The Simplicity of the Gospel – Introduction
If you’ve visited this blog before, you may already know that my mother is a Jehovah’s Witness. I grew up learning the religion that teaches its adherents to live by following the example that Jesus lived, as one part of what’s necessary for salvation, (what they teach as eternal life).
I spoke with my mother recently, and I heard something that I had never heard anyone say before regarding who Jesus is. This article isn’t as much about that, as it is the need for Christians to return to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
One thing that she said to me in our recent conversation stuck out to me. I can’t remember her exact words, but she basically said that God isn’t in all of the divisions that exist in the Christian church. She was referring to the many denominations that are out here, and she actually used the word “confusion” in relating to it.
I can understand where she is coming from and I can see how unbelievers can be confused or put off by the many denominations, which is now somewhere around 33,000 (yes, I was surprised by that number, too), that are out here. How can someone possibly choose one?
But, what she failed to mention – and maybe realize – is that many Christian denominations agree when it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the other essentials of the Christian faith. However, I can’t get that thought out of my head due to the truth that lies within it.
If you’re a member of one denomination, you may know which other denominations agree on the essentials. For instance, maybe you’re a Baptist and you have a good friend that is a Methodist. You know that the both of you agree on the essentials and you consider him or her a brother or sister in Christ. But, what if you don’t know?
Jehovah’s Witnesses consider themselves Christian. To an unbeliever, that would make them just another Christian denomination. But since I’ve been saved, I’ve come across many Christians who believed the same thing – that they’re just another denomination.
This didn’t bother me much at the time. I just assumed that maybe Jehovah’s Witnesses are not as common where I grew up – like, maybe their door-to-door ministry isn’t prevalent in this area. But as I’ve matured in the faith, this bothers me more and brings to bear many troubling questions.
These questions largely surround the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is essential to salvation and one’s ability to rightly identify as a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus, himself, said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
And so, this series will be called “The Simplicity of the Gospel”. I don’t know how many posts it will take or how many weeks I’ll be studying this, but my current plan for this series is to explore; The Life of Jesus Christ, The Death of Jesus Christ, The Burial of Jesus Christ, and The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But before we get into it do me a favor and ask yourself, when is the last time you’ve heard a message (at church or anywhere else) teaching you about what Jesus Christ accomplished for you, outside of dying for your sins?
Jesus Christ, “in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9 ESV), if you’re a Christian “you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:10 ESV). This sounds like he is more than a sin sacrifice, to me. What do you think?
As I study, I’ll be writing about what I learn so I invite you to come back and see what the Bible has to say about Jesus.
Oh, before I forget, this series is not going to be an outline of which denomination believes in what and which is right or wrong. I believe this is one reason why many divide, today. I believe there are points of doctrine that are essential to being a follower of Jesus Christ and those that are not. On the essentials, agreement is necessary for believers to have unity in the faith. On non-essentials, I believe in the liberty of every believer. (Romans 14:1-12)
We will study Jesus Christ without denominational lenses. Through this study, I hope to strengthen and grow my relationship with Jesus and I hope that you get something useful from it, too.
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