Guests: and

Key Passages:

Eph. 4:4-6 — The NT proclaims one body, one faith, one God.
Rev. 14:6 — “Gospel” is the heart of God’s last message.
Gal. 1:7-9 — Alternative Gospels are bad news.
cf. 2 Cor. 11:3-5 — the criticized “different Gospel”
2 Peter 1:16 — Gospel is not a cleverly devised myth.
1 Cor. 2:13 — The Spirit, not human wisdom, teaches truth.
Rom. 5:1-2 — Peace comes through Jesus Christ.
2 Tim. 1:12 — Paul knew who, not what, would deliver him.

Discussion Questions:

1. Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” is it possible to have a variety of gospels? Or will all of them be “bad news” except the one true one?
2. Paul had strong feelings about any “gospel” other than the one which he believed and preached. How could a message preached as “good” news actually turn out to be bad? What is the heart of the “gospel” which cannot be revised or replaced?
3. Apparently Paul and Peter did not see eye-to-eye on all matters. Paul challenged Peter to his face (Gal. 2:11) and Peter said that some of Paul’s words were difficult to grasp (2 Pet. 3:14-16). Yet when the Corinthians were choosing up sides behind their favorite preachers (Peter, Paul, and Apollos, 1 Cor. 1), Paul did not condemn the other preachers, but said that they were all workers together for God (2 Cor. 3). How does the church determine the limits and boundaries that mark off the heart of the Gospel?
4. If Paul really meant that it was a who not a what who would save him (“I know the one in whom I have put my trust…” 2 Tim. 1:12, NRSV), a person not a doctrine, would that allow for more or less flexibility in defining the unity of the faith?
5. Is it possible to preach unity and actually end up being divisive?

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