The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 123

“By this gospel you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain” [1Corinthians 15:2].

We live in a world burdened with information overload and the worshipful reliance upon expert opinions and scientific analysis. However, as believers we must not be influenced by this mindset but rely on the utter simplicity of the gospel. You see, the ‘good news’ does not require any explanation or analysis - only acceptance! In fact, its sheer simplicity makes any attempt to rationalize it result in confusion. We may be thinkers, but we are not omniscient!

So what is this simplicity? It is this: firstly, that Christ died for our sins. secondly, that he was buried and thirdly, that he rose again from the dead, Keep in mind that all three were in accordance with what had been foretold in scripture (verses 3 & 4)). Paul describes this fundamental belief as of first importance (meaning necessary, primary, that upon which everything else rests). The reason is that it touches our existence in eternity.

Paul says that it is by this gospel that one is saved. However, he also attaches a condition to it. That condition is ‘believes to the end’. Put another way, we are not to abandon that simple belief as long as we live as mortals on this earth. Notice that there is no other condition attached than to hold firmly to the belief in Christ’s completed work on the believer’s behalf. The gospel is accepted or rejected on this 'no frills' basis! It is God’s simplest yet most powerful demonstration of grace. The apostle John says “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

Now get ready for the punch line, Christian: anything that adds to or takes away from this fundamental belief is a false gospel. (Your eyes are not playing tricks; you did read the words ‘false gospel’). In seeking knowledge of God, make this your unalterable standard. Then you will not fall victim to the twin errors of ‘superior knowledge’ and ‘legalism’ that have pervaded the centuries.

Communicators are familiar with the acronym ‘K.I.S.S’ (keep it simple, stupid). Our God, in his great wisdom, has communicated the message of the gospel in the simplest possible terms – ‘he died for our sins, he was buried, he rose again’. Our inability to communicate this simple message is because we wrestle with it intellectually. We then find ourselves trying to explain something so profound that it defies all human wisdom. To add to this, there is the latent desire to contribute to our salvation in some way. Perish the thought! Just accept (that is, believe). Now tell others this.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues