“The Simplicity and The Complexity of The Gospel”

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)

A couple of things that amaze me in these words of the Apostle Paul are his emphasis and priority on the firm knowledge and understanding of God’s gospel in Christ, and how he concedes in the pursuit of all other knowledge other than a full understanding and knowledge of the gospel of Christ. Yet, under the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he ends up writing the majority of the contents of our New Testament Scripture.

Bearing these in mind, there is a sense that the gospel message contains in it both simplicity and complexity.

Allow me to elaborate.

The simplicity of the gospel lies in the fact that one is saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone, as God brings new birth upon the sinner through the regenerating work of the Holy Ghost.

Its complexity lies in the understanding of the Trinitarian nature and work of the Godhead as to how one is saved; The Father’s election and predestination of a particular people in eternity past, the person and work of Christ in His Incarnation, and the Spirit’s work of regeneration, sanctification, and preservation, and the future glory of the saints in the final consummation of their redemption.

Now, I would like to be very careful with how I say this statement, that even without fully knowing and understanding its complexity, one can (and, will) still be saved. Consider the thief on the cross. The reason is that our legal standing before God rests solely in God’s sovereign grace, through the person and the finished work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; not in our capacity to articulate Theology.

In the words of one of Pastor Alistair Begg’s sermons;

“The Man in the Middle Cross Said I Could Come”

To my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, may we take comfort that our acceptance before God depends not on our eloquence as in the words of the inspired Apostle;

“and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Cor. 2:4-5 ESV)

However, I believe it is necessary for the child of God to pursue and know the mind of God as revealed in His word for so long as His mercies allow us to draw our breath and wake up to another day of life. He who has truly received the Spirit of adoption would long to know what His Heavenly Father is like, and how we are to be conformed in the image of Christ our Elder Brother, because

“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6 ESV).

And it is through the Spirit of God that we are illumined to know and understand the complexities of His gospel, because as The Lord promised

“When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;” (Jn. 16:13 NASB)

To God be the glory!

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