The Simplicity of the Gospel

A few moments ago, I had the priv­i­lege to lis­ten to the tes­ti­mo­ny of a good friend of mine, Shawn McGrath from Monc­ton, NB, Cana­da. The twen­ty minute talk told of his life before he had a rela­tion­ship with the Son and how he came about to have a rela­tion­ship with Him. And though I’ve heard it count­less times before, I espe­cial­ly liked how he end­ed the message:

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

What a won­der­ful thing that is! What a glo­ri­ous­ly sim­ple sal­va­tion! While it is pos­si­ble to talk at length about the true gospel, dis­cuss end­less­ly the fin­er points of Armini­an­ism vs. Calvin­ism, and more, the elder Apos­tle John under inspi­ra­tion of God elo­quent­ly sums up the gospel in a man­ner even a young child can under­stand in 1 John 5:12. “And this is the testimony:”

That God has giv­en us eter­nal life, and this life is in His Son. HE THAT HAS THE SON HAS LIFE; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Think about that for just a moment. You don’t have to be bap­tized in water. You don’t have to con­fess your sins to a priest. You don’t have to sell all your pos­ses­sions. You don’t have to join a church. You sim­ply must have the Son.

In the next verse, John says he is writ­ing to those who believe on Jesus Christ to show them that they have every rea­son to be assured of their sal­va­tion, which they have through faith (or, their belief).

This brings us to one of the most often used vers­es in all of the Bible, Eph­esians 2:8.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of your­selves; it is the gift of God.

That grace is that of Jesus Christ alone, and the faith is our belief in Him. Our sal­va­tion is a gift.

Notice how many one-syl­la­ble words are used in these vers­es. God want­ed to make it easy to under­stand, so while there may be a lot in the Bible that is dif­fi­cult for some to under­stand, He took the most impor­tant mes­sages we could ever hear and gave them to us in a form any­one can get. Even you.

If you are any­thing at all like me, you have fall­en short of God’s glo­ry. Like me, you have told lies, com­mit­ted some form of sex­u­al immoral­i­ty (includ­ing lust), dis­obeyed your par­ents, and desired that which is not yours. And while these activ­i­ties may be com­mon to human expe­ri­ence, they are called “sins,” which sim­ply refers to an action which breaks God’s Law.

The “gift of God” men­tioned above is free­dom from the guilt of sin. When we believe in Jesus Christ, God counts the right­eous­ness of Christ to our account. Jesus lived a per­fect life, you see, and He died so that His per­fec­tion could be a sub­sti­tute for our imper­fec­tion, so that His blood would for­ev­er pay the price for our wrongdoings.

And He beck­ons every­one to sim­ply come unto Him in belief. The Scrip­tures describe it as “putting on Christ,” much like one would put on a para­chute. In oth­er words, it is not enough to know a para­chute can save you when you jump from a plane; one must believe in the para­chute and to express that belief by putting on the thing. So it is with Christ. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ by trust­ing in Him and con­fess­ing your sin­ful­ness and your belief to God in Heaven.

You don’t have to pray a cer­tain prayer, just talk to Him in sin­cer­i­ty, as you would your most trust­ed friend.

And nev­er let it depart from your mind that if you have the Son, you have life, and that if you do not have the Son of God, you do not have life.


1 thought on “The Simplicity of the Gospel”

  1. Great post! I know that many times I can unnec­es­sar­i­ly com­pli­cate the gospel. We real­ly do need to remem­ber exact­ly what you said in this post, “You sim­ply must have the Son.”

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Rick Beckman