic in the sense that Jesus was the apostolic representative of His Father and accurate because it inspired by the wisdom and revelation of the Spirit of Truth that is the effect of CHRIST IN YOU.
‘Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth’ 2 Tim 2.15 NLT.
Other gospels and false christs are the product of separation from God resulting in the failure to appropriate our new covenant oneness with Father together with a stubbornness that leaves us living from the law – living in separation when we have been graced with the gift of being alive in the Spirit of Christ and possessing as our own Jesus’ union with His Father. Here we need not be ashamed. We have not distorted the word of truth, we are competent to minister life to the full and have held nothing back as a result of misunderstanding or bad doctrine. We have accurately presented the fullness of Christ for ourselves and the Kingdom.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.
False Christ’s should not be thought of as demonic figures manifesting as some ghastly apparition in an occult setting. But they are denuded christs made in our own image and robbed of their potency to deliver the inheritance that is ours in the Christ of God. A false christ is a crippled christ we have constructed from our own fear and distrust of Father. Or then a false christ can be the product of false doctrine that produces an ‘other gospel’ of the kind Paul warned us of. Other gospels have icons and practices that replace Christ and are replete with substitutes for His life. All other gospels have this is common. They subvert our inheritance. They leave us in separation when we have union with God.
‘As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God's curse!’ Gal 1.9 NIV. The core of ‘other gospels’ is separation; of you ‘doing something’ to get a passport to His presence and fellowship.
‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility’ Eph 2.14 NIV. Our union in community grows from our gifted union with God.
The gospel of Jesus and Paul is easier and simpler than these gospels of separation and veils. His gospel produces real people and sons of God. In the preface to Across All Worlds, J Baxter Kruger writes,
‘Jesus Christ finding us, and finding us in our fallen minds. He is not up there somewhere, watching us from a distance. He is not waiting for the day when he can become a factor in our lives. We tend to think that people are separated from Jesus, and that at some point folks pray to receive an absent Jesus into their lives.
The truth is other way around. Jesus has received us into his life. We don't make him part of our world; he has made us a part of his. He has included us in the abounding life he shares with his Father and in his anointing with the Spirit.
And the us he has included is not the perfect us, not the untarnished version that we present to the world and hope everyone believes. The us he has included is the broken us, the wounded, tired, and scared us, the self-centred, self-protecting, hiding us. So we are in for a wild ride. For Jesus is determined that the broken us come to know his Father's love in the freedom of the Spirit. He won't give up.’