In his first sermon titled “Sovereignty and Salvation,” the Prince of Preachers makes a very contemporary point regarding our understanding of the gospel and theology.
I have heard numerous times from many people that we have not yet understood the gospel. As they share this it is with a glint in their eye, as if the wide and vast unknown is comforting to them. Could it be that they are that dissatisfied with the way that they have been raised with questions that have answers? Do they see the church as insufficient to its message?
Frankly, I find the idea that we do not understand the gospel to be frightening! What assurance do any of us have that we are loved of God, that we are accepted by God, or that anything he has said in his word is reliable?
Spurgeon obviously has had the same conversations as I. He talks about how many seem to be longing for a more complex religion. He even says that the more complicated on can make a religious method the more highly motivated people will be to follow and adhere.
Consider, as Surgeon does, the story of Naaman in 2 Kings chapter 5. This was a man if high import in the country who had leprosy, what is considered today to be a term for a variety of pervasive skin diseases at that time. Upon asking the prophet Elijah what he must do to be healed, the prophet told him to wash in the Jordan river seven times.
Naaman was upset; how could someone like him do something so beneath him. In fact he was willing to do more, to pay any price, but to wash himself seemed to base, to simple, to easy.
The glory of the gospel bares that same simplicity: all we must do is turn to God, to look to him (Isaiah 45:22). Spurgeon even says that we need not see, but only look. While the gospel bares such a striking simplicity, the depth of that saving grace and the weight of that gift are beyond comprehension. We indeed can have the assurance of our pardon; we need only to look.