Did the Twelve Apostles Ever Preach the Gospel of Grace?

by Pastor Don Hosfeld

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“Did the 12 Apostles ever start preaching the gospel of grace, or did they continue the kingdom message?”

If we are to allow Scripture alone to provide the answer, as we should, then that answer must be NO!

In order to believe that the Twelve joined Paul in his commission and began preaching the message given to him, we should expect to find it somewhere in Scripture, especially in their writings—the General Epistles of James, Peter, and John. However, that is not what we find.

John clarifies his message has not changed when he says, “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you… if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7 cf. John 8:12). Notice the condition to “walk in the light” that John places for the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse his readers from sin. He adds, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (v. 9). He further states, “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (2:3).

None of that matches the gospel of the grace of God and the teaching of the Apostle Paul, which says that we are “justified freely” (Rom. 3:24) “through faith in His blood” (v. 25). Other than believing the gospel of the grace of God, there are no conditions for forgiveness; and for the Body of Christ, following commandments does not prove a relationship with Christ.

To the Reader:

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