The Simplicity of The Gospel :: By Grant Phillips

The Gospel is the message of how God reconciles fallen man to Himself, by taking the verdict on us of sin’s penalty (He became our substitute.) and in turn giving us His righteousness through His death, burial and resurrection. This would be made available to all who would “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

It begins in Genesis chapter three. Prior to this chapter, man had fellowship with His Creator, the one and only true God.

God had told the first man Adam to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He and his wife Eve could eat of any tree they liked, and there were many to choose from, but if they ate of this one tree, they would die. Satan tempted them through a serpent. They listened to the serpent and ate from this one forbidden tree, thus dying spiritually. Their bodies eventually followed suit in death.

They had sinned against God by believing Satan instead. The fellowship they once had was now broken, and they were driven from the beautiful garden of Eden they so loved (Genesis 3:14-24).

The Gospel is first mentioned in verse 15, “And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” The hostility of Satan and his followers has never ceased against those who are in Christ. Because of his hatred for God, he struck Jesus’ heel at the cross, but Jesus will strike his head on Judgment Day.

The Gospel message is continued in verse 21, “And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife” (Genesis 3:21).

Obviously, both Adam and Eve repented and asked forgiveness. God covered them with the clothing of an innocent animal. This clothing from animal skins represented the righteousness of Jesus laid upon them, and the shed blood was a promise that one day Jesus would shed His own blood for all who will come to Him to be saved. In other words, through Jesus, the fellowship between God and man would be restored for those who believed in Him.

We lost the fellowship and inherited an old sin nature because originally we believed the serpent, but the fellowship can be restored through Jesus. He will also remove that old sin nature and restore our innocence and purity.

Also, notice something else; God did not go to His vegetable garden and wrap Adam and Eve in a salad. God wrapped them with “garments of skin and clothed them.” Only the sacrifice of shed blood can cover our sins, which of course, points directly to the cross of Christ. This explains why Cain got in trouble with God and became so jealous of his brother Abel that he murdered him.

The Gospel, in a nutshell, is our fall into sin and God’s lifeline to restore us to Him. That lifeline is His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Only through Him can we be saved.

“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalm 40:2).

In the Old Testament, those who came to God through His Son did so by looking ahead through the corridors of time at a future sacrifice. The promised sacrifice of Genesis 3:15 eventually happened when Jesus became that promised sacrifice upon the cross for all who would come to Him by faith. Now, we look back through the corridors of time to that same sacrifice of Jesus upon that Roman cross.

How can anyone say, “God doesn’t care about me?”

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:14-21).

Doesn’t care!? We are the ones hardened by sin! Don’t think so? Please read, slowly, Romans 3:10-18 if you really want to know who doesn’t care. We are the cold and calloused ones, but if we will just trust Jesus by faith, our eyes will be opened, and we will experience firsthand His love for us.

The Lord Jesus explains very clearly through Paul His apostle all that was just stated. I have provided it the New Living Translation (NLT) to make it easier for all to grasp what our Lord is saying to us.

“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come.

But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21).

The Gospel is so simple. We fell, but God is reaching out His hand to pick us up and give us eternal life with Him, but this we must understand: God reaches out His hand in His Son. We must come to Him through His Son. There is no other way but through Jesus.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

So many try to make the Gospel all about us … our works. We cannot do anything to be saved except believe in Jesus with the trust of a little child. If we don’t stop trying to work our way to Heaven instead of trusting Jesus to save us, we will leave this world still lost and in hell.

Yes, the Gospel is so simple. It is the good news that Jesus died for us, was buried and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). All that we lost because of sin can be restored if we just realize and admit that we are sinners and we need to be born again (John 3:3). When we die, we will be with Him (2 Corinthians 5:8). And that’s not all. He is coming again, first to remove His bride the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), then seven years later returning with His bride the Church to judge the world (Revelation 19:11-16).

Grant Phillips


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