Today’s Scripture: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31

One time a restaurant owner had a new helper, and he told him, “I’m out of quarters. Go get twenty-five quarters and hurry.” The employee ran, but nobody had twenty-five quarters. He finally came back with twenty-five quarters after running a few blocks. The owner shook his head when he came back and said, “I meant twenty-five quarter chickens.” The problem was he wasn’t clear.

This can happen with the gospel as well. Many phrases that are used to share salvation can be confusing. That’s not to say that no one can be saved in spite of them, but that they may cause issues if they are not understood as intended.

A man that helped us when we first moved to Chicago was witnessing to his grandson, and he told him, “Give your heart to Jesus.” His grandson started to cry uncontrollably. The man asked why he was crying, and his grandson replied, “I can’t give my heart to Jesus. I need it.” That’s why we need to be clear. A lot of people have been saved with that terminology, but it would be better if we were clear. Some kids might accept that without understanding what it means.

The Apostle Paul explained the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” What is the gospel? Christ died for sins and rose from the dead. He died for our sins and “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is why the Apostle Paul said to the Philippian jailor, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” It is as simple as believing that His death was sufficient to save you. He loves you, He died for you, and He offers salvation as a free gift. All you have to do is receive it.

Believe is a word with a very simple meaning. It means to accept as true, trust, or rely on. Why should we make the gospel more difficult than God’s word makes it? God’s words are pure. He said what He wanted and said it clearly so all could believe. Let’s make sure we are not muddying up the clear message of salvation when we are presenting it to others.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder