Sunday, May 24, 2009
The Simplicity of the Gospel
I Corinthians 2:
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
It amazes me how many who have identified themselves as Christians have taken the simplicity of the Gospel and have attempted to make it complicated.
Some have added a system of works, some have added clever marketing schemes and "hooks" so they can "fish" for souls, some have discounted the sufficiency of the death of Christ and the veracity of the resurrection and others have added a mystical glaze. The Gospel of Christ needs no embellishment. The Gospel message is simple.
I Corinthians 15: 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Romans 10: 9 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. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
There are only two belief systems in existence: 1. The belief that human effort in any form can earn salvation. 2. The belief than man is sinful and needs a Savior. That our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). That Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice to pay the ultimate price for our salvation that none of us truly deserve. That Jesus rose for the dead for our justification and is alive forevermore. That only through faith in Jesus Christ can we be saved from God's judgement and have eternal life. Two choices. Which one will you choose?
In the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
"God be thanked for the simplicity of the gospel. The longer I live, the more I bless God that we have not received a classical gospel, nor a mathematical gospel, nor a metaphysical gospel; it is not a gospel confined to scholars and men of genius, but a poor man's gospel, a ploughman's gospel; for that is the kind of gospel which we can live upon and die upon. It is to us not the luxury of refinement, but the staple food of life. We want no fine words when the heart is heavy, neither do we need deep problems when we are lying upon the verge of eternity, weak in body and tempted in mind. At such times we magnify the blessed simplicity of the gospel. Jesus in the flesh made manifest becomes our soul's bread. Jesus bleeding on the cross, a substitute for sinners, is our soul's drink. This is the gospel for babes, and strong men want no more."