If you listen to Christian teachings on the radio no doubt you have heard one or more teachers attack what they have titled the "Prosperity Gospel". It has been named the prosperity gospel by its detractors because they say it treats God like an ATM and doesn't focus on the sin problem of mankind.
Just the other day a Bible teacher, on a local radio station, condemned those who teach what he described as the prosperity gospel and those who listen to such teachers as ATM Christians. This teacher went on to describe how God sees every man as a sinner worthy of judgment and condemnation.
The reason each individual needs to read and study the Bible for their own personal understanding is because anyone can make the Bible say anything they want simply by taking verses out of context or by placing verses in a context that fits their preconceived idea.
Too often Christian Bible teachers do nothing more than twist verses to fit their preconceived denominational tenants and doctrines. As individuals we should never work a teaching that we have heard. Rather we should work the entire subject in God's Word. By working a teaching only you will be moved to accepting that teaching as true because a teacher will not give you the verses that contradict what he has propounded.
Have you ever heard a teaching on baptism? Where you convinced by the end of the teaching that you needed to be dipped or sprinkled with water?
1 Corinthians 10:1-2
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
It wasn't Israel that got wet when they crossed the Red Sea, it was the Egyptians!
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Jesus Christ didn't come to baptize with water but with Holy Spirit.
More than likely these verses were not mentioned when someone last taught you about being baptized with water. Yet they proclaimed your salvation was based upon water. Too often what a denomination believes has become more important than what God's Word declares.
What the detractors call the prosperity gospel God in His Word calls the gospel of grace.
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
The Lord Jesus gave to the apostle Paul a gospel to preach, a gospel of grace. Each Pauline epistle begins with grace.
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every epistle that Paul wrote begins with God's grace to man.
Grace is defined as unmerited favor. Unmerited means you did not earn it. God freely gives His grace to all who not only did not earn it, they could not earn it.
2 Timothy 1:9
Who [God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
God has made His grace available to mankind because of what Jesus Christ accomplished.
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one [Adam] many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many... For if by one man's [Adam's] offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
Adam failed to obey the words of God. He wasn't tricked. He wasn't deceived. Adam deliberately went against the Word and Will of God. But Jesus always obeyed the Word and Will of God. Every decision Jesus made he made according to God's Word. And in so doing corrected the sin problem that Adam gave to the world.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Because of the accomplished work of Jesus Christ God was able to make justification available to mankind. Justification is man's legal release from the penalty of sin. The righteousness, spoken of in Romans 5, is the result of the legal justification. There is no sin in righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For he [God] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin [sin offering] for us, who [Jesus Christ] knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [Jesus Christ].
How much sin is there in God? How righteous is God? We have been made, past tense, as righteousness as God due to the accomplished work of Jesus Christ. Not my works, not your works but to us it is God's grace, unmerited favor.
God has settled the problem with sin in his son.
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
All God asks of man is to believe Him. Believe what God has declared concerning His son. Believe that His son accomplished for us what we could not do for ourselves. Believe what God clearly stated in Romans.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.