zondag 25 februari 2018

If I Were Ashamed of the Gospel...

Gepubliceerd op 23 feb. 2018
If I were asPublished on Feb 23 2018hamed of the beautiful, joyful, simple gospel of Christ, how would I, as a self-proclaimed Christian, show it? Scripture tells us that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If my heart was ashamed of the mercy and kindness of God's free gift through His Son, what words would come out of my mouth? What would my inner Pharisee sound like?

The gospel of grace that was revealed to the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:1-4 is that we are saved when we believe (from the heart, not just with the mind) that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day.

But this is offensive to some, who teach that we must repent from our sins and do all kinds of things to earn our salvation and stay saved. I know how offensive it is because I used to be ashamed of this simple and glorious good news. I knew how hard I worked to deny my flesh and take up my cross daily. A works-less gospel? Where all you had to do was trust the blood of Jesus & His resurrection, and you receive the gift of eternal life? What a shameful, easy, fake grace false teaching!.....or so I thought. I was ashamed that it was so freely offered to everyone who simply believed from the heart and didn't have to jump through all the same religious hoops I had to. But the truth is, the message of the cross **is** offensive. Because it means that all our righteousness is as filthy rags and there is nothing we can do that makes us worthy to receive the gift of eternal life, and nothing we can do to keep it. (It's ALL JESUS!) And those of us who ever struggled with perfectionism or the approval of man or with simply understanding the depth of God's love know exactly what I mean.

God’s grace is so good, and the message of salvation is so simple, that it has become an offense to believe it—let alone share it and proclaim it. So if I were ashamed of the gospel, I would try to make it seem less glorious. I would be embarrassed by its simplicity. I would earnestly try to correct the simple, childlike faith of those who think they don't have to do anything. I would hurry to add all the things one must do to be saved, because surely God wouldn’t give the free gift of eternal life to someone who just trusts & believes....right?

So I created this message to share some of the things I said and did before I came to understand that the good news is REALLY GOOD NEWS. Before I, through God's love and mercy, came to understand that Jesus really did it all and the free gift of eternal life was given to me simply because I believed and trusted the gospel from my heart.

My hope and prayer through this message is to show how easy it is to lose sight of the truth of the gospel of our Lord Jesus and to encourage all who listen to put their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. This is about the purity of the gospel which leads to salvation, which is a one-time event. It is important that we do not confuse the gospel with sanctification or service, which is ongoing.

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