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 gonna crush your head, Satan. . . Jesus, not Moses.

In Genesis 3:15, God spoke the first prophesy of the Messiah when He told the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

This prophesy reveals God’s plan to redeem and save mankind through the coming of “the seed of a woman.” A person powerful and perfect enough to crush the head of Satan. Of course that man has since come; He was born in Bethlehem, and His name was Jesus.

The solution to the problem was NOT the giving of the Law to Moses. Jesus is the Messiah, not Moses. God did NOT say that the head of Satan would be crushed by a life of obedience to the 613 laws given to Moses and the children of Israel.

And yet the Christian world is obsessed with obedience to what is good and repentance from what is evil. . . . Okay. I get that. It is totally understandable — especially since God Himself ‘gave’ the Law to Moses, but that is a different topic covered in different blog posts.

I just think it is really interesting that despite the clear prophesy of Genesis 3:15 telling us that JESUS is the Savior, many of us get sucked into legalism, nonetheless. We essentially make Moses the Savior, believing that obedience to the Law will restore us to perfection. Silly, huh? The majority of Christians are looking to themselves and to their “commitment” and their “works” to attain perfection.

I really want to emphasize the point that God did not prophesy the giving of the LAW of Moses in Genesis 3:15. He did not say that the head of Satan would be crushed once humanity was finally given the perfect definition of good and evil. In fact, if we stop and think about it, perhaps it could be argued that the giving of the law and commandments was an afterthought. . . . You know? As if God gave the 613 commandments to Moses because we are so enamored with ourselves and our own self effort.

Jesus the Messiah is the fulfillment of the prophesy of Genesis 3:15. It was He who solved the problem created by Adam and Eve; it was Jesus whose death, burial and resurrection solved the problem once and for all. The solution was found in the restoration of the Holy Spirit to dwell within men and women. “Restoration” as in “restored” because the actual Spirit of God had dwelt within Adam and Eve when God “breathed life” into them. God’s Spirit had departed from Adam and Even when they rejected God and chose to believe the lie of the serpent, a.k.a., Satan.

Genesis 3:15 predicts the death of Jesus by saying that His heel will be bruised. Having your heel bruised is not really a big deal compared with having your head crushed. Though Satan was able to “strike the heel” of Jesus through His death, essentially, the head of Satan was crushed when Jesus rose from the dead, a momentous event that solved both problems that occurred in the Garden of Eden: sin and death. It is by putting our trust in this accomplishment — the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ — that a person can be saved from hell and reconciled to their God by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The gospel message — the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah — has the power to redeem and save humanity. When we hear the gospel and respond with faith, God comes to live inside of us again. Just as Adam and Eve were indwelt by God; we are restored.

Have you believed in the gospel? If not, you still have the opportunity to have the Spirit of God dwelling inside of you.

Trusting in the message of good news is what saves you. The solution to the problem (created in Genesis 3) is not obedience to the Law, obedience to a list of commandments. That is NOT the solution that God promised to Adam and Eve. He promised JESUS. Not Moses.

Written November 28, 2021

Jesus Christ IS the TRUTH.

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“I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father.” (John 14:6, CEV)

Jesus is “the truth,” and we can grow in our knowledge of the truth by growing to know the Lord Jesus.

This life of faith begins when God calls us.  When we were lost and dead in our sins, He called out to us and revealed to us the gospel. (Romans 5:10). If we respond to the gospel message with faith, if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, then we can begin this brand-new life where God leads us “from faith to faith.” (Romans 1:17)

And like the Israelites who were set free from slavery only to wander around in circles in the wilderness for years and years, we too will have our years of wandering in the wilderness. For me, it was 15 years of being deluded by lies and false teaching, wandering in circles, passing my days as if I were stuck in a cage.

As Bob George used to say, “Truth sets you free. Error binds you.”

This captivity is alluded to in Isaiah 14, when Isaiah prophesied about Satan’s future by saying:

Those who see you will stare; they will ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made the kingdoms tremble, who turned the world into a desert and destroyed its cities, who refused to let the captives return to their homes?” (Isaiah 14:16-17, BSB)

He refused to let the captives return home!  Satan is the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. He uses lies and falsehood to destroy us, to turn Christians into captives. And he refuses to let his captives return home.

But JESUS the MESSIAH is the mighty warrior who sets us free from our cages!  Who fights on our behalf using the TRUTH to set us free.  In other words, HE sets us free because He IS THE TRUTH.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32, KJV)

After 15 years of being a captive, Jesus, the truth, set me free by leading me to discover my complete forgiveness (thank you, Bob George & Classic Christianity), and soon afterwards had me learning how to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (thank you, Aaron Budjen). We are forgiven people, and understanding this will totally transform your Christian life.

Since being set free, I have drawn close to Jesus; I have grown to know His peace and His rest . . . Even in the midst of life’s pains and problems — His peace which passes understanding remains with me.

I want others to know this joy that exists in the midst of suffering.  This new life of freedom is so exciting!  And it’s so real and true, that to me, it’s comparable to a Near Death Experience.  It has been that life-changing for me.  Just complete night and day.

So, my life today is about the freedom He’s given me.  It’s not a freedom to sin, but a freedom to grow to know Him and His love for me.  A freedom to receive all spiritual blessings, and to grow every day in the knowledge of His will:  His glorious ‘last will and testament.’  It is a freedom to relax in the Promised Land of REST, freely enjoying His wonders, His beauty, His grace and His peace.  Nothing can separate me from the love of God! And nothing can remove me from this land of peace.

Meanwhile, it hurts when I see my brothers and sisters living in cages.   I write this blog today while somewhat heavy in heart; a good friend and sister in the Lord is being lured into a cage through the false doctrine of dispensationalism:  the teaching that paints God as a schizophrenic madman who is mercurial and inconsistent.  A God that is impossible to know. . .  But I must let her go and let her stumble and learn; my friend is on her own journey of faith.

I can’t change anyone’s mind, but what I can do is write these words today and declare that there is a strong and mighty Lion who is fighting for us – the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  He is fighting to set the captive free.  He is the truth who can set you free.

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

March 9, 2019  3:41 PM