The Simple Gospel According To The Bible
by David J. Stewart | May 2014 | Updated March 2016Religion wants to fit us with glasses, but the Lord wants to open our eyes! Thank God for the truth of His precious Word, which is a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105). America's churches influence the world, so if Satan can corrupt our churches here at home, then he can corrupt the world, because the United States sends out more missionaries than any other nation. Sadly, there is MUCH heresy and false teachings circulating on the radio, television and in our churches nowadays concerning what a person must do to be saved. What exactly is the Gospel?
There is no need to guess what the “Gospel” is because the Bible plainly tells us . . .
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
There you have it, the GOSPEL is three things:
(1) Jesus DIED on the cross for our sins.
(2) Jesus was BURIED.
(3) Jesus bodily RESURRECTED from the dead three days later.
I faithfully attend an Independent Baptist Church, but there are no perfect churches. I recently heard a visiting missionary say that there are two things that a person must absolutely believe to be saved: 1) That Jesus is the supreme Lord of the universe; 2) That Jesus raised up from the dead. That was it. That's his shallow plan of salvation. He didn't mention the cross. He didn't mention the fact that all men are sinners under the condemnation of God's holy law, deserving of Hell. And he added the unscriptural requirement to surrender to Christ's supreme Lordship to be saved. So few people have a clear understanding of how salvation works. Let me make it very simple. YOU ARE A SINNER! Unless you accept Christ's payment for your sins, you will spend eternity burning in the fires of Hell. Please read: 3,000 Souls Saved In One Day! (Acts 2:41 says 3,000 people simply believed and were saved!).
Unless you trust JESUS CHRIST ALONE for your salvation, you CANNOT be saved. I don't think Chip Ingram is saved. I also don't think Billy Graham is saved. The biggest lies are always sandwiched between truths to conceal them. I don't think David Cloud is saved. These well-meaning men all require HUMAN EFFORT, that is, forsaking sinful behavior, to be saved, which is a false Gospel. If we have to repent of all our sins to be saved, then we're all going straight to Hell. Repentance unto salvation is “a change of mind,” not a change of behavior. I recently heard Evangelist Tom Ferrell preach that a person is not saved unless they've been changed, and if they've changed they have declared “Jesus as Lord.” That's a subtle way of teaching Lordship Salvation.
A changed life is the FRUIT of the indwelling Holy Spirit, not a requirement to get saved. But you ask, couldn't a person still be saved even though they are confused about salvation? No, because they have a wrong mindset and are not completely trusting the redemptive work of Christ. If you don't believe what I say, consider how closely Seventh-day Adventism comes to the Gospel, yet they are light-years away. If you believe wrong then you trust wrong, and unless you are totally resting in the precious blood of Jesus that washes our sins away (1st Peter 1:18-19), then you haven't been born-again by the Holy Spirit of God.
Please remember that a man named Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 was a devout religion man. Cornelius feared God, prayed, tithed and fasted, yet he was a religious lost man on his way to Hell. God sent the apostle Peter to witness to Cornelius and thankfully he got saved later in the chapter. God is good!
There is a cross-less Gospel that has crept into today's churches which merely says to “trust Jesus” or “invite Jesus into your heart” or “commit your life to Christ” to be saved. You can do all of these things and go straight to Hell when you die. My friend, the Gospel truth is that Christ:
“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Surrendering to Christ's Lordship is NOT a requirement to be saved. Forsaking the world and having intent to reform is NOT a requirement to be saved. Inviting Jesus into your life is NOT a requirement for eternal life. All God requires is that you admit you are a guilty sinner in God's holy eyes and BELIEVE the Gospel. Believing is the way to be saved. Forsaking sinful behavior is NOT part of the Gospel. Whatever changes that God expects of a new believer is the Holy Spirit's department and you can be assured He will attend to that. It is a horrible mistake and evil, to change the Gospel in an attempt to force men to reform their sinful ways. The Gospel is a free gift, and a gift need only be received. If there are any additional obligations or requirements, then it is not truly a gift. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Now to clarify, no one ever got saved who didn't admit that he or she is a sinner! This truth is confirmed in Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” The Bible silences the boasting of self-righteous men who brag of keeping the law of Moses. We see the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-21, boasting that he had kept all of God's commandments “FROM MY YOUTH UP.” Then we see the unsaved group of religious people boasting in Matthew 7:21-23 of their own “MANY WONDERFUL WORKS.”
Ah, but the law of God was intended by God to be used as a measuring stick, by which when compared we see ourselves as A GUILTY SINNER in God's sight. This then leaves us with only one option if we would desire to enter Heaven one day in eternity, and that only option is to BELIEVE THE GOSPEL (the good news of Christ's death, burial and resurrection).
The Scriptures explain themselves very well. Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Repentance is a change of mind about what we want to do to get to Heaven, to what God says that we must do to get to Heaven. Repentance is simply admitting that I am a guilty sinner in God's eyes, realizing that I am totally incapable of saving myself in any way.
Here is an excellent and needful writing by Dr. Mark G. Cambron (1911-2000) on the subject of REPENTANCE. Please read the following quote carefully, because Dr. Cambron is one of few theologian who gets it, that is, he understands the simplicity of the Gospel and that repentance does not mean turning from sin as proponents of Lordship Salvation foolishly teach.
Here is what the Bible teaches, as explained by Dr. Cambron...
Repentance is necessary for salvation.
The Greek word for repent is metanoeo, which, translated into English is: to change ones mind. It does not mean to turn from sin. That would add works to salvation.
Repentance for salvation means a change of mind from men's ideas of salvation and religion, to an acceptance of Gods only way of salvation.
This results in a completely new creation, not a reformation of the old. The old nature remains as evil as ever after salvation and has not been reformed . . . The old nature can now be controlled by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
God guarantees salvation. This is His gift to us.
God guarantees reward and fruit to the obedient son.
God guarantees chastening and loss of rewards to the disobedient son.
God does not cast out disobedient children, but in some cases, does take them home. He does not permit His children to live as they please without His discipline and guidance.
Many teach repentance for salvation incorrectly, by including some form of human effort or righteousness, such as willingness to turn from sin, or turning from sin. This is heresy and has confused many people. It adds works to salvation and causes many to not understand Gods great gift. It is probation, not salvation. It is completely unscriptural. It is Galatianism and a counterfeit of the gospel.
It is a tragedy that many Christians live shallow Christian lives. The Cambron Institute is dedicated to the task of training Christian men and women in the importance of total dedication and making Jesus the Lord of their lives not to be saved but because they are saved.
Shallow Christianity cannot be cured by adding works to salvation.
Salvation is not the result of what we do, but is by receiving what God has done for us. Acts 13:38, 39; Acts 20:20: Gal. 1:8,9; Gal. 2:4; Gal. 2:21; Gal. 3:1.3; Gal. 5:1-4; Eph. 2:8-10; II Cor. 5:21;John 3:16-18; Phil. 3:9; Titus 3:5-8:11 Cor. 11:13-1 5.
SOURCE: The Cambron Institute
The man who comes to Christ has repented, which is the very reason he is coming to Jesus to be saved from his sins. Repentance and faith happen at THE SAME TIME, and are inseparable. Repentance without faith is mere declaration of sinnership or reformation (turning over a new leaf), but is not Biblical repentance unless it is accompanied by faith in Christ. Judas repented (a different Greek word meaning to feel remorse afterwards) in Matthew 27:3, but still went to Hell in his sins. Judas had no faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Judas was sorry he got caught, but he hadn't realize that he is a guilty sinner in God's eyes for breaking God's commandments.
If you acknowledge your guilty condition and inability to save yourself, simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Who died in your place) and receive His payment (the Gospel) to be saved. That's how salvation works, that is, you cease from your own DEAD WORKS, and you simply REST in what Christ has done to pay for your sins instead. We are saved through believing; Jesus does the saving! We are saved by God's grace and mercy.
1st Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
You do NOT have to be water baptized nor doing anything to get to Heaven other than trust upon the Lord as your Savior. Romans 4:5 proclaims... “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him (Jesus) that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” What a wonderful truth! Our faith is COUNTED for righteousness! There is NO self-righteousness involved in salvation. It is the gift of God. You see, we have no righteousness of our own to offer God. No amount of good can undo the bad we've done. Thus, Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not pay. Salvation is receiving, not giving. We are Sinners and Jesus is the Savior. Jesus is precious!
Unbelief is the only sin which can keep you out of Heaven.
Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it!
Trusting Jesus is meaningless without the cross. You must believe that Jesus died, was buried and rose again. 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 teaches that the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God's simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith.
You say, “Surely, it cannot be that simple!” Yes, that simple. It is scriptural; it is God's plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today.
If you've never been saved, then now is the time to believe upon the name of Jesus, the Christ, that your sins will be blotted out forever and you can know that your name is written in Heaven.
Christ died for your sins. You are a sinner by nature and by choice. Jesus took your sins and charged them to His own record. He went to the cross and paid the penalty for your sins. He says if you're willing to receive Him in faith; He will transfer His payment to your debt, and His righteousness to your sins. He will impute to you His goodness, and impute to His own record your sin; if you in faith will trust Him as your Savior.
Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
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Mark 1:15: “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.”