The Simple Gospel Message

The ‘gospel’ literally means the ‘good news’. If you Google ‘what is the gospel’ you will get numerous descriptions, many written by highly educated theologians. But the Bible tells me that it is simple, not complex:

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (II Corinthians 11:3 NKJV)

I am also a simple person who likes to keep things simple. Since I believe that the Bible is God’s only inspired written Word, I must start there to find what it means to receive the simple gospel message:

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. (I Corinthians 15:1-4, 28 NKJV)

From 1 Corinthians 15 above, where it describes the gospel, I learn two things I must do in response to receiving the simple gospel message:

(1) I must hand my sins over to Jesus (Referred to as SALVATION where I repent & accept Jesus as my Savior)

(2) I must become subject to Jesus (Referred to as LORDSHIP where I accept Jesus as The Lord over my life)

Because the Bible reminds me that I must rightly divide Scripture (2 Timothy 2:15), I need to verify these two responses that are required of me when I receive the simple gospel message:

  • If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:8, 9 NKJV)
  • If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
  • That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11)

Response to the gospel message is not a way to get people to heaven, but it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to experience an everlasting joy in God. If an individual doesn’t want God above all things, then that individual has not been converted by the gospel.

How does this conversion take place? It comes down to acting in faith. It’s about allowing Jesus to be your savior by repenting and turning from your sins. Its about allowing Jesus to take control of your life by simply stepping aside and becoming second to Jesus. It takes place in the inner most depths of your being, or heart, then manifests itself through your mouth in a simple prayer of confession and yielding. God will then take you and turn you into a new creation:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

Even your mind will be renewed:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)

Our God is not a God of confusion. There is no other way. Jesus is the only way. No other religion or means exists:

Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead…there is no salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10, 12 NKJV)

Because there is no other way, Paul was extremely adamant in protecting the simplicity of the gospel:

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8, 9 NKJV)

One thing for sure is that when an individual has a true encounter with Jesus and conversion takes place, their life will never be the same. Saul already knew the fundamentals of the early Christians and tried to destroy them until Jesus confronted him. Not only was there a drastic turn around, but he was known as Paul from then on. Notice the key was when Saul acknowledged Jesus as Lord when he said, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”:

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:1-6 NKJV)

The result of conversion can be compared to the transformation of coal into a diamond. Jesus now dwells in the Christian’s heart:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Ephesians 3:17a NKJV)

It is now the beginning of a new life in Jesus Christ where the individual must grow day by day allowing Jesus to chisel away so they do not stay a rough diamond, but become the brilliant diamond they were meant to be:

    • Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (II Peter 3:18a NKJV)
    • Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (II Corinthians 4:16b NKJV)

As the individual begins this spiritual journey, their walk will be more and more visible. Faith and works will go hand in hand:

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:14, 26 NKJV)

The individual will still sin from time to time as long as they live on this earth, but will no longer live a life of sin:

    • Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (I John 3:6, 9 NKJV)
    • My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (I John 2:1 NKJV)
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About annointing

Defender of the Christian Faith
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