Revealing the simplicity that’s in Christ

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"The simple gospel"

Look at this amazing verse from Paul in Eph 4:15 about how we are to grow up into Christ — “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ”. Notice the words again that Paul uses in this verse of how we are to grow up into Christ, “speaking THE TRUTH IN LOVE”. For one to SPEAK the truth in love, he must KNOW the truth in love. Because it’s not just one speaking TRUTH and it’s not just one speaking LOVE, because both, truth and love, can be taken out of its context, if one doesn’t know the truth in love. Let me explain what I’m talking about. It reads, “speaking the truth in love”it’s speaking the truth that’s inspired, motivated and revealed by love! And we know that God is this love that Paul’s talking about and that’s seen in Christ. So it’s the truth that is clearly seen and revealed in the Redemptive work of Christ (Here are some great verses of this reality of God’s unconditional love - John 3:16; Rom 5:8; 1 John 3:16!)

*** This phrase — “the truth in love” — s important for us to grasp, because only it’s this kind of truth that flows from God’s unconditional love that’s revealed in Christ that causes one to grow up in all things into Christ. ***

See, we live in a world that contains an infinite number of truths, opinions and beliefs that people come up with from the Bible, but it’s only the truth that’s revealed in love, that will be beneficial to one’s spiritual growth in Christ. To the believer, “the truth in love” is what we are to know, speak and grow up in — it should become to us like the principles of mathematics. What do I mean by that? As you know, mathematics is a proven standard that works every time and also, it’s the same all over the world. For instance, one cannot add to the rules of mathematics to make 1 plus 1 to equal 3 (mathematics is a perfect standard for figuring things out most things in this life — its formulas can’t be improved upon). So here’s what I want you to see, “the truth in love” is God’s set standard for the Body of Christ and our individual maturity in Christ, because it’s the standard that promotes our faith in His grace. In all honesty, most of what is believed in and taught in our churches comes from CULTURE and TRADITION, instead of CHRIST and His TRUTH, see Col 2:8!

an extremely important question

A while back I posted a question on Facebook and asked, “How do you know that what you believe is the truth?”  I received all kinds of great responses to that great question and I appreciate everyone who got involved. This question is extremely important to ask yourself and to answer, because organized churches in this world have over 37,000 denominations. Just think about that for a moment. There are a little over 31,000 verses in the KJV Bible. That means that there’s more denominations in the world than verses in the Bible — YIKES! So if we are believing an inaccurate truth — a truth that may be in the Bible, but it’s not revealed in or by love that’s in Christ — then one’s spiritual growth will be hampered, if not stifled, because he’ll be moving in the wrong direction.

So in this lesson this week, I want to help you answer that important question correctly, “How do you know that what you believe is the truth?”. So let’s investigate Paul’s phrase, “the truth in love” and see what it really is, so we can grow up into Christ in every way.

“the truth” made simple

Let’s look at another thing that Paul said in 2 Cor 11:3-4 — “(3) But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (4) For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” Paul wrote this second letter to the Corinthian church not to long after the Church was born in Acts 2. Why do I mention this? Because of the first 3 words of v.3 that Paul used, “But I fear”. If you fear for somebody, you are very concerned about them, because you think that they might be in danger. Paul had this strong concern for them, because of what the enemy could do to these believers, if they weren’t firmly standing in the simplicity that’s in Christ. Think about this for a moment. There’s one important aspect about the word SIMPLICITY that I want you to see and that is that it’s information isn’t difficult or complicated to understand. So what information is not complicated to understand? Everything that’s IN CHRIST! The words IN CHRIST covers the scope of His Redemptive work FOR you and has wrought INSIDE you.

*** Believe it or not, this Redemptive information is as simple as it gets, because it comes from the revelation of Jesus Christ! ***

This is why he went on in the next verse, v.4, and told us plainly what information is hard to understand:

1) “ANOTHER JESUS” that Paul didn’t preach. Preaching that tells you that Jesus didn’t do enough for your total deliverance — you still have to do something to complete it.

2) or “A DIFFERENT SPIRIT” that they didn’t received. This spirit is love that eliminates competition in the Body — for it says, “I’m no better than you”.

3) or “A DIFFERENT GOSPEL” which they didn’t accept from Paul (This will be further detailed in this lesson).

If you boil these 3 categories down — another Jesus, a different spirit and a different gospel — you get “the truth in love”!

*** The truth in love is the simplicity that’s in Christ. This is the simple gospel! ***

Every bit of information (or truth) that outside of the scope of the simple gospel is hard and complicated to understand (This is the main reason why sincere believers, who sense the call of God into the ministry, believe that they have to further their education). So what is the simple gospel?

the power of the simple gospel

Look at this other amazing portion of scripture that Paul said in Rom 16:25-26 — “(25) Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began (26) but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith”. Look at that powerful phrase again, “establish you according to my gospel”, with his added description of what it is, “and the preaching of Jesus Christ”!

*** The only truth that believers need to know to grow up into Christ in every way and be established in Him is contained in the simple gospel that Paul preached. ***

So how do we know what the simple gospel is that Paul preached? Jesus is all one needs to know the simple gospel that Paul preached! And as an added bonus to this, God has provided the New Testament letters, so that we can investigate and find out what the simple gospel is. Here’s are the main descriptions given to the gospel from the New Testament:

“the gospel of the grace of God”, Acts 20:24  

“the gospel of God”, Rom 1:1  

“the gospel of Christ”, Rom 1:16  

“the gospel of peace”, Eph 6:15.

And it’s to no surprise that Paul used the term “gospel” more than anyone, because that’s what he knew and that’s what he preached, read 2 Tim 1:12 and rejoice!

*** The gospel is simple, because it’s the good news of Jesus Christ and the Redemptive work that He’s done for you and has wrought inside you! ***

the gospel in 10 words

I’m going to show you the gospel in 10 simple words, starting with 1 word, then going to 2 words, etc, all the way up to 10 words. In this, you’ll start to really see the simplicity that’s in Christ.

The gospel in one word: Perfect! You cannot improve upon perfection and Jesus offered up the perfect sacrifice that took away the sin of the world, see John 1:29! There’s no other name by which one is saved, Acts 4:12. Jesus saves sinners and keeps Christians! Whatever your need, the answer is Jesus’ perfect sacrifice! Are you struggling with sin? Jesus is your victory over it! Are you suffering with illness? Jesus is your healing of it! Are you bound up with poverty? Jesus is your provision from it!

I could give you another “one word” for the gospel: Finished! God’s work for your Redemption is finished.

Here’s another “one word” for the gospel: Complete! Through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and God’s finished work for your Redemption, you are complete in Christ!

The gospel in two words: Christ alone! The operative word here is “ALONE”! If we must add one thing to the simple gospel, it’s not THE gospel, it’s some other kind of “gospel”! It’s Christ alone that saves and keeps! He doesn’t need men's help at all — just his belief in His grace!

The gospel in three words: None, but Jesus! Are you starting to see the idea here in the simple gospel? Jesus did it all for you and you are complete in Him! Now you stand before God the Father, as holy and righteous as Jesus is! For in Christ, you stand as though sin never existed! Now that’s good news!

The gospel in four words: “Mercy triumphs over judgment”! Look at this glorious explanation by James — “For (being under the law) judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. (But being under grace) Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Just ask a convicted murderer about the mercy that he received from the Court — there wasn’t any (and rightly so, according to the law). But in Christ, where does our mercy come from? Paul said — “But God, who is rich in mercy” — our God doesn’t just have mercy for you, as to have to plead with Him to get it. He’s RICH and profusely in mercy for you through Christ, so now you can freely have it! This is how God’s mercy triumphs over His judgment! Now that’s wonderful news!

The gospel in five words: “Jesus Christ and him crucified”! That’s all Paul needed to know to preached — “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Jesus was crucified and by grace through faith, you were with Him! This was his message!

The gospel in six words: Saved by Christ, kept by Christ! Only the gospel of grace instructs one to look unto Jesus, see Heb 12:2! Look at what Jude said to us in his great benediction — “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Jesus has exceeding joy in keeping you — from start to finish! And if it gives Him that much pleasure, just think what it produces in us when we allow Him to finish in us what He started, see Phil 1:6! See, the gospel is better than most people think!

The gospel in seven words: “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”! Look at this amazing verse from John in introducing Jesus to the world in his Gospel writing — “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Notice how John links up the 2 words GRACE and TRUTH as being one unit through Jesus Christ.

*** So under the New Covenant, grace = truth and truth = grace. ***

The law was given for man to do, but grace and truth is imparted into man for him to believe! Check out what John said in his first letter (2:8) — “Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” Notice again, the thing that’s true in Jesus, is also true in you! Now that’s good news!

The gospel in eight words: “Christ died, was buried, then rose — He reigns!” If you look at 1 Cor 15:3–4 and 25, you’ll see the power of the simple gospel in these 8 words. Paul’s simple gospel is not just about what Jesus has done, but what He’s still doing — He’s reigning and amazingly, we’re seated with Him, see Col 1:1-4!

The gospel in nine words: “I knock to come in and dine with you”! Look at what Jesus Himself told a struggling church — “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” To “dine” with someone, is a lot more than fellowship — you already have fellowship with Him. Dining with Jesus and He with you is where you enjoy His fellowship, even as much as He enjoys it with you (The real meaning of what Jesus said in Matt 25:21)!

*** Religion’s method is to use carrots and sticks to move people to obedience. But Jesus method is His sweet invitations of great joy, which comes from tasting and seeing His goodness! ***

The gospel in ten words: “I am the way and the truth and the life”! Jesus summed it all up for us when He said this in John 14:6. There’s a song taken from this verse that says, “Without the way there is no going, without the truth there is no knowing, and without the life, there is no living.” I don’t know about you, but this pretty much sums it up for me! Hallelujah!

the final words

A bunch more can be said here about the simple gospel and what it is, but if you take some time to investigate the gospel in 10 words that I wrote above, you’ll start to see how simple it really is. Let me leave you with what Paul said in Rom 1:15-16 — “(15) So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you... (16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes”. I hope that this lesson helps you in understanding what the simple gospel is and the power that it contains. It’s great to know different truths about different things, but when it comes to spiritual maturity and our growth in Christ, there’s only one truth that produces God’s desired result and that is the simple gospel!

Revisiting the question that I asked at the beginning this lesson, let me post it again, “How do you know that what you believe is the truth?” As believers in Christ, it must be the simple gospel. Only the simple gospel points to God’s unconditional love for you that’s perfectly seen in Christ Jesus (This is exactly what Paul meant in Gal 3:1)! Everything else maybe good to know, but when it comes to spiritual growth, "I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole”! I hope you see that only the simple gospel is what you’re to build your spiritual life upon, see 1 Cor 3:11!

Next time that we come together, I’m going to show you what makes our truth — the simple gospel — different than other truths. Please stay tuned for more simplicity that’s in Christ!

*** If you want the PDF of this teaching, click HERE ***     -    13120 Three Rivers Road Apt 3004  Gulfport, MS 39503 - 678-922-9306  


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