The Gospel + nothing = truth

Please. Just give me the gospel and nothing else. Please don’t give me theatrics, and a light show and a sermon spoken with the smooth intonations of a perfectly polished Persuasive Speech.

Just the gospel. Only Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And RISEN.

Yes, we must not forget the resurrection without which we are still in our sins, according to the Apostle Paul.

The gospel is this: Jesus died, Jesus was buried, Jesus rose again.

THAT is the truth. THAT is what we are asked to believe in. THAT is what we are asked to put our faith in. THAT is the message that we are to “hear with faith” and be saved. Saved from hell. Yes, hell. Because you were given a choice.

Eternal life? Or eternal death? Your choice.

So, if you’re not into church with all of its exhibitionism, well then, not to worry. God didn’t ask you to put your faith in church. He’s asked you to trust in the gospel. The gospel plus nothing.

The gospel is a solution to a problem. The problem is spelled out in Genesis chapter 3 where we learn that Adam and Eve died spiritually. They were given a choice. And when they ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were deciding to reject God and His indwelling Spirit and to instead believe the words of Satan. God responded with mercy and, right then and there, He promised to send a man who would “crush the head of Satan.”

The Promised Messiah came. He was called Jesus. He was God in the flesh. He came to die to forgive all sin, and then He was buried for three days and three nights, and then he ROSE from the dead to offer His Holy Spirit. . . . THAT is the good news – the gospel!

It is good news because humanity needs the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives life, and we need to be made spiritually alive. We are all born “in Adam.” Dead in our sins. But Jesus came to save us, to offer good news, glad tidings, “the gospel,” through His death, burial and resurrection.

The gospel is good news. And is it not good of God (more good news!) that the only thing He requires of is to believe in the gospel?

. . . Cause the religious stuff is getting really irritating, don’t you think!?

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I have many other blog posts on the topic of “the gospel.” If you are interested, there is:

Jesus is the Resurrection.

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Jesus said that He wants us to have life, and to have it more abundantly.  He also said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  And, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

So, if you want more “life” in your life, then it makes perfect sense to turn to the One who IS life.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

Our job as Christians is to trust Him, the life-giver.  And as you trust Him, you will grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  And that makes for a glorious, abundant life!!!

As you grow to know Him and His love for you, and perhaps more importantly, His acceptance of you, you will begin to understand what Jesus meant when He said:  “I came so that they might have life.”

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)

There is no real life apart from the Lord.  Everything else is just a false substitute for life.

John 5:26 also talks about this “real life.”

“For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself.”

Life begins by responding to Him in faith, and by believing in what He has already done for you: Jesus Christ died, was buried and then He rose again.  When you believe in the gospel you receive spiritual life.  The life that you receive is Him, His Spirit.

Real life begins there… and it never ends.  Believers have been given an eternal life.  As we walk in the Spirit, we are trusting Him.  We trust Him today, tomorrow and we will trust Him for all of eternity.

Let’s continue trusting Him every day and in every circumstance.

And hey, Happy Easter.

Written April 10, 2020

What is the unpardonable sin?

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What is the unpardonable sin?  What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?  I believe it is the sin of unbelief.

The writer of the book of Hebrews explains that there are two ways to commit the sin of unbelief.  The first way is to reject the mercy of the living God. The second way is for a believer to reject the promise of rest.

Writing to his Hebrew brothers and sisters, the anonymous author pleads with them to believe in Jesus as their Messiah.

“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12

The author illustrates this with the story of the Hebrews who refused to enter the Promised Land.  Their sin of unbelief prevented them from entering into the land of Israel, and instead they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.

 “So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19

God promised them the land of Israel, and they did not believe that He could deliver on His promise.  That’s a hefty sin!  The author of Hebrews explains that their unbelief was an act of disobedience.

 “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?  So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” Hebrews 3:18-19

The unbelief of the Israelites was a foreshadowing, and the reality is the sin of rejecting the gospel.  To reject the free gift of salvation that is being offered to you today is essentially to tell God, “I don’t believe you.  You are not trustworthy.”  Again, a very hefty sin. 

We need to believe in the gospel and be saved because we all have sin and we all are spiritually dead (whether Jew or Gentile).  Believing in the gospel message allows us to enter the true promised rest. We rest from our works of self-righteousness, and we trust that God has done all of the work Himself.

And that is where the second “sin of unbelief” comes in.  In chapter four, the author of Hebrews switches his audience and begins to talk to believers.  Hebrews 4 is often titled, “The Believer’s Rest.”

“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any of you may seem to have come short of it.”  Hebrews 4:1

As a born-again believer, if we fail to enter His rest, we have failed to believe in the complete forgiveness of sins.  In other words, we are still trying to do work that will make us holy and righteous and good.

Hebrews chapter four explains this in detail.

“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:10-11

The land of Israel was a land of rest because all of the homes were already built, the vineyards were planted, the roads were cleared and the wells were dug.  The land of the New Covenant is a land of rest for us today because all of the work has already been done.  Obedience has been accomplished:  God Himself came to earth and obeyed the Law of Moses.  Forgiveness has been given:  God died on our behalf, so the debt has been paid in full.   Salvation is being offered:  He redeemed and justified us through His complete forgiveness of sins, and He now offers the gift of life — His Holy Spirit — through His work of resurrecting from the dead.

The great Bob George used to emphasize that the gospel is defined in 1 Corinthians 15, and that it is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We can add nothing to the gospel, and if we do we will be led astray into false doctrines.

If you are an unbeliever, we plead with you to believe in the gospel.

If you are a believer, we plead with you to give up trying to “work for God,” trying to “serve God,” and simply to REST.

We must believe completely that the only thing we can trust in today, tomorrow and next week is his death, burial and resurrection.

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Click here for an excellent verse-by-verse Bible Study on the book of Hebrews.  Aaron Budjen, a Hebrew himself, has made all of his messages available for free at his website, http://www.LivingGodMinistries.net

 

June 6, 2018  11:11 AM