'Full Gospel' Defined
- Summary: The apostle Paul declared the importance of preaching the full gospel. That included the manifestation of miracles, healings, gifts of the Holy Spirit, and similar demonstrations of the Spirit’s power. Are you a “full gospel” Christian? Come see.
Acts 20:27 I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
KJV: I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
- •• The timeless apostolic encouragement to those of us who handle God’s word is to present it in its fullness, in its entirety. It was very important to Paul — and should be to us — to proclaim “the whole will of God ... all the counsel of God”.
- • Christian, ask yourself: do you regularly lay hands on the sick, expecting them to receive God’s healing? If not, why not? Our fellow believers in the early Church did so (Mark 16:15-18) in fulfillment of the timeless Great Commission.
• Preachers, is yours a full gospel church? A genuinely biblical Pentecostal church? Are you regularly inviting those in your church to receive the mighty baptism with the Holy Spirit? If not, why not? This heaven-sent experience, the apostle Peter told his hearers, “...is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39)
• In sum, are you preaching, teaching, and proclaiming what the apostle Paul called the full gospel? Let’s see what that means.
Romans 15:18-19 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done — by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
Vs. 19, KJV: “...I have FULLY preached the gospel.”
- •• Paul was a full gospel preacher. He “proclaimed ... the whole will of God.” Accompanied by signs, miracles, and Holy Spirit power, he “fully proclaimed the gospel.”
- • Let us also be “full Gospel” Christians. It will be evident by “what [we, like Paul] have said and done.”
• The Scriptural word gospel means “good news”. The Bible’s mandate is that we preach not just some of God’s good news, but all of it!
• What then are some of the main topics we should be emphasizing if we are to be biblical “full gospel” Christians?
Acts 3:19; 4:12 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord ... [4:12] Salvation is found in no one else [than Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
- •• Preach repentance unto salvation in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10) — there is no other name, no other way. We can’t receive salvation through good works or good intentions. It comes only through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
•• Declare the “full gospel” message of the necessity of being born again (John 3:3-7). God's great salvation is “good news”!
Acts 10:47-48a “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”  So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
- •• Some versions (Acts 10 and Acts 19): “...in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”
•• Peter “ordered” them to be water baptized — no option — in the triune name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
•• Declare the “full gospel” message of water baptism.
Acts 1:8; 19:1-2, 6 [Jesus said] “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you".... (19:1) [Paul] arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples  and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” ...  When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
- •• Declare the “full gospel” message of the God-given power that comes with the baptism with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
- • This Holy Spirit baptism is completely distinct from water baptism — “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5). Jesus made it unequivocally clear that water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism are two entirely distinct experiences.
• The reception of God’s power when we are filled with the Spirit is “good news” that is too infrequently preached from pulpits today.
Acts 3:2, 6-7 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts....  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
- •• Declare the “full gospel” message of divine healing. My late wife Mickey had a medically diagnosed infertility condition and was unable to have children. But in the seventh year of our marriage, the Lord healed her infertility, and she subsequently bore us four children! I am blessed to have experienced firsthand that the “full gospel” includes supernatural healing.
- • For the sick and infirm, the promise of divine healing is “good news” indeed! It is an integral part of the full gospel.
Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues...
- •• Declare the “full gospel” message of deliverance from demons.
•• Unbelievers can be greatly vexed by demons, even to the point of demon possession. The full-gospel message is that “those who believe ... will drive out demons”.
John 14:12, KJV Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
- •• Declare the “full gospel” message of the authority of the believer. If we believe, we can do mighty works like those that Jesus did — “the works that I do shall he [the believer] do also.”
•• The commission from Jesus Christ to us, His people, is to do His works and even greater!
Mark 11:21-23 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”  “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
- •• Declare the “full gospel” message of mountain-moving faith. Great obstacles can be surmounted by faith in God. Mighty miracles are possible through faith in God.
•• When Peter marveled at the miracle Jesus had performed, Jesus replied simply, “Have faith in God.”
1 Corinthians 1:7-8 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- •• Declare the “full gospel” message of the presence of the charisma(ta), the gifts of the Spirit, “to the end... [to] the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is not a shred of evidence in the New Testament that God intended the supernatural spiritual gifts to die out early in the Church Age. To the contrary, the Scriptures clearly teach that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today as well as for the early Church.
Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,  instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
- •• Declare the “full gospel” message of the Hebrews 6 fundamentals of our Christian faith, from which basis we “go on to maturity”:
- • Repentance
- • Faith in God
- • the doctrine of baptisms (plural — in water and in the Spirit)
- • laying on of hands
- • the resurrection of the dead
- • eternal judgment
In sum, let’s purpose to follow Paul’s apostolic example, to “fully preach the gospel” and to “declare ... all the counsel of God.” That will include (but not be limited to):
- • Repentance
• Salvation; being born again
• Water baptism
• The baptism with the Holy Spirit
• Speaking in tongues as the evidence of our Spirit baptism
• Gifts of the Spirit
• Power over demons
• The authority of the believer
• Mountain-moving faith
• Doing the mighty works Jesus did
• The Hebrews 6:1-2 foundational truths of our faith
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©2002, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.