Watering the Tulips
April 23, 2014
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” – John 3:18
We, as Christians, have confused the Gospel today. We have gotten way from “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Though we’ve been sent into the world to share the Gospel with the every creature, most believers don’t know how. Many feel they don’t completely understand the formula because they have witnessed it being presented in so many ways. Does a person have to bow his head and raise his hand? Does a person have to repeat a certain prayer? Does a person have to do this at the front of a church? To the vast majority of Christendom, it seems simpler just to let the preacher do this…and anybody can see why. There is confusion.
The vast majority of what can be witnessed in churches today is a confusion of the Gospel and a confusion of the requirement of salvation. The New Testament churches presented a much simpler message than what we commonly see. It should interest our reader that we never once see a crowd instructed to bow their heads while those that desire salvation raise their hands (sadly, this immediately encourages people that it’s OK to be ashamed of Jesus…but that is not our lesson today). It should interest the reader that not one person is ever instructed to repeat a “magical” prayer in order to get into Heaven. These things add complexity to something that is simple.
Paul and Silas were once asked, “‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household’” (Acts 16:30-31). Now, Paul was inspired by God to pen more of the New Testament than any other man. If there were some complex formula, we would have seen it here. But, Paul kept it simple. And more importantly, these instructions to the Philippian jailor are in perfect accord with the declaration of Jesus in our text verse.
Folks, an unbeliever can repeat words. This often happens. And sadly, we have convinced a generation that Heaven is their future home based on their having repeated some words. Many are trusting in that prayer, and not in Christ. And, by both the declaration of Jesus and Paul, they are still yet in a state of condemnation.
But, what is belief? Is it just a mere belief that Jesus existed? Is it some idea that Jesus was a good man? No…it is a trust that He is the only Way of salvation (Ephesians 1:13). Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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”. Is this your hope today?
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net . “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers. Please download it today!