I come from a family of storytellers. We thoroughly enjoy sitting around the table and telling stories. There are stories about our childhood as well as our grandparents, and there are plenty of stories about hunting and fishing. It seems to me that the length of the story is often indirectly proportional to its measure of truth. Longer stories have more embellishments and are more likely to have deviated from the truth. This might be acceptable, even enjoyable, for a fish tale, but it is dangerous when we are talking about God.
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ – 2 Corinthians 11:3.” Paul was concerned the believers would stray from the simplicity of their devotion to Christ. Like the Corinthians, we are also prone to altering the simple truth of the gospel. Gospel literally means good news, and the good news of the gospel is a simple message. 1 Peter 3:18 sums it up nicely, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”
The simple truth is you and I were sinners at birth. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and we deserve God’s wrath (Romans 1:18). The good news is God provided an avenue of escape. Jesus lived a perfect life and paid the penalty of sin on the cross. He only requires that you believe upon Him for your salvation (Acts 16:31). That is the simple truth. Jesus died so you may live, but you must trust in Him.
The sad truth is many people talk about trusting in Jesus, but they do not. Some claim to believe that Jesus is truly God and then happily continue a life of sin. Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? – Luke 6:46.” Sin should bother us. Sin should cause us to weep and repent. Others add to the simplicity of the gospel as though the blood of Christ is not sufficient. People then begin to trust in Jesus AND church attendance, or Jesus AND good works, or Jesus AND specific church requirements. The Bible is clear. The blood of Christ is sufficient for our sin, and we are saved by trusting in Christ alone. Man is saved by Jesus AND nothing else.
Let us embrace the simplicity of the gospel. Let us honor the price which was paid on the cross by trusting in Jesus alone. He is sufficient, and He is worthy.
2 Corinthians 5:21 – For our sake He (God) made Him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.