“The gospel is so simple that small children can understand it, and it is so profound that studies be the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches.” ~ Charles Hodge
I find that many people have the deep sense that the Christian faith it is quite complicated, but it is really straightforward. The simplicity of our faith needs to be declared, because too many believe it is unattainable, or too good to be true.
Charles Spurgeon noted: “My entire theology can be condensed into four words, Jesus died for me,” and C.S. Lewis once wrote about the simple gospel in his book Mere Christianity: “We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself. … That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed.”
Of course, our children are easily fooled and led astray. They tend to miss the truth and be drawn to myths and fantasies. But that is not what is meant by having a childlike faith. Jesus promoted a humble, honest faith in God, and He used the innocence of a child as an example. We need to take God’s promises at His Word. As children trust their earthly fathers, we should trust that our “Father in heaven will give good gifts to those who ask him” Matthew 7:11.
It seems to me that people often want to make faith complicated by adding something to it. When Jesus was asked by the religious leaders of his day to clarify what His faith was based upon, He responded with two items: We are called to love God with all that is within us and to love our neighbor as our self. Matthew 22:35-39
Jesus wants our relationships and faith to be deep and powerful. Restoration and wholeness comes as the broken pieces of our life are mended. This healing starts as we begin to be vulnerable, open and acknowledge in order to become authentic and real.
Learning to embrace your story, your past, and who you are right now will move you into being the person God created you to be.
However, we live in a world that tries to distort and make the good news of the Gospel into what we must do instead of what He has done and finished on the cross. Let’s discover and discuss the pure grace and love found in the Person and life of Jesus Christ. Your true identity and freedom is found as children: sons and daughters of the Father who is Perfect Love, and our bliss is anchored in the overwhelming reality of Christ’s finished work for all mankind.
The simple truth is that God designed us to be in a perfect relationship with Him in a perfect creation but our sins fractured that relationship. He wants this relationship healed but we can’t do it. We can only be reconciled, forgiven, and healed back to God through our faith in the faithfulness of His son, Jesus Christ. Our sin is the problem that corrupts the world and everything in it and we are powerless to overcome our sin apart from Christ. Our attempts to control the situation only increase the chaos around us and within us. That is why we need deep healing. That type of healing is only by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.
The good news tell us that in spite of our sin, we can know God and be healed back into a right relationship with Him. You can know God personally. The Creator of the universe made you, knows everything about you, and wants an intimate relationship with you through prayer. This is a relationship that you need right now and forever. Let’s seek and pursue the unconditional love and the personal relationship based on a simple, deeper faith and trust that He desires to have with each of us. His sacrifice, redemption and salvation plan is about just how much God loves us and wants to be our Father and Friend.
Writer Caleb Flores make a convicting point here: “Jesus died so we could change. Without his death, there is no justification before God. There is no Holy Spirit coming to heal our rebellious souls and make worthy our small acts of worship. Without Jesus we’re trapped. We are slaves to our own sinful desires and couldn’t obey God even if we wanted to. And God had every right to leave us this way. But he didn’t. Out of the sheer force of his loving will, because of grace alone, he sent Christ to take on our sin. This encounter with such unimaginable grace will change you. Will you still sin? Yes, until the day you die. But by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Christian believer will persevere. God will grow your love for him and his people and begin to kill off your love for sin and self. Salvation is both a radical recalibration as well as a slow, steady march, which allows us to be more and more like Christ each day. Grace not only saves us, it trains us. It teaches us to take Jesus’ side against our sin. This grace brings you to repentance—not like a kid forced to eat his vegetables, but like a slave shedding his chains for the first time.”
Remember that if the gospel doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
So let’s try and do something new that will cause us to stretch and grow in our faith, and trusting the finished work of Jesus today.