Monday, 28 January 2013

It's all there

I was thinking recently about the purpose John tells us he had in writing his Gospel
He tells us:
...these [that is, the signs of the Gospel] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
John 20 v 31

The simple point I want to leave with you is this, John is telling us that he has put sufficient information in his Gospel for us to believe and have eternal life. That is, you can give John's Gospel to someone and with no other input, what they find in that Gospel is enough for them to know how to be saved. Now that is a very simple observation, but it would completely revolutionise major parts of Christendom if was heeded.

What it means is that those who say one needs to belong to a certain church to be right with God are actually wrong, because John never mentions that in his Gospel.

Those who say one has be baptised to be forgiven are wrong, because John never mentions baptism as having any saving value in his Gospel.

Those who say one has to observe the Lord's Supper, the Mass, Communion or whatever other title they give it, to be saved are wrong, because John doesn't teach it in his Gospel.

Those who say one has to undergo any ritual, or submit to any priesthood, or confess to any man on earth, or go through any post-mortem experience of cleansing, are wrong, because John doesn't tell us about that in his Gospel.

Now some might take passages of John out of their context and say that we find the seed thought of their particular doctrinal stance in John's Gospel, but that is not being fair with what John says in chapter 20 v 31. He is saying there that he has written sufficient to give someone what they need to know for salvation. Just ask yourself honestly, if you gave the Gospel of John to someone who knew nothing about rituals, rites and ceremonies would he read it and say, "OK, for me to be saved I have to be baptised, join this particular church, take Holy Communion, confess to a priest, etc. etc." or would he not say, "For me to be saved I have to put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God."?

The answer is obvious, John is teaching that it is faith alone in Christ alone, with no works or ritual on our part, that brings eternal life, and that teaching has been confirmed in my experience and in the experience of multiplied millions - we received eternal life the moment we put our trust in the Son of God. Isn't it a tragedy that that simple message has been confused. Don't miss it.