As I have been studying for the new sermon series that I am starting this next week, God has been really speaking to me. I begin a series for the summer on the book of Galatians. That book is a very intense look at the most simplistic characteristics of Christianity, more precisely following Jesus. As a pastor one of my greatest charges is to guard our people against False Gospels. The reality is that most False Gospels are not easily recognizable. We have to keep our Focus on Jesus!
I started looking at the church, organized religion and of course some cults. The common factor is the additions we make to the simple message of the Gospel. We have found it acceptable to super-impose our rules, regulations, expectations and more over the Bible. We take our added things, keeps Jesus and mix it all up and call it a movement or a ministry. The reality is that we, as Paul says in Galatians, have easily deserted the Gospel for other teachings. This is sin!
Here is the simple truth: We have Jesus and He is enough! Nothing more, nothing less. He does not exist to help us achieve greatness, nor are we to worship Him to become great. We were created to worship Him because ONLY He is great. We are not great and can’t be great. He is God and we are not. He saved us from our pit of self-destruction, and for that we worship Him. That is the Gospel.
We are called to live a higher life as we follow Him. We are to be examples of Jesus. That means we cannot live like and look like the world. But, we have added requirements that lead to salvation and acceptance from Jesus. Those things are a lie! What have we added? Dress-Codes, Specific Bible Translations, Specific Musical Styles, Specific Service Formats, Particular Groupings, Time or Monetary Requirements, Etc.
What is it that you have added to the Gospel? Have you lost your Focus?