Christian Universe ™
Simplicity Of The Gospel
August 05, 2012
The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. It is the story of Jesus as Christ, savior of the world. It encompasses His birth, teaching, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. The central theme of the teaching of Christ is love for God, and for our fellow man, whom God created. Jesus preached for people to repent, or turn their hearts and ears toward God, and to be baptized in water for the remission of sins, because the kingdom was fast approaching. It isn't rocket science and it doesn't take a genius to understand and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Simplicity Of The Gospel
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Load church of Christ on 08-05-2012
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 08-12-2012
This may come as a shock to many, but God’s expectations for us as His children are simple. The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. Obeying that gospel is simple. When it becomes complicated, that is because some man with delusions of grandeur has decided that he is smarter than God.
What is the gospel of Christ -- what does the Bible say that it is?
After stating that, Mark went on to detail the story of Jesus Christ, from His baptism, His ministry and preaching, and His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to heaven. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ! Simple!
What did Jesus preach? It was simple.
Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Mark 1:14-15 “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
The kingdom is nearby, or at hand, so repent and believe the story of the savior of the world!
Mark 16:14-16 “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
The story of Jesus as the savior of the world, and the coming of the kingdom requiring repentance, was to be preached to the entire world. Believers who were baptized would be saved. This simple message was preached, as we see with Peter at Pentecost, after he had preached.
Acts 2:37-39 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
Were there a lot of commandments issue to those who believed and were baptized? In reply to those who insisted that the entire Law of Moses must be kept by the converts, this was written:
Acts 15:28-29 “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.”
Acts 15:10 "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?"
The Law of Moses was for a disobedient Israel of the past, who refused to love God.
The obedient believers of Jesus Christ do not need a complicated set of rules by which to live.
Mark 12:29-31 “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
Two great and similar commandments are the foundation of the believer’s life. When Jesus did add other such commandments, they easily fall under the umbrella of these two.
Matthew 19:16-19 “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
All of the commandments above fall under the last, which is to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus testified that those hinge upon that commandment when He said:
Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Quite simply, upon hearing the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, you believe that gospel – good news – and move in obedience to God by repenting of your sins and being baptized. Once in the body of Christ, you love God completely and your neighbor as yourself!
The hard part is not keeping a big list of rules or following some complicated explanation that only one person understands, but is in the performing of what we know is the right thing to do in any given situation. In other words, can we do what we know that we must do?
Romans 2:13 "(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."
James 1:22-25 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
Luke 8:19-21 “Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.”
. Luke 6:45-49 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
Let us do the hard part of being a believer in Jesus Christ – let us do what He has told us to do.
John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”