Tonight I heard a brother recount a conversation in which he had an opportunity to share the gospel. The man he was talking with had declared, “The important thing to being a Christian is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.” He then went on to say my brother had been making it all too complicated. To this my brother replied, “Yes, the gospel is as simple as that, but can you do that?” In asking this thoughtful question, my brother was urging the man to see that it it was impossible for him to really do what he claimed he was doing, for indeed loving God with all our heart and loving our neighbor as ourselves is the summary of the law of God. My brother did then share the gospel of Jesus Christ, the one who has done what is impossible for us.
In reflection of this gospel encounter, the man had thought that the way to God was simple and that he had it sorted out. It was my brother’s job to take him to the impossibility of the requirements of the one true God. When faced with the wall of impossibility, then the simple and clear Gospel of Jesus Christ can (by the work of the Holy Spirit in their heart) be understood. One closing thought was also given by another brother tonight: in moving from the simple, to the impossible and then to the simple gospel, we must always be wary of the easy gospel.