Jesus plus or minus anything does not equal faith, it is a formula. Formulas do not free anyone. Instead, they compel us to create wearying lists of dos and don’ts that confine us, rules that restrict us, and ultimately a false gospel that steals the joy of a relationship wth the Lover of our souls. Only faith in Christ alone leads to freedom. And that freedom produces life-giving spiritual fruit in our lives by which we can bless others.
The Gospel is good news. When Jesus, on the cross, cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30), all our sins were forgiven. When we read that truth and then decide we must help Him out by adding or subtracting from His work, we are saying, “Lord, You weren’t enough.”
Don’t take from the Gospel; don’t add to it. Jesus is enough! Nothing more, nothing less. In Him alone is our salvation, our righteousness, our joy — both now and in eternity.
And yet we see people constantly adding to what Jesus did. One example that instantly comes to mind is born again believers celebrating Jewish feast days and even partly operating by the Jewish calendar which places us in the year 5783. Why do they do this? Are they not announcing that Jesus is not enough; that Jesus alone is insufficient to allow us an open door into the throne room of God and to know and relate to our Heavenly Father, God Himself?
It seems that Paul the apostle had a similar problem in the church in Galatia. He states:
Galatians 4:9-11 “But now that you have come to know God (or rather to be known by God), how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless basic forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? You are observing religious days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you that my work for you may have been in vain.”
MSG. “But now that you know the real God—or rather since God knows you—how can you possibly subject yourselves again to those paper tigers? For that is exactly what you do when you are intimidated into scrupulously observing all the traditions, taboos, and superstitions associated with special days and seasons and years. I am afraid that all my hard work among you has gone up in a puff of smoke!”
TPT “But now that we truly know him and understand how deeply we’re loved by him, why would we, even for a moment, consider turning back to those weak and feeble principles of religion, as though we were still subject to them? Why would we want to go backwards into the bondage of religion—scrupulously observing rituals like special days, celebrations of the new moon, annual festivals, and sacred years? I’m so alarmed about you that I’m beginning to wonder if my labor in ministry among you was a waste of time!”
AMP “Now, however, since you have come to know [the true] God [through personal experience], or rather to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and worthless elemental principles [of religions and philosophies], to which you want to be enslaved all over again? [For example,] you observe [particular] days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have laboured [to the point of exhaustion] over you in vain.”
In Galatians 2:4 Paul speaks about the Judaizers. Those who observe all the special days, annual festivals, new moons, and seasons of the religious calendar. He refers to the Judaizers as “false brothers.” They were Jewish converts to Christianity who insisted that Gentile (Non-Jewish people) believers must adopt Jewish customs and follow Jewish laws as a condition for salvation. In other words, Jesus was not enough.
Acts 15:1 “Now some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’”
Paul consistently opposed their teachings, insisting that only faith in Jesus Christ was necessary for salvation. Christ sets us free from the requirements of the Jewish law because He perfectly and completely fulfilled all its requirements during His time on earth and then died on our behalf.
And yet now we have a repeat of this issue and problem. We have believers for whom Jesus apparently is not enough. And so, in their daily walk with God, they have added Jesus plus prophetic words (often untested); Jesus plus 3 chapters of Bible a day; Jesus plus praying in tongues; Jesus plus a head covering; Jesus plus taking note of and celebrating Jewish festivals. On the list could go.
I want to go on the record as saying that Jesus is enough. And, you can spend your whole lifetime coming to know Him more and more and loving Him in a deeper and deeper way. In fact, we can spend all of eternity simply coming to know and love Him more. Because in Heaven Jesus is certainly enough as all things find their fulfillment in Him.