Wednesday, February 26, 2020

“The Gospel: Breathtakingly Simple”

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe….

"The Gospel: Breathtakingly Simple"
      Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ is breathtakingly simple to the sinner.

     "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand, by which also ye are saved  for I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how 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" (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

    The Apostle Paul'declaration to the Corinthians provides the most elemental Biblical affirmation of the Gospel.  Note that it says nothing about us, but rather reveals the centrality and totality of God's emphasis on the redemptive Person and work of His Son.  Who is the Lord Jesus?  What has He done to make salvation possible and actual?  This is the Gospel in its essence.  Certainly the matter involves our response of repentance and faith.  "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).  However, as we share the Lord Jesus with unbelievers, we do well to have confidence in the Spirit of God and the Word of God that as we shine the spotlight on the Savior, many will realize and respond to His ability to save and their need for salvation.

   No less than Paul was accused during his lifetime of preaching a licentious and scandalous message of "Let us do evil, that good may come" (Romans 3:8).  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  The Apostle knew that the Gospel was "the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16).  He knew that preaching grace unadulterated would lead to genuine faith in those who "with the heart… believeth unto righteousness" (Romans 10:10).  Paul believed and affirmed that salvation in the Lord Jesus provides the freest gift ever given, purchased at the highest cost ever remitted.  Thus, he did not alter his Christ-centered and saturated message, being rightly confident that the Holy Spirit would bear witness in sinful hearts of the repentance and faith required if we proclaim the Lord Jesus crucified and risen again as the heart of the Gospel.  

    Of course, Paul knew that some would "believe in vain" (I Corinthians 15:2).  Merely praying a prayer or professing faith does not mean that a genuine experience of salvation has occurred.  Again, the matter involves the heart, that deepest, innermost sanctum of our being.  Some merely believe on the surface, as it were.  Others receive the Lord Jesus in the spirit.  How can we avoid the former and assure the latter in our communication of the Gospel?  The answer is simple, and perhaps disturbing to some degree: we cannot.  "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9).  We do disservice to sinners and distortion to the Truth if we add to the work of Christ, or fail to have complete confidence in the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit as we bear witness to our Savior.  That some believe without redemptive effect is unavoidable, according to Paul.  That many "believe to the saving of the soul" is unassailable in accordance with the work of God (Hebrews 10:39). Thus, we go forth with our breathtakingly simple declaration of a Savior whose Person and work are more sublimely wonderful than human hearts can imagine.  The freest gift, at the highest cost.  This is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New…

"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
 (Isaiah 55:1)
"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
(Romans 5:18)

Weekly Memory Verse
   In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. 
(Isaiah 30:15).


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