The Simple Gospel According To The Bible

by David J. Stewart | July 2016 | Updated June 2019

       Heresy has crept into many churches today. We are hearing many unbiblical teachings; such as, to be saved you need to “Invite Christ into your life,” or “Ask Jesus to come into your heart,” or “Follow Jesus,” or “Invite Christ to be the Lord of your life,” et cetera. None of these are the Gospel by which we are saved. The apostle Paul said in 1st Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

We are saved by believing the Gospel. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” 1st Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Amen! We are saved by BELIEVING THE GOSPEL! So 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.”

So few people have a clear understanding of how salvation works. Let me make it very simple—YOU ARE A SINNER and Unless you accept Christ's payment for your sins on the cross, you will spend eternity burning in the fires of Hell. You cannot add or subtract anything to Christ's payment. Jesus paid the price of our sins in full with His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19). Religion is man trying to reach God through human effort, but Christianity is God trying to reach man by the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.

Religion 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?

Unless you trust 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. They both require HUMAN EFFORT to be saved, that is, to try to stop sinning, 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. A changed life is the FRUIT of salvation, not a requirement to get saved. But you ask, couldn't a person still be saved even though they are confused about salvation? I find that hard to believe, because if you believe wrong then you trust wrong, and unless you are totally resting in the blood of Jesus that washes our sins away, then you haven't been born-again by the 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! Many good people go to Hell, because they fail to understand that no amount of goodness can cleanse away our past sins. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away a person's sins (1st John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 1st Peter 1:18-19; Romans 5:9 - all Scripture quotes are only from the trustworthy King James Bible).

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. If you are trusting in the risen Christ, Jesus Who died in your place on the cross for YOUR SINS, then you are saved! It's that simple.

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.

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, to have eternal life simply receive Christ as your sacrifice on the cross as full payment for your sins. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried and resurrected three days later. This is the gospel according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4.

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. Jesus died on the cross as the Lamb of God (John 1:29), He raised up from the dead as our High Priest (Hebrews 4:15-16) to sprinkle His blood onto the heavenly mercy seat (Hebrews 9:12,24; 12:24), and then He sat down on the Father's right-hand as our Intercessor (Romans 8:34). What an awesome Savior!!!

Christ died for your sins. You are a sinner by nature and by choice (and so am I and everyone else). Jesus took our sins and charged them to His own record. He went to the cross and paid the penalty for our 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. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.

1st Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” It's that simple to be saved... “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again...”

Dr. Hank Lindstrom

Dr. Ralph Yankee Arnold

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