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Featured The Simplicity of the Gospel

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reformed, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    At its core, the Gospel message is very simple. Donald McKim* defines the Gospel as, "The central message of the Christian church to the world, centered on God's provision of salvation for the world in Jesus Christ." We can debate as to whether the Gospel expands beyond God's provision of salvation but we cannot fail to affirm that it is at least that.

    This morning, Paul Davis, President of the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) delivered this message at my church. While I am not a big fan of stories during the sermon, I liked a brief story Mr. Davis told about, of all things, grilled cheese. He said that he was watching a Food Network program and it was about the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. The television chef said that in order to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich you need artesian-style nine-grain bread. Cut a thick slice of bread diagonally and use Gruyere cheese. A special herb-garlic butter is needed on both sides of the bread. The sandwich is then to be grilled until the cheese melts just enough to ooze out of both sides of the bread. Mr. Davis said that this recipe is way too complicated. He said the best recipe for grilled cheese is to get two slices of Wonder Bread and the cheapest American cheese you can buy. Butter the bread and grill the sandwich until it is golden brown on both sides. It is that simple. No Gruyere cheese or herb-garlic butter needed.

    The Gospel message is just as simple. Repent of your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That is it. The sinner does not need to know a long litany of theological terms. Those things will come in time as the Christian grows in his faith. We need to be careful not to put up theological/doctrinal barricades and obstacles as prerequisites for believing the Gospel message. This does mean we have to abandon our theological/doctrinal distinctives. In fact, we should never do that. But when it comes to proclaiming the good news to sinners, there is no need for Gruyere cheese.

    *Donald McKim, Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, WJK Press
     
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  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Total Spiritual Inability = false doctrine
    Limited Spiritual Ability = true doctrine

    Unconditional Election = false doctrine
    Election for Salvation based on our faith = true doctrine

    Limited Atonement = false doctrine
    Reconciliation Available for All = true doctrine

    Irresistible Grace = false doctrine
    Resistible Grace = true doctrine

    Possible Loss of Salvation = false doctrine
    Once Saved, Always Saved = true doctrine.

    Each of these true doctrines must be included in preaching the gospel, and all these false doctrines must be exposed as false.

    Turning over our lives to God (not my way but Your way) and accepting the persecution that comes with proclaiming the name of Jesus is a much higher bar that "believing on Jesus." Sacrificial love and devotion to Christ is much more.
     
  3. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    The Apostles didn't preach like that.
     
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  4. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    David, when I read the account of the Philippian jailer's conversion I read a very simple answer to his very simple question:

    Acts 16:29-32 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.

    The Apostles taught a lot more than just "Believe in the Lord Jesus". There is plenty of theology in Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, James et. al. I thought carefully before wiring my opening post. I think my body of posts on this board indicates I have a very definite and comprehensive theological bent. I am not repudiating any of my beliefs. But when we share Jesus Christ with a sinner, what are we really sharing with them at the lowest common denominator? Is it not "believe in the Lord Jesus?" Are we arguing with them about their lapsarian position or whether Paul is the author of Hebrews? Depending on how much exposure they have to Christianity they may have been exposed to those things. It is possible for a person to sit in a church pew for years but still have a hardened heart. But if a person like that finally experiences the new birth is it not the power of the gospel (Romans 1:17) that is the agent of change?
     
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  5. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I don't know of anyone, except apparently Van, that goes into systematics when preaching the Gospel to sinners.
     
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  6. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    David, that is all I really meant by the opening post.
     
  7. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    Oh believe me, I knew exactly what you meant by the opening post. :)
     
  8. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Another thing, simple does not always mean easy. How simple was it for the rich young ruler to understand Jesus' words, yet he could not make the right choice?
     
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  9. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Repent of your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Now how would a person with total spiritual inability hear that gospel? They would not.
     
  10. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Your Gospel is not the good news one of jesus and paul, but the One according to Van!
     
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  11. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    My view is the biblical view, your view is a relic of the dark ages, obviously false.

    Total Spiritual Inability = false doctrine
    Limited Spiritual Ability = true doctrine 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

    Unconditional Election = false doctrine
    Election for Salvation based on our faith = true doctrine 2 Thessalonians 2:13

    Limited Atonement = false doctrine
    Reconciliation Available for All = true doctrine 1 John 2:2

    Irresistible Grace = false doctrine
    Resistible Grace = true doctrine Matthew 23:13

    Possible Loss of Salvation = false doctrine
    Once Saved, Always Saved = true doctrine. John 3:13

    Each of these true doctrines must be included in preaching the gospel, and all these false doctrines must be exposed as false.

    Turning over our lives to God (not my way but Your way) and accepting the persecution that comes with proclaiming the name of Jesus is a much higher bar that "believing on Jesus." Sacrificial love and devotion to Christ is much more.
     
  12. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    That is precisely the Calvinist point.
     
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  13. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Repent of your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Now how would a person with total spiritual inability hear that gospel? They would not.

    QUOTE="davidtaylorjr, post: 2560770, member: 14683"]That is precisely the Calvinist point.[/QUOTE]

    Agreed, a Calvinist would not be preaching the gospel because they believe the lost have no ability to repent, or believe. It would be like telling someone to flap their arms and fly like a bird. Asking people to do what you know they cannot do is not preaching, it is an exercise in futility.
     
  14. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    And again, you prove you do not understand basic doctrinal beliefs. The lost do not have the ability to believe unless God enables them to believe. We do not know who is or is not enabled so we preach to all. It is not an exercise in futility.
     
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  15. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Yet another you, you, you post.
    Preaching, even in a loud voice, is futile if the audience cannot hear. Basically Calvinists believe like Calvinists but preach like they believe people can understand and repent. Fiddlesticks

    Total Spiritual Inability = false doctrine
    Limited Spiritual Ability = true doctrine

    Unconditional Election = false doctrine
    Election for Salvation based on our faith = true doctrine

    Limited Atonement = false doctrine
    Reconciliation Available for All = true doctrine

    Irresistible Grace = false doctrine
    Resistible Grace = true doctrine

    Possible Loss of Salvation = false doctrine
    Once Saved, Always Saved = true doctrine.

    Each of these true doctrines must be included in preaching the gospel, and all these false doctrines must be exposed as false.

    Turning over our lives to God (not my way but Your way) and accepting the persecution that comes with proclaiming the name of Jesus is a much higher bar that "believing on Jesus." Sacrificial love and devotion to Christ is much more.
     
  16. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    No, actually it wasn't. Deal with the whole post Van.

    Calvinists preach as if all are elect because we do not know who is elect. The Arminian does the same thing.

    No, they actually don't.

    Agreed.
     
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  17. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Yet another you, you, you post.
    Preaching, even in a loud voice, is futile if the audience cannot hear. Basically Calvinists believe like Calvinists but preach like they believe people can understand and repent. Fiddlesticks

    Total Spiritual Inability = false doctrine
    Limited Spiritual Ability = true doctrine

    Unconditional Election = false doctrine
    Election for Salvation based on our faith = true doctrine

    Limited Atonement = false doctrine
    Reconciliation Available for All = true doctrine

    Irresistible Grace = false doctrine
    Resistible Grace = true doctrine

    Possible Loss of Salvation = false doctrine
    Once Saved, Always Saved = true doctrine.

    Each of these true doctrines must be included in preaching the gospel, and all these false doctrines must be exposed as false.

    Turning over our lives to God (not my way but Your way) and accepting the persecution that comes with proclaiming the name of Jesus is a much higher bar that "believing on Jesus." Sacrificial love and devotion to Christ is much more.
     
  18. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    Ok, we know you can copy and paste. How about actually dealing with an argument for a change? Or are you not able to?
     
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  19. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Jesus replied, " What is impossible with man is possible with God."
     
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  20. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    I wholly agree with the elegant simplicity of the Gospel. So I hate the nitpick. But would you consider the resurrection an integral part of "believe on Jesus Christ"?
     
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