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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

July 15, 2010 - The Simplicity of the Gospel

By Randy Mantik

I was watching a Christian channel a few years ago that featured a simple format of worship music with great scenic videos from across the country and occasional short faith-building messages. One of those messages happened to be about the absolute forgiveness of sin that we are offered in Christ.

It was a marvelous message. However, something about it, even to this Christian who has followed Christ for 30 years, was offensive to me. In my heart, I was saying, “It can’t be that simple.”

The simplicity of the message of the gospel is truly an offense. Within our human desires lie, like shards of pottery, our desire for self-redemption. No matter how many times we are told to “let it heal,” it seems to appeal to some itch within us to mix a little self-redemption with God’s redemption — to try and fix it ourselves. The gospel is a cold slap in the face of self-redemption. It wakes us from our self-seeking stupor.

When the Ephesian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be saved?” the apostles’ simple reply was, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household” (Acts 16:30,31, NIV).

We see an Old Testament picture of the simplicity of the gospel in the healing of Naaman the leper in 2 Kings 5:1-19. Naaman was told by the prophet Elisha to go and wash in the murky waters of the Jordan. At first, Naaman was indignant. “Aren’t there better rivers in my own country to wash in?” In his pride, Naaman almost didn’t receive healing.

Like Naaman, we tend to ask, “Can’t I fix this myself? Can’t I make it a little more complicated, perhaps do some more penance?” The gospel message to us is that salvation is free for the asking. “Come without money,” God invites through the prophet Isaiah (52:3; 55:1).

Come believe. Come receive. Come and live forevermore. “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like ME.”

— Randy Mantik is lead pastor at CrossPoint AG in Portage, Wis.



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