The Feeble Gospel
The number one reason we have a feeble church is we preach a feeble gospel. We will never have a strong church unless we preach a mighty gospel.
Do you know the difference?
• The feeble gospel says you better love God; the mighty gospel declares he surely loves you!
• The feeble gospel preaches God can forgive you; the mighty gospel declares he already has.
• The feeble gospel says you need to get holy; the mighty gospel declares that in Christ you already are.
• The feeble gospel says you are the Lord’s servant; the mighty gospel declares you are his beloved son.
• The feeble gospel points to your badness; the mighty gospel reveals his abounding goodness.
• The feeble gospel preaches turn from sin; the mighty gospel says turn to Jesus and be free from sin.
• The feeble gospel says God will bless you as you do your part; the mighty gospel declares God has blessed you with every blessing in Christ Jesus.
• The feeble gospel drives you with law; the mighty gospel draws you with love.
• The feeble gospel says God gives and takes away; the mighty gospel declares God gives and his gifts are without revocation.
• The feeble gospel says repentance is what we do in response to sin; the mighty gospel says repentance is a response to love.
• The feeble gospel says God can; the mighty gospel says God will and has.
• The feeble gospel says God gives sickness to help you grow; the mighty gospel says he heals all our diseases.
• The feeble gospel says God is counting your sins; the mighty gospel says he has removed them as far as the east from the west.
• The feeble gospel says do something for God; the mighty gospel says look what he’s done for you.
• The feeble gospel says strive to please him; the mighty gospel says strive to enter his rest.
A feeble believer reads this list with a mindset of balance. “God has done his part, now I must do mine.”
But a mighty believer insists on Christ alone. “Jesus has done it all, and my part is to rest in his finished work.”
A feeble believer believes a feeble me-centered gospel. “I must produce or perish.”
But a mighty believer believes a mighty Christ-centered gospel. “Jesus saves me and keeps me, and he who began a good work in me will carry it on until the day of completion.”
A feeble believer swallows the lies of dead religion without question. “I need a little works insurance.”
But a mighty believer has no tolerance for mixture. “Grace plus law equals law. I will not be enslaved again.”
A feeble believer is feeble because they rely on the weakness of their flesh to do that which is impossible.
But a mighty believer is mighty because they are relying on a mighty God.
A feeble believer fails because they are walking in the flesh, but a mighty believer cannot lose because they are seated in Christ who is their eternal victory.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
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The sad reality is everything Paul said in this article is true. The over-all church as settled for “feeble-mindedness” and doesn’t know it. They’ve experienced a form of godliness but rebels against transformation. When we realize the power of the gospel to change our communities, we’ll throw doubt and unbelief to the wind.
Thanks brother. I needed that. Always look forward to hearing from you. God Bless.
This is an exhaustive list Paul. God bless you
“The feeble gospel preaches God can forgive you; the mighty gospel declares he already has.”
Great one, as it is amazing how so many preachers say; “Ask God to forgive you” to the lost! What? He already has, and not only you that have responded to his forgiveness 1 Peter 2:24, but has forgiven the whole world, 1 John 2:2.
But your “The feeble gospel preaches turn from sin; the mighty gospel says turn to Jesus and be free from sin.” Is a bit off, as both Paul and John say such! 1 Corinthians 15:34 and 1 John 2:1 .
Also, “The feeble gospel says God will bless you as you do your part; the mighty gospel declares God has blessed you with every blessing in Christ Jesus.” True, yet Paul said, ““Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:9. There blessing’s from our pleasing Him, Colossians 1:10.
“The feeble gospel says repentance is what we do in response to sin; the mighty gospel says repentance is a response to love.” Its both, simultaneously! “For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation…” 2 Corinthians 7:10. And, 2 Corinthians 12:21, speaking of those believers that had,”… sinned already, and have not repented”
End with, Such truth as “A feeble believer fails because they are walking in the flesh, but a mighty believer cannot lose because they are seated in Christ who is their eternal victory.” We are seated, but to be seated one must stand, as Paul said, “having ‘done’ all to stand, stand therefore…” This is only by using weapons available to us, Ephesians 6:13,14.
In what sense is it a bit off? Is it a bit off because I don’t define repentance in terms of sin? The idea that repentance is not repentance unless you turn from sin is like saying rainbows are green. It’s partly true but mostly wrong. The Bible records God as repenting on numerous occasions. Does this mean God was once a sinner? To repent means to change your mind, nothing more, nothing less. This is the definition Jesus and all the apostles used, including Paul.
In Col 1:10 Paul is not saying God blesses us if we please him; that’s back to front. What is pleasing to the Lord is walking in a revelation of his will (see v.9). When you know the grace and peace that God gives, and when you allow his gospel to bear his fruit in your life, then your’s will be a pleasing life. Again, this has nothing to do with what you’ve done and a lot to do with what Christ has done and is now doing through you.
Amen!!!!! This is fire! Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you.
Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:21, mentions sin and repentance in the same sentence, as they”… have sinned and not repented”. As he also, echo’s that of the lord’s instructions to the church in Rev, 2:5,16,21,22 and Rev. 3:19. Repentance here is more than just change of mind, but a change of acts, as Paul was wanting them to, “sin not.”
Comparing your, “turn to Jesus and be free from sin.” Well, Apostle Paul said; 1 Corinthians 15:34 “Awake to righteousness” which is “turn to Jesus” and “sin not” which is “be free from sin”! Noting an act!
Your saying; “when you allow his gospel to bear his fruit in your life, then your’s will be a pleasing life.”
Its not about allowing things, but doing, “Those things”, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in the Apostle Paul, Philippians 4 :9. By such following, we will follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) and be, even as Christ is (1 John 3:7).
True, It is “what Christ has done and is now doing through you.” But, is also, to avoid deception (1 John 3:7), about our doing, “Those things”.
Don’t confuse the root with the fruit. God’s grace does not share the stage with your works (Rom 11:6). If you define repentance in terms of your reaction to sin, you diminish repentance and prime yourself for dead works. In the scriptures you listed, the focus is on Jesus. Whatever form our repentance takes, it is always a response to him.
Yes I cant agree more!Only Grace can make us new inside out.Through Grace of almighty we can Love others with no ulterior motive & pure intentions.We always moved by the Love of God & his Mercy.We can worship our Father in Spirit & Truth not Flesh anymore.Religious mindset is no good & always hostile to God.
I love that! Paul, thank you for putting that together for us! You are making a huge difference in bringing this shift that we do desperately need.
LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!
This is wonderful! And it is worth printing out to keep in sight! Thank you, Paul 🙂
I really liked this entry. It’s my own belief, almost to the letter. Thank you for sharing this with us. 😀
Ditto. As always!
‘The number one reason we have a feeble church is we preach a feeble gospel’…… a stunning statement Paul. Wow! In the same vein, I wonder if (by extension) we see the effects of a feeble gospel being mirrored in the environment & society around us? Could, for example, the church be ‘aborting the gospel of Christ’ and we consequently see that same behaviour demonstrated in the environment around us, i.e. abortion rates are consistently increasing? Just a thought and a bit radical I know!!
Excellent!! Says it all. Thank you.
Great post! I think it is often overlooked that Jesus said the greatest shall be your servant (Mt. 23:11). We can get so busy trying to be the greatest, we forget that it is Jesus who is the greatest. The correct order of things is for Jesus to be serving you, not the other way around. As the God of the universe, He has everything at His disposal to serve us with and does not have need for a servant. As the God of love, He wants to serve you.
LJP, I agree with you. The necessary order is first to freely RECEIVE, and only then will we have something worthwhile to freely give: “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” Mat 10:8.
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give, than to receive.” Acts 20:35 But as Joseph Prince points out:
“Yes, that’s true when it comes to our relationship with man. With our fellow man, it is more blessed to give than to receive. But when it comes to God, we please Him when we receive from Him. The Bible says that the lesser is always blessed by the greater. (Hebrews 7:7) Obviously, between God and us, God will always be the greater one. So when we humble ourselves and take our place as the receiver, we’re letting God be God in our lives and He loves that.”
For example, Jesus was refreshed by the woman at the well (John 4:6–34), BECAUSE she was receiving from him, feeding on him, the bread that came down from heaven.
Wholeheartedly Agree!!! Excellent.
That’s a beautiful teaching of God’s awesome grace Paul. To be fully persuaded of this can’t help but enable the believer to rest in Christ 24/7. And Romans 8:28 seals it.
This was absolutely wonderful and encapsulates the reason that my good friend, Mike Cleveland and I shut down a highly ‘successful’ global ministry called Setting Captives Free. We came to realize that we were taking man centered, legalistic ‘Principles’ and making them the foundation for purity instead of the Gospel.
Yes, the Gospel was there but it very much so fell into the category of ‘Feeble Gospel’ which is why the end result was either self righteous elder brothers who because of their purity thought they were now worthy of God’s love or we created wounded soldiers who were overwhelmed by shame, guilt and discouragement if they were to stumble into sin again.
Again, this was really good and such a clear explanation of why the Mighty Gospel is the only Gospel that is true and has the power to set people free from sin.
You are loved!
Thank you for sharing your story, Shon. This article also encapsulates the reason why I burned 10 year’s worth of my own sermon notes.
Shon & Paul: Isn’t it interesting that you both (and I suspect all of us commenting in ETR) passed “THROUGH RELIGION” first, prior to ‘entering’ the revelation of Grace? Its as though we had to ‘die to self’ before we could be made ‘alive’! PRAISE GOD!
This is the truth that has resonated in my heart as a child. That is the way of salvation, the mighty gospel. What has destroyed mankind on a mass level in every aspect of our feeble lives, is a feeble gospel such as described in this post. It is true. The feeble gospel is still killing Christians right under our noses. We are daily watching the death of souls, the death of marriages, the death of children deceived, deprived of the preaching and teaching of the gospel of the Mighty Grace of God that truly brings salvation, and that make glad the sad, sunken spirits. The way of truth they do not know because their parents, their preachers, and their teachers (yes, even in the Educational Department), exemplify the weakening principles of a feeble gospel. Some of us are just as indifferent, ignorant, and inexperienced of the efficacy of Mighty Grace, as those who both cried out for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and those who crucified the Son of God. I pray the the Holy Spirit will convict us, the salt of the earth, to really and truly believe the gospel of God’s mighty Grace, through Jesus Christ, that we will be able by that graciously enabling power to season and serve our feeble world, even one person at a time with the proper gospel–the mighty gospel.
Thank you for diagnosing the cause of so much feebleness and fear in the body of Christ. I now realize that this problem is not so much from the believers but from the pulpit. The preachers have preached in weakness into the believers. I pray that the eyes of understanding of our teachers and preachers be opened to this reality.
I love this so much! If I ever hear a different message or get confused (like this past Sunday at church), I’m coming back to this post!
Thanks, Paul. In Acts 20:24, it’s called “the gospel of the GRACE of God.”
And the more we share this message of grace, the more we can expect our Father to confirm it with signs and wonders:
“So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.” Acts 14:3.
Yes, the mighty gospel is the gospel of his grace.
Very helpful, especially after re-reading the articles referenced in red.
Paul. Love the one liners. Easy to remember and pack a mighty punch. What a mighty gospel! Thankyou
Your blog is the best, but this is the best of the best.
The mighty gospel may be why for a few years the following things happened in my life ;;
(and they gripped me in my heart and made me want to leave..)
At funerals,I almost have to walk out when the preacher says “God needed another angel or flower up in heaven ..
The pastor calls for everyone to come to the alter for forgiveness,, to meet God where He is etc..
Saying God is really here today..lets sing loud so he can hear us all..
If you have”any” sin in your life don’t think God will answer your prayers.
More but I will stop..
Your msg was especially helpful this time.. Thank you
Great post! Here is what has helped me keep things straight. I have received the totality of what Jesus accomplished for me. It exists in my invisible spirit, the “real me” from God’s point of view. If I look at what I see in my flesh I miss the real gospel.
I think it is an excellent article however at times the word ‘feeble gospel’ is really not the gospel at all, it is simply the old law which does not apply to Christians.
Excellent job articulating what’s been an uneasy feeling in the back of my head since I stumbled onto the Gospel of God’s Great Grace! Amen and thank you for dragging this issue into the light to get a sharper view.
My biggest concern regarding the preaching that Gospel is the attempt by some to “justify” the message by pointing out how it gets its believers to “serve” others. In a sense, believers are being indirectly driven to a works-based life, not to earn salvation, but to earn the authentication of the Message that freed them from sin and gave them the Spirit that produced the Fruit of the Spirit within them. “Prove your salvation by your works!” with them silently setting the agenda for “acceptable” works. More like glorying in “foreskin hunting” that Paul accused the Galatian deceivers of doing.
Well-written, Paul: “The feeble gospel says you need to get holy; the mighty gospel declares that in Christ you already are.” I had almost destroyed myself trying to “get holy” following the teachings of Michael Brown and those which sprung from the Brownsville Revival. They warned that “without holiness no one will see the Lord.” I was frightened that I would be rejected by Jesus for not measuring up. Consequently, I sought assurance by comparing myself to those who exhibited more “obvious” sins and felt comfortably superior. My self-righteous attitude wrecked havoc and destruction on my family, as I mercilessly judged everyone and attempted to impose my “holy” will on the household, becoming angry and belligerent if opposed. I was convinced that if they continued in “sin” they were going to hell. That’s what I was taught. I was even against watching television. After all, MB had boasted in one of his books that when he checks into a hotel he requests that the staff remove the TV from his room in order “to make a statement.” Thank God I’m delivered from all that bondage, but Dad died of lung cancer before I saw the error of my ways. I never made amends. Such regret! It is true that the “dead letter of the law kills.” It kills relationships. I should know. Beware of legalistic anti-grace “holy” wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Thank you very much for your powerful words. Yes, I’m sure, the mighty gospel is the gospel of his grace. We’re free and it is so amazing to enter his rest.
This Is So 100% True
It is the gospel of grace that began changing my life of always feeling I was falling short of what a Christian was supposed to be to peace and well being. Whenever I focus on what I must do instead of on what Christ has done for me, I get stressed. I used to wonder if peace could be real or did I just have to put up a front because I was a Christian. But no more pretense.
Thank you Jesus!
Intellectually I believe every strong gospel statement but I find that it is a process over time to truly internalize them, maybe even a a life time. I am encouraged in the process as I can see that “fear” has become a weaker motivator in my life.
Doug AMEN I am 64 and I have been struggling with my flesh in and out of chruches or cults (same thing in my opinion) But it takes a lifetime for some of us to internalize them. Old habits of thinking die hard, but what is important is that the Light destroys them.. It is a process. Since I have taken the view point Paul has shared, I am seeing love being a bigger and bigger motivator in my life too… Thank God for the glorious liberty of salvation HE has given us. I want to share it more and more regardless of what my flesh is doing. I have Christ in me.
Good one. Christ is our holiness, our ability, and our competence. We run the race out of gratitude and witness, not to win anything more – for nothing more can be won.
I once heard someone use the expression “inoculated by religion” It seems that by being subjected to a weak, corrupt form of the truth we become resistant to its powerful reality. Sad. I think we all need to wash this out with the Word.
Andrew you are right! Is there anything we can do for people who have been so “inoculated”?
very interesting. The gospel of God’s grace is the best. repping christ to the latter.
Tnx paul, continue to enjoy Grace!
I’m not sure where to express this, but I’m sure someone has thought along these lines and I want to know the truth and grace of the matter:
Is praying in tounges worse than praying in English. I think of it this way. Our English language is our logic. Our logic is intercepted by selfish desires that ware against us. God does not answer selfish prayers. So how to we solve the problem of our selfish -seeming needs. Praying depending on the Holy Spirit and joy and then work yourself into praying into tounges. Or just open your mouth and trust. We need this because if God doesn’t need to be loved back, but we need to build ourselves up then what option is there. A dead preacher saves no one, and I cannot rightly say God promised me long life only to strip me of it for my many uncontrollable sins. (I agree with the Scriptures that the spirit is in all people, but it’s not translating into life without the prayers of others releasing that power as I realized prayer with some mature believers and realizing that I can’t operate apart from the spirit).
BUT LET ME AGREE WITH YOU. Pray in tounges like Paul the apostle in your home. Pray in understandable phrases at church. Build yourself up during the week. We don’t know what to do, but God does. I don’t know how else to get the river of life in Christ going.
When it comes to revival, we need the power of joy and the Holy Spirit. That’s how revival happens inwardly. Then God can change things up and make it even better.
God can “strip” you for sinning out of control, 1 Corinthians 11:30-32. But, it need not be, nor should it be, of such ”many uncontrollable sins”, as you purport. As, “let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19. For that “Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.” 1 John 3:6.
But be assured, the Scriptures do not tell us the “Spirit is in all people”. For we know, through the Scriptures, that Cornelius the centurion, received the Spirit after hearing and believing, Acts 10:44 and not before.
As for it, “not translating into life without prayers”, the Scripture say’s “the Spirit is life” Romans 8:10, and that of its own accord, to those who are in Christ by faith, believing.
True, we need to build up our faith praying in the Spirit, Jude 20, Ephesians 6:18,
So much truth in this! This is the good news for sure.
I need to read this every day of my life because bt religious people and the “world”, it’s hard to hold onto TRUTH (Jesus). Thank you.
The reason we have so many false teachers is they are goats in sheeps clothing,Jesus is not going to seperate the sheepp from goats here on earth but latter.also in acts 20:21 paul declares nothing else matters but for him to finish the race of preaching the gospel of grace,then back when it was written.paul warns them night and day there will be those who come in and distort the truth,then he exorts us with gospel which will bring jnheritance.
Nobody lived up to Gods perfect law. Romans 7 says we must die to performace driven law.thinking they (false teachers)are doing pretty good according to law)they are deceiving themselves and others.they must die to the (law)their perfomance – to belong to another.(the lord Jesus Christ.
These false teachers are self-centered.and promote self.(instead of being christ-centered.they are self-centered.so i guess dying to law-dying to self.mean the same thing. Paul Ellis is right on.and all false teachers,promoting living by the flesh are wfong.(live by the spirit,and you will be more aware of Christ as your life. That is the holy spirit.which testifys of Jesus Christ. (Plus the bible says God has made us compatent ministers of the new covenant.(if the old c.is Jesus concealed.&the new covenant Jesus revealed.(then we have been made compatent ministers to reveal Jesus.