Simplicity in Salvation

Does life ever seem complicated to you?   When you consider the complexity of life it usually doesn’t take long to feel exhausted.   A good example might be found with the U.S. tax code.  If you’ve ever tried to do your taxes on your own, without the aid of a tax software program or a CPA, it becomes evident that man likes to overcomplicate things.

It seems that’s the way we’ve designed things; cars are built in such a way today that you can’t hardly work on them yourself, selling your home or buying a home is rather complex, applying for college and getting a degree is complicated.  And so, one thing after another tends to add up until everything gets convoluted.  Most people would agree that life can be complicated. 

Maybe that’s what makes us long for simplicity.  We wish things were a little clearer – easier to understand.  The good news is that God has kept the most important issues of life rather simple.  The simplicity of worshiping and serving God, as opposed to the complexity that human beings tend to build into everything, is remarkable.

I am truly grateful that God has put forgiveness and salvation on a level to where the least sophisticated among us can search for Him and find Him.  We can be reconciled to our Heavenly Father and offer Him acceptable worship without being a lawyer, a theologian, a super intellectual, or without all the complexities that man wants to pile onto God’s word.   We have the simplicity of His gospel that directs us in this life.

Even in the 1st century, the gospel was being compromised and complicated by what we call “Judaizing teachers” – those who were not content with the simplicity of the gospel. Instead, they wanted to add their own rules and conditions to message of salvation that Jesus brought.  This is why the apostle Paul would make such a warning in Galatians 1:6:  “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”

In Galatians 3:1, Paul says: “O foolish Galatians!  Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?”  Paul had taught them the plain and simple truth, but now, their minds were being corrupted from that simplicity. “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?  You observe days and months and seasons and years.  I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.” (Galatians 4:9-11)

They started off well with the simplicity of the truth, but someone came along and muddied the waters, and they’ve allowed for it to happen… “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)  Now, that’s sort of changing the application a little bit – instead of going from simple to complicated, it’s from freedom to bondage – but it’s the same idea: You’re leaving what is simple good and true to chase after something complicated, bad, and wrong.  When you leave the simplicity of God’s truth and you follow after the complexity of men, it will not be a good thing for you.  Are you complicating your life and taking on obligations that you’ll never be able to meet?

Not only do people tend to complicate their lives, they block themselves off from salvation.  “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4)

God has extended His grace to you in that Jesus Christ has been preached to you and you believed. Will you ever leave Him for the teachings of men who are complicating the gospel of salvation?