Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
A perverted gospel cannot save. Jesus declared that it is the knowledge of truth, not the belief of error, that makes men free (John 8:32). Though a perverted gospel may have in it all the elements of the true gospel, its power to save is lost in perversion. Bread is God’s power to quell the hunger, but the admixture of a poisonous element—a spoonful of arsenic, for instance, in a loaf of bread—would destroy its power. Water is God’s power to quench the thirst, but the admixture of salt will destroy the quenching power of water.
The gospel is God’s power to save the soul, but its admixture with error—the doctrines and commandments of men, when heard and believed—destroys its saving power. Hence, Paul’s alarm concerning the perverters at Galatia: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-7).
Error preached, error heard, and error believed cannot result in the truth obeyed. No man can accidentally obey God. The truth preached, the truth believed, and the truth obeyed makes a Christian. Nothing else does. How careful then men should be in their handling of it!