15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,
16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Paul and the Full Gospel
Paul declared to the Church at Rome that he had, “fully preached the gospel”. Paul made it clear to them that he had not failed to tell it all – that he had fully delivered all that makes up the Gospel. What did Paul mean by the “Full Gospel”? The Apostle Paul could hold his head up and look the Church of Rome in the eye and say that he had not failed to preach the entire Gospel to them, that he had left nothing out.
The Greek word that is translated “Fully” is the word “Pleroo” and it means to cram a net full, to level up to the top, to completely furnish, to satisfy, to complete, to verify, to perfect, and to supply. When Paul said that he had fully preached the Gospel to the Church he was saying that he had completely furnished, supplied, and prepared them. That he had filled up their cup with the truth all the way to the brim. That he had stuffed their spiritual net to its fullest capacity.
Here is the breakdown of this word, “Fully”.
To furnish- If we are not receiving the “Full Gospel” then we are not fully furnished. There is nothing worse than a home that is partially furnished and there is nothing worse spiritually than a Christian or Church that is only partially furnished. That which is missing from the compliment will eventually be that which is needed. This is why it is so important that we be fully furnished.
To Satisfy- Paul satisfied the requirements of the Gospel. He preached all of it without any omissions. Any Christian or Church that does not get the whole Gospel preached to them will not be fully satisfied. Any preacher that does not deliver the entire counsel of God is not a “Full Gospel” preacher. They may call themselves such but if they consciously, or even unconsciously, leave at any part of the truth as contained in the Word of God they are not Full Gospel.
To execute- Paul fully executed this Gospel. This means he finished the work that God had sent him to do. Jesus called the Apostle Paul on his famous journey to Damascus to persecute the Church. In that vision of the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul was called to carry the message of the Gospel to the Gentiles. Paul makes the claim in Romans 15:19 that he had fully executed this commission.
To accomplish- The work of the Gospel must be accomplished in our lives but it cannot without it fully being preached to us. It is not enough to start but we must finish. If we are going to be Full Gospel then we must accomplish that which the Lord has called us to do.
To finish- We will not be finished without the “Full Gospel.” There are many unfinished Christians because they are not being fed the “Full Gospel.” A good start deserves a good finish. This is what we must do if we are going to be Full Gospel.
Paul was saying to all of those that he had preached to that he had preached the whole Gospel. That he left nothing out. He preached all that was required for the Christian life. In effect he was saying that his message was a complete message and if a person would take heed to what he had shared it would equip them to live an overcoming Christian life.
Today, unfortunately, there are many churches that leave much out. They preach many good things but they leave many more good things out. The glaring lack in these churches is often so dangerous that even if a person has a real conversion experience and remains they will soon lapse into some type of destructive behavior or thought that will lead them back into death.
Can a Christian be complete without obedience? Can a Christian be complete without Prayer? Can a Christian be complete without the Baptism of the Holy Ghost? How about Holiness? Why would any Church believe they are complete if they do not believe in repentance? Yet there are many churches that either reject these great Bible teachings altogether or have so corrupted them as to make them unrecognizable from their true forms.
You see this is the problem. There are many Christians and Churches that start out with a good solid Gospel, but there are other important aspects of the Gospel that are never preached to them, therefore they grow stunted and many fall out of the race. Often the greatest error of the churches that are “Less-Than-Full-Gospel” is not what they are saying but what they are not saying.
It is a grave error to tell a man that he needs to be saved without telling him he must obey. Yet this happens all the time! There are many people that claim to be Christians but they feel not the slightest tinge of guilt about living in open disobedience to God. This is a direct result of the Gospel not being “Fully Preached.”
The Full Gospel is Saving Gospel
Make no mistake about it: this Gospel when preached in its fullness can bring a person to real salvation. Sometimes people received just enough Gospel to get them in the door but they never progress any further. What they need is the Full Gospel.
The word Gospel means, “Good News” and/or “God’s Word”. It is certainly good news to understand that a sinner can be transformed from their wicked state into a new creature that is holy. This is good news! But what if we preach judgment and the wrath of God? Is that good news? Absolutely! People will not recognize the good news from the bad until there is a comparison. We preach to the sinner: “You are hopelessly lost! You are wicked! You have transgressed the Law and have offended the Holy God!” Once that sinner hangs their head in shame for their lost condition then we offer unto them the solution: “Here is the good news! Jesus saves! Repent, turn from all of your sin, and place your faith in Christ! He is your only hope of redemption.” Let a man condemned to die hear the Good News that Jesus saves!
So the Full Gospel is a saving gospel. The message of the gospel is that a low-down, dirty sinner can turn from their sin and become a Christian by repenting and placing their faith in Christ. That is part of the Full Gospel.
The Full Gospel is a Keeping Gospel
Not only can Jesus save you but also he can keep you. He can keep you from falling back into your old sinful ways. Does this mean that Jesus will do so against your will? No. If you will to return to your sin then you can do so and the consequences will be eternal. The reverse is true as well: if you will to live for God then there is nothing that can stop you. Jesus will keep you. Jesus will give you the moral fortitude to stand against all temptation and persecution.
2 Timothy 1:12
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
I am glad that the Full Gospel is a keeping Gospel. This is part of the Full Gospel.
The Full Gospel is a Filling Gospel
This more than anything else is left out of the fundamental doctrine of many churches. Make no mistake about it! It is as imperative for you the believer to be filled with the Holy Ghost as it is for that sinner to be saved. Jesus made you a New Creature for this purpose. Only the New Creature can be filled with the Spirit.
What good is a New Wineskin that is empty? When you pick up a wine skin you expect to find it full of wine. What good is a New Creature without the filling of the Holy Ghost? God expects to pick up his New Wineskin and find it full of the Holy Ghost.
37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
The New wine has a preserving effect on the bottle. Without the New Wine the bottle will eventually crack and revert back to uselessness. Anything poured into a cracked wineskin will be lost and wasted. Anyone that does not move forward from their conversion to Christ to the infilling of the Holy Ghost runs a grave risk of not being preserved.
The Full Gospel is a filling Gospel. All Full Gospel Churches will preach the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. As a matter of fact I have never heard of a Church without the Baptism in the Holy Ghost using the term “Full Gospel” to refer to themselves.
The Full Gospel is a Pure Gospel
The Full Gospel is a gospel that resists worldliness. Have you noticed that Churches that do not preach the Full Gospel, that do not preach the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, are quite often more worldly than Spirit-filled Churches? Why is this? It is a mark of the Full Gospel to resist contamination much longer.
A preacher in a non-Spirit filled Church once told a Spirit-filled preacher, “There is nothing to that Holy Ghost and talking in tongues.” The spiritual preacher asked him, “Are there many in your churches that smoke, drink, curse, and do things that you know God is not pleased with?” The other preacher hung his head and replied, “Yes.” Then the spiritual preacher asked him, “You see our churches, and you know we have some problems also, but do our people live cleaner lives than yours?” Again the preacher hung his head and replied, “Yes.” Then the spiritual preacher said, “If there is nothing to this Holy Ghost and speaking with tongues, then why do we live cleaner lives than you?” The preacher hung his head and could not answer.
It is very important that we not buy into a partial gospel. A partial gospel that leaves out certain parts of the Bible because they are inconvenient, unpopular, or make people uncomfortable is no gospel at all. No matter how much better we think we can make the Gospel no one has the right to tinker with it and change it in any way.
The Constitution of the United States of America is a wonderful governing document and has been held up as one of the greatest documents ever written. Yet, for all of its greatness, it is not perfect. It is still the product of men. Because of its human origins the Constitution has needed to be amended many times. These amendments were written, ratified, and added to the original Constitution to clarify inequities and failings. The Word of God needs no amendments. It is perfect! If we amend the Gospel to add or take away anything written therein then we effectively destroy the perfect continuity of the Bible. Let us now purpose in our hearts to accept the Full Gospel, the entirety of the Word of God, as the Word of God to mankind and in doing so we can start down the path of “The Full Gospel.”
Revivalist Mark E. Herridge Sr.