The Simplicity in ChristBro. Tony Chancellor
1/31/2010 11:00 AM
"Love beyond all human comprehending,
Love of God in Christ, how can it be?"
We don’t have to understand it to know it’s wonderful.
2 Corinthians 11:1-3
Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
There are times when it seems we make the gospel too complicated. Don’t be overwhelmed by it, because it is really a simple gospel.
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Jesus told them, "Be like a child. Believe me like a child would." Our part of the gospel is to believe God. It doesn’t take years to figure out what God wants from you … just believe.
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.
The point is to "believe". God just wants us to believe. Do we know what it means to believe?
Believe – to actively place confidence and trust in (not just an acknowledgement or knowledge of)
Many people think believing is acknowledging or knowing. If you put your confidence and trust in anything else, you are already condemned.
And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
If you are actively putting your trust and confidence in God to provide for your needs, would you say this? They didn’t truly believe in God. They weren’t trusting God to provide for them. They were whining and complaining.
And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
The people wanted the serpents to go away. They wanted the easy way out. God didn’t remove the trial. He tested their faith to see who would believe in him. They couldn’t just admit that it was there or understand that it was there; they had to believe that looking at it would work and get there to look at it. It required action. It required faith.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praise unto God; and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm; for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
This believing in God requires action. This man didn’t stop with salvation. He was baptized and then he fed them and rejoiced in his salvation. He worshipped with them. He actively placed his confidence and trust in God. Our confidence and trust in God should be growing.
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
They were sure that he was the Christ. The ones that went away doubted. They didn’t believe like the ones that stayed. They lost their confidence and trust. We put our trust and confidence in God and it erases doubts. Belief creates assurance.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
There’s a difference between believing with your mind and with your heart. The mind acknowledges; the heart participates. Do you believe, or do you acknowledge? This is simple. Humble yourself and trust God.
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heard, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned.
God links unbelief with hardness of heart. When you choose not to believe God, your heart is hardened against him. This is a warning to the unsaved – don’t keep hardening your heart against him. To those who believe, we’re to share it with others.