True, complete & simple

The Gospel, this ultimate story of good news, can be described in many ways. Today we speak of its true, complete and simple nature.

The Gospel, this ultimate story of good news, can be described in many ways. Today we speak of its true, complete and simple nature.

The true Gospel saves, “completely those who come to God through Him.” Hebrews 7:25

He is able to save us completely, forever, and to the uttermost. Not primarily for our benefit, but for His glory.

This sacrifice of, “His physical body through His death,” on our behalf, is able to deliver us from death, and to present us, “holy, faultless, and blameless before Him.” Colossians 1:22

It will not improve the comforts or increase the ease of our life. The true Gospel cares very little about these earthy pursuits, for this is an eternal God whom we serve.

The true Gospel may cause conflict, tearing apart our closest relationships. In following this Gospel we may experience sickness, trauma, sorrow, loss - for this Gospel does not save us from those things. The true Gospel saves us from ourselves for Himself.

At these words, we must then reckon with ourselves, count the cost. Is He worth it? If so, let us reckon ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. For this is the true Gospel. (Romans 6:11)

And as much as this Gospel is both true and complete, it is also simple.

It is a simple Gospel that demands simple treatment, needing no elaborate presentation or, “persuasive words of human wisdom.” 1 Corinthians 2:4

Relying not on our excellence, our persuasion, nor our many words, but on a “demonstration of the Spirit and power.”

  • Many words, much activity, no power - “And they called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon…but there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar…they cried aloud, and cut themselves…until blood gushed out on them…they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.”

  • Few words, little activity, great power - “Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come near to me.’ So all the people came near to him…And it came to pass…that Elijah the prophet came near and said, ‘Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.’ Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!’” 1 Kings 18:26-39

Elijah spoke simply, plainly, without much commotion, and, “the fire of the Lord fell.” Not just this one time, but again, and then a third time as well, as recorded in 2 Kings chapter 1 verses 10 and 12, “‘If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.’ And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.”

Preaching the simple Gospel can sound daunting. Without words which impress intellectually, how can we expect the message to penetrate to the depths that lie beyond the mind of our hearers - all the way to the heart and the soul?

It’s intimidating to think of putting down the mental ascension because in this putting down we leave ourselves quite exposed. Without the Spirit moving behind our “simple” words, they will come off as elementary and unremarkable.

No different than a young warrior entering the battlefield without the defense of traditional armor. This is truly a vulnerable place to find ourselves.

Clever words of human wisdom will always feel safer to our mortal bodies. But soul-dividing, fire-consuming power can only appear when we come in simple truth - Christ and Him crucified! The everlasting blood and perfect sacrifice of Jesus! Reconciliation with God as we turn from sin and repent! There is hope for all!

  • No one is too unclean (Mark 1:40-41)

  • No one is too far gone (Mark 5:1-15)

  • No one too enslaved (Exodus 14)

It requires no mental ascension on our part, for God has brought Himself down to where we are, “‘and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” Matthew 1:23

Neither does it call for an elevation of ourselves, rather this simple Gospel relies on a complete dependence in the grace of God, lest anyone should boast in their saving, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Throw yourself at His feet and beg for mercy. Confess your sins and wait for the assurance of salvation, the relief from your torment. Wait for the blood of Jesus to have its perfect and complete effect and for the Holy Spirit to fill you.

Then shall the Comforter bring His comfort. A peace unexplainable, an assurance unshakeable, a joy unending - freedom from your sins and from the path of destruction you were once on. You were bound for never-ending torment, yet now the wrath of God is satisfied on your behalf, by the love of God which made a way when there was no other way.

And this is the gloriously true, complete, and simple Gospel - deserved punishment swallowed up and replaced by undeserved love and mercy. Oh, such a debt we owe Him, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Love so amazing, so divine. Demands my soul, my life, my all!”

Oh, what a true, complete and simple Gospel. Oh, what a God we serve!

In love,

Derek