Summary: Why do you suppose that so many well meaning Christians overcomplicate the gospel with extraneous ideas, traditions and requirements? Millions of people have the mistaken notion that to become a Christian is so difficult that it is not really worth the e
Avoid Overcomplicating the New Birth in Christ – Rom. 10:5-13
Why do you suppose that so many well meaning Christians overcomplicate the gospel with extraneous ideas, traditions and requirements?
Millions of people have the mistaken notion that to become a Christian is so difficult that it is not really worth the effort.
Too many people have tried to fashion a human standard of acceptance that distorts the true and simple gospel
Illustration:Pages in 1891 basketball rule book: 2
Pages in current basketball rule book: 114
Quoted in U.S. News and World Report, November 25, 1991, p. 9.
Americans tend to make things more complicated as the years go by with more rules and explanations for everything. Let us avoid this error in making the gospel seem to be more complicated than it really is.
Let us trust the Lord to help the gospel of Christ compelling, clear and convincing in a way that anyone can understand and respond to it.
Paul gives us an explanation of the simple gospel message in this passage that should serve as a formula for our own evangelism.
1. First, let us examine how we can correct the notion that gaining salvation is complicated.
Paul contrasts the simplicity in the gospel with the efforts that the Jews have made to work out a complicated lawful righteousness through 600 rules, regulations based on the Law of Moses. However, Paul writes, “Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: “The man who does these things will live by them,” (Rom. 10:5)
In contrast to this Paul teaches us that the true gospel of Jesus Christ is not of works as a condition for one’s salvation. Paul is clear that no one should try to communicate that the gospel is teaching one needs to stop smoking, drinking or cheating before they can become a Christian.
The true gospel is all about what Christ does for us not how we clean ourselves up in order to merit God’s acceptance. We cannot free ourselves from sin with anything other than by accepting the free gift of eternal life through the grace of Jesus Christ. Present the truth of the gospel in a way that is easy to understand.
Illustration: I often use the ABC’s of the gospel:
1. Admit that you are sinner and repent.
2. Believe in Christ as your Savior and the Lord who forgives all sin.
3. Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and ask Him to come into your life as the only one who can give you the gift of eternal life. (Rom. 10:9,10)
Illustration;Where’s The Love, Grandma?
A three-year-old little boy and his grandmother were studying a plastic model of the human heart. They located all the chambers and arteries. When they were finished the little boy asked innocently, "Where’s the love,
Country Woman Magazine Mar/Apr 93, p. 15.
2. Receiving Christ is not done by some special miraculous intervention. Paul writes, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven? (That is to bring Christ dosn) or Who will descend into the deep? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). (Rom. 10:6,7)
Some people are not content with the Word of God but wrongly believe they have to witness or be a part of some miracle before they can come to saving faith in Christ.
We do not need a visible manifestation of the supernatural before we can find eternal life through Jesus Christ. Yes, it may be more exciting and memorable to have a miracle occur in our salvation experience, but it is not essential.
Ask the Lord to help you to present the gospel in a way that stresses the essential and plays down the non-essentials.
Illustration:Where Do You Belong?
Erma Bombeck told of a little boy named Donald who talked about education
and the fears of going to school: "My name is Donald, and I don’t know
anything. I have new underwear, a loose tooth, and didn’t sleep last night because I’m worried. What if a bell rings and a man yells, "Where do you belong?" and I don’t know? What if the trays in the cafeteria are too tall for me to reach? What if my loose tooth comes out when we have our heads down and are supposed to be quiet? Am I supposed to bleed quietly? What if I
splash water on my name tag and my name disappears and no one knows who I am?"
Brent Porterfield, www.eSermons.com, 2002
Teach the gospel in a way that people know who they will belong to and the new identity they gain in Christ Jesus
3. Clearly teach, as Paul did, that salvation is obtained by personally receiving and confessing Christ as Lord and Savior of their life.
Paul sums it up with the phrase, “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom. 10:13)