Gospel: Simplicity & Power
The gospel is full. It is abundant. It is a vast message that stretches its wings so far because it has a focused and simple message.
You may examine the gospel, as we have done here, and find that there is always more to discover. In prayer and revelation you yourself may have been taken deeper than this introductory study dared to go; that is the power of the gospel, the ability to reveal Christ to man and utterly change his soul through revealing the steadfast and eternal Christ.
What we have looked at so far, the salvation, love, and commission of the gospel, are some reverberations of the gospel message.
The Gospel Message: plain & simple
I don’t want to teach in vain only to have the message stolen away, so I’m going to return and rest securely on simplicity for our final word on the Gospel from me.
There is only one gospel message; there are many effects of the gospel, many ways in which the gospel reveals Christ to us, but all in all, there is just one message. Anyone who would add to this message disarms the gospel of its simplicity and power and preaches another gospel that is not worthy of being preached.
“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:5-9
What can be simpler than this message?
God is the father of Light and in Him is no darkness; His children do not walk in the darkness, or else they become liars, but instead, they walk in Light, repenting of their sins and receiving in themselves forgiveness of their sins, purification from all sin, and instruction, which leads to true righteousness.
For my outline-oriented brethren, consider it as such:
1. God is Light & in Him is no darkness, at all.
2. Fellowship is found in those who walk in the Light, not the darkness.
3. No man is sinless, but those who repent of their sins are cleansed from their sins by the blood of Christ.
I think many are masking this message, but I want to examine it in plain light.
This message does not say that God will turn a blind eye to our darkness; He is incompatible with darkness. Any message that would teach us that God turns a blind eye and does not lead us from the darkness is not the Truth; such a message denies the power of the Gospel entirely.
The gospel exposes the sins of all men and the reality that there is only one way to be saved from the ramifications of sins.
We’re taught the way of the narrow path that must be followed to escape impending destruction. The gospel teaches men to deny ungodliness and confess their sins and turn from them. All in all, this sounds like a message that teaches us about true cleansing from all unrighteousness.
We should pay attention to that underlined phrase; the promise of Christ is to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He does not wrap us like a dead corpse in clean linen, rather, He removes the filth and decay from us and restores our original natures (…in the image of God).
For simplicity’s sake, look at he Oxford Dictionary, which defines “cleanse” as “being thoroughly cleaned” with a sub-definition of “being rid of” something and “free from” something.
Humanity is unambiguously declared guilty of sin and the clear remedy is readily made known to us as Christ; it is clearly taught that the mission of Christ was to bring liberty to the captives of sin, not just figuratively, but realistically.
At some point we were all children of darkness; born of the seeds of Adam. Therefore we are now born again of the Seed of Christ (John 3:1-16).
Like the birth process, there is a period of building and growth inside the womb, and then the painful entry into the world; followed by growing pains which will last into maturity.
We all were entangled in sin and must fight to overcome. James said, “7Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.” (James 4:7-8)
Simply stated, the gospel declares the way in which we can cleanse ourselves and submit to God.
So, what did John’s message tell us?
- 1. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
- 2. but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another,
- 3. and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
- If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
The gospel teaches us the Truth that Jesus made know to us and shows us how to walk the path that He walked.
Christ’s love leads us in obedience and submission to the Father; into freedom from sin and the cleansing of His blood from all sin and unrighteousness.
“Cease to walk in the darkness, for the time to repent is short and judgment is approaching for those who continue to walk in their sins.“
In the words of our Master, Jesus:
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
There is hope for the sinner; real hope. You can be free from the sins that destroyed your life! You have hope, if you will endure and persevere.
No one among us is sinless, yet, who among the brethren walks in Darkness?
No one and no one.
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all whom the Spirit has raised in newness of life are the Children of God.
We are made to persevere through temptations and trials; a skillful adversary opposes us, looking to devour as many as he can, therefore the salvation that has been offered to us is equally mighty.
I suggest that one not allow guilt or fear to hinder oneself from accepting the Truths here in the gospel; you can receive victory over your sin in Christ if you are willing to endure and persevere. To be reborn.