The Simple Gospel

By David J. Stewart

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.—2nd Corinthians 11:3

       The Word of God plainly teaches that Salvation is “simple.” It's amazing how those who are ignorant of the Scriptures can take such a simple matter as the Gospel and complicate it so utterly. The infamous John MacArthur even went as far to write a book entitled, HARD TO BELIEVE, in which he foolishly states:

"Submission to the will of God, to Christ’s lordship, and to the guiding of the Spirit is an essential, not an optional, part of saving faith" (EPHESIANS, p. 249).

"Salvation isn't the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it's the fruit of actions, not intentions.  There's no room for passive spectators:  words without actions are empty and futile...The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny" (Hard to Believe, p. 93).

That is a very complicated gospel my friend! To demand that a lost sinner, who knows nothing but a life of sin, to have to surrender their life to Christ in submission to live a consecrated life for God, defeats the whole purpose of Jesus' blood sacrifice. Jesus paid for our sins so we wouldn't have to. Salvation is NOT hard.

The Scriptures speak plainly that we are saved by Jesus' righteousness (Matthew 6:33; Romans 10:3-4; 2nd Corinthians 5:21); and not any self-righteousness of our own (Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5). 

Romans 4:5 beautifully states . . .

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

A man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to the person who places their faith in Jesus Christ. We are sinners and Jesus is the Savior. That is the SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST. If we acknowledge our guilt of sin for having violated God's holy Law, and place our trust upon the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive and cleanse us, then God promises us salvation . . . “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

Salvation is Not Hard

Those false prophets today—who errantly teach that sinners must forsake their sinful lifestyle, and commit to serving God with all their heart, and surrender their life to God in obedience to be saved—are teaching a perverted Gospel. The only thing that a lost sinner needs to OBEY to be saved is the Gospel itself . . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

Ray Comfort makes salvation hard, as does John MacArthur. My friend, it is not hard to believe. The reason why people won’t get saved is because they willfully choose not to come to Jesus Christ to be saved . . . “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:20). In John 5:40 Jesus said to the unbelieving crowd . . . “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Carefully notice that Jesus DIDN’T say… “Ye cannot come.” Rather, He said, "Ye will not come." Salvation is freely given and freely received by faith alone (Romans 6:23; Revelation 22:17). Salvation is not hard at all. What is hard is people’s hearts! Anyone who acknowledges their guilt of sin and wants to be eternally forgiven may, by simply believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 6:40 tells us the will of God concerning salvation . . . “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” The word “believe” is mentioned 85-times in the Gospel of John; yet the word “repent” isn't mentioned even once. This is because the sinner who has believed on Jesus Christ has repented, and the sinner who has repented has believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel is simple . . . we are sinners and Jesus is the precious Savior.

“I want to preach the gospel so plainly that men can come from the factories and not have to bring along a dictionary.” —Billy Sunday

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8

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