I have noticed a common trend of late…
The Gospel… the most important and relevant message on the planet… is being presented as fluff. It is all gain and no pain… or as a like to say… it is not “manly”… it brings my “man quotient” down.
At least that is what I feel like I have been hearing. And working on not presenting myself… Ha!
Romans 10:9 lists two factors in salvation… confessing Christ as LORD of your life and believing in his death and resurrection. Simply put… Confess + Believe.
This is simple…
BUT it is NOT easy!
Yes. Continue to make the Gospel as easy to understand as possible… (i.e. It is the grace of Jesus. Crucified. Risen. Reigning.) Yeah… break it down. Make it simple to understand… because it is simple and it needs to stay that way so that we can grasp it (and yes… I know… it is VERY complex at the same time…).
The Gospel is not easy. The Gospel is not weak. The Gospel is not boring. The Gospel is not a formula. The Gospel is not old news. The Gospel is not religious. The Gospel is not about you. The Gospel is not irrelevant.
The Gospel is perfect. The Gospel is challenging. The Gospel is messy. The Gospel is Jesus… Crucified, Risen, Reigning, Coming Back. The Gospel is radical. The Gospel is power. The Gospel is awesome. The Gospel is…HARD.
I am not sure exactly why this has begun to happen… but it has… we have begun to make the Gospel easy. IT IS NOT EASY.
It is not “walk across a ‘bridge’ and then check a box.”
Maybe a different way of saying it will make it clearer… There is no “easy” in the Gospel.
There is a reason Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
And in 1 Corinthians 1:23 “but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles…”
Paul did not say that the Gospel is foolishness or folly for no reason… he did not say it was a stumbling block because it was easy to surrender…
Honestly. It is hard. Think about it… How is it that we are supposed to be saved by someone who was killed… and then we are expected to be His slaves? To give up EVERYTHING for Him? To submit ourselves to Him?
But that is the Word of God. That is the Gospel. Foolishness. Folly. And to continue the “F” paradigm… Freakin hard.
It is not some illustration where if you just recognize your sin and realize that Jesus made a way you can go to heaven. Recognition is not repentance.
It is much more than recognition. We cannot continue to limit the Gospel to grace and glorification.
Do not forget that suffering and surrender are as much a part of the Gospel as getting to go to heaven is.
Main point? The Gospel is NOT easy. Stop making it a bunch of fluffy crap. It isn’t. It is way more challenging and awesome than that.
Yes it is only by the grace of God through His free gift of Jesus Christ…
There is a cost to following Christ.
Don’t avoid it. Don’t hide it.
So. Here is a challenge. Commit to studying the Gospels for the next month. Read all four of them. Then take another month to read through the rest of the New Testament. Work on understanding the Gospel. It is the only thing worth understanding after all…
*Please note that I do think that the bridge illustration and things like that are good. I use them. However they are not complete pictures of the Gospel. I love the grace of God. That is the main point (Romans 5:8)… however we must remember that repentance and surrender are just as much the Gospel as is His grace.*