John 6:28-29 (NLT) They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
After Jesus miraculously fed a large crowd of people with just five loaves and two fish, the people kept following Him around. Jesus knew that they were only following Him to either get more food or to see Him perform more miracles, not because they understood who He was and the significance of the miracles. After He told this to the people, some of them replied by telling Him that they wanted to perform God's works as well. I guess they said this to save face. But Jesus broke down the message of the gospel to its most basic level for them. All God wanted from them was for them to believe in Jesus. By the way, they didn't wind up doing the one thing that would have pleased God and saved them. They didn't believe.
We, many times, complicate the gospel. Jesus once accused the Pharisees of shutting the door to heaven in people's faces. They wouldn't enter and they wouldn't let those who did want to enter come in (Matthew 23:13). How did the Pharisees do that? By making their own rules and regulations that led people astray. Many people now (and down through the ages) that are viewed as Christian leaders have made their own rules and regulations that have nothing to do with what Jesus taught, throwing people into confusion and leading them into religion, but not into a personal relationship with Jesus.
With the huge technological advances that have been made, it is now possible to watch church services from all around the world, twenty-four hours a day. While there are many legitimate pastors, teachers and evangelists preaching the true gospel, there are also many who preach fallacies and false doctrine. Some of them have some Christians going back to observing Old Testament law, something that the Bible warns against. The Book of Galatians was written with the purpose of correcting that wrong kind of doctrine and teaching. Other people are running here and there, saying that they want deeper truths, while they are not even living out the simple truths of the gospel such as forgiving one another.
When it comes down to it, Jesus made it very simple. If you want to please God, believe in Him. If you want to be saved, believe in Jesus. That's it. That's the gospel, pure and simple. What happens after you truly believe, however, is miraculous. What happens is that you become a new creation, living a totally brand-new life. You begin to resemble Jesus more and more each day. You don't observe the law, but God's law is planted in your heart and you find yourself living the law of God. Believing in Jesus changes you from the inside out. As this change is taking place, there will be works for you to do. God will use you for His glory and many people will benefit from what the Lord has done and is doing in your new life. But don't stress yourself out wondering what great work God wants you to do. Just do what pleases Him by believing in the One that He sent: Jesus. Live the simple gospel. Believe in Jesus and God will lead you into all that believing in Him implies as you trust Him.
Pastor Joey Vazquez