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The Transformative Power, Profundity and Promise of the Simple Gospel, part 1

The Transformative Power, Profundity and Promise of the Simple Gospel

Part 1

The Simplicity of the Gospel

“…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a radical, life-altering, transformative message of hope. This message provides the wanderer with the soul-satisfying sufficiency that he did not know was absent from his life. The message of the Gospel grants the spiritually dead, life eternal. This Gospel message affords the spiritually depraved, richness beyond all comprehension. The message of the Gospel takes a dead plant which is found in a dry desert and transplants this tree into a green, moist oasis. This tree is ready and now willing to soak up the streams of water, which it resides beside, in order to yield fruit.

     The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is profound by nature because of its power. It is the only message which can save a lost soul. It is the only hope that we have in this life. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a demonstration of the Power of God unto salvation to anyone who believes (Romans 1:16). And yet, this powerful, profound, transformative message is simplistic at its very core.

     Because of its incomparable capacity to justify the ungodly, we often forget that this word euangelion (Gk for “The Gospel”) is straightforward and transparent. The theme of the entirety of the Bible is as follows: God is Holy, man is sinful, man needs a Savior, God provides that Savior, man must repent and trust in God, God’s plan of redemption cannot be thwarted. Over and over we see this illustrated and taught for us. Throughout all of human history, God continues to redeem His people from their sin. And the Holiness of God prevails in the life of believers, who are eternally secured by the promised Holy Spirit. At its core, this is a simplistic message. Powerful. Life-changing. Transformative. Yet, simple.

     In Romans 10:9, the Apostle Paul pens this uncomplicated directive in terms which cannot be mistaken. He writes:

“…if you confess with you mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

     This is not difficult to understand. It is straightforward. It is written in such a way that, with child-like faith, one can understand, profess and believe in the Gospel. This reality in itself is the beauty of this powerful message. It, indeed, is a simplistic message.

     Written in a dependent clause form, we can understand that there is a needed statement, which becomes our assurance, to complete the thought (or the message). “…IF” this, then this. The reason that the Apostle Paul has boiled the Gospel message down to this simplistic sentence is because of what he was disproving in the context of the letter (Romans 10:5-7). Just before this sentence is Paul's explanation to the Romans that salvation is not some psychosomatic enlightenment or epiphany that happens in the mind. This specific incident was dealing with the highly educated Romans who believed that they could understand their way into salvation by their knowledge. Whether this was done through supernatural means, illusion or some sort of witchcraft, there was this idea of enlightenment that was needed in order to secure a relationship with God. There was this idea that in order to obtain salvation, not only was it works-based (Jewish Law), but there was needed a universal exploration (whether in the physical or the spiritual realm) in order to have the insight needed for salvation.

     But the Apostle Paul says, “The Word is near you.” What Paul is basically saying to these people is this: You can understand the simplicity of the Gospel because many of you witnessed Jesus Himself. But most importantly, each of you knows the Word of God. The message of hope can be found in the Law of God that you have memorized and know by heart. “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.”

     In stating this relieving fact, it is intended for his audience to understand that there is not a supernatural occurrence which must proceed an enlightenment, nor is there a list of works or accomplishments that one must do in order to obtain salvation. Instead, the message of the Gospel is simple. It is this: Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. If you will do this, then the guarantee is that “you will be saved.”

     Although this is a simple statement that the Apostle Paul brings to the table, there is an abundance of understanding that we must comprehend in order to “confess” and “believe.” We will deal with The Profundity of the Gospel in the next article. But for now, understand the simplicity of the Gospel message. For further clarification of the Gospel, please see the explanation below:

God is Holy.
Psalm 99 declares that "The Lord our God is Holy! ... Holy is He!" Isaiah 6 helps us to understand that we are to see the Lord our God as "seated on His throne" and "high and lifted up."  

The Gospel of Jesus Christ must begin by understanding that God is Holy, Perfect, Pure and Righteous. And there is an infinite chasm between the Holiness of God and the sinfulness of man.

Man is Sinful.
Ephesians 2:1-3 explains that we are born "dead in our trespasses and sins." This sin causes us to be separated from God. The One, True, Holy God cannot have a relationship with us, when we are in sin. And there is nothing that we can do to work our way out of our sinful state.

Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God." Romans 3:10 explains, "There is none righteous, no not one." And Romans 6:23 concludes that "the wages of sin is death." You see, because of our sin, the just and right punishment is that of eternal damnation.

Jesus Christ is our Savior.
Praise God because He sent His One and Only Son to die this death that we deserved (John 3:16). Romans 5:6 explains, "For while we were still weak (meaning, "dead in our trespasses and sins"), at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." It continues to verse 8 to say, "but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  

Jesus Christ came to this earth, was born of a virgin (so as to not be born dead in His trespasses and sins), lived a perfect life and died the perfect death. His perfect sacrifice for our sins was the definite atonement, which made it possible for our sins to be forgiven. It was Jesus Christ alone that could be the spotless lamb to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

We can find Hope in Christ Alone.
You see, we praise God because Jesus did not stay dead. Three days after He was buried, He rose from the grave, proving that He was truly the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He then ascended to His Father and is seated at the right hand of the Throne of God. The wrath of God was satisfied with the death of Jesus. On the cross, all of the sins of His children were imputed to Him, and the wrath of God was poured out on that sin. At the same time, the righteousness of Christ was imputed to His children, and we are covered by His righteousness.  

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes (Romans 1:16). This means that because of the sacrifice and the resurrection of Christ, we can now have a relationship with God. This is available through Faith alone in Christ alone only because of God's Grace alone. It is by God's Grace that we are "made alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:4)" through Faith.  You can repent of your sins and God is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins and will cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). You can be made pure -- "white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18).
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