This Gospel is just so overwhelming for me these past few days. I can’t stop tweeting about it, my fb status we’re flooded about it, reading books and listening to pod-casts after hearing it from my Pastor a few months ago. And now I’m going to blog about it. I hope to write it with clarity this time.
I strongly believe the ultimate desire of God for us is true freedom. God wants to be set free. And that’s the reason why Jesus came to set us free. Freedom from legalism, cheapening Grace, hypocrisy, Idolatry , self- righteousness and all that the bible calls sin.
A lot of us grew up with the mindset that the Gospel exists ONLY to set non-Christians free from the penalty of sin but in reality, Gospel also exists to set Christians free from the power of sin.
I’ve learned that the Gospel is not just a one-time event. We need to preach the Gospel to ourselves, every minute, everyday of our lives. I strongly believe that clearly understanding the Gospel will liberate us and will change our life radically.
We have to be very careful, or else, we will conclude wrongly that our actions is the root of God rather than the fruit of God’s favor. – Pastor Tullian Tchividijian
Because Legalism says, “Obey so that God will be happy with you” the Gospel says, “Obey because God is happy with you” because of what Christ has done for you. The Gospel sets our not on things on our “to-dos” but rather “to-be” who we are in God’s eyes. It’s either we’ll feel Proud because we get to do the law or we feel Condemned if we don’t meet the standards of the laws.
The Gospel is hard to accept because man’s instinct is conditional. We love conditionally. We forgive conditionally. That’s why, to accept the fact that God’s Love for us is unconditional is not easy. We still believe that we have to do something else aside from doing the sinners prayer and trusting Christ alone for our salvation. Until we enter into this “Work-relationship” with God that we need to do a lot of “church or christian stuff” so that God will keep loving us and that His favor continue to rest in us.
But here’s the truth that we all need to hear again and again,
God’s love doesn’t get bigger when we obey or smaller when we disobey.
So if the Gospel tells us that God’s love for us is not dependent on our behavior or obedience to Him so does God care about how we behave?
Allow me to share this, It’s not about you. Our salvation and holiness is never about our obedience. It’s about Jesus and His obedience for sinners like you and me doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. The sad truth is somewhere in our walk with God, we’ve become more interested with what we need to do than what God has already done for us. Religion is spelled DO while Gospel is spelled DONE.
By nature, we can’t accept the truth that our good works are like filthy rags in God’s eyes. The Gospel liberates us from performing. That we have nothing to boast about. We are but sinners saved by His Grace. It’s not because we read the bible everyday, or attend the church every week and give to charity every payday.
For the record, the law is good because it guides us to do the right things but it doesn’t give us the power to say no to sin. The Gospel does. Question you might be asking “Does it mean I can sin all I want because can can still forgive me anyway? Does it mean God would tolerate us to sin because His Grace abounds where our sin abounds?” Romans 6:1 answers us;
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? BY NO MEANS! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Faith alone saves but the faith that saves is never alone. It makes us want to obey Him MORE NOT less. So how can we really know we love God? by its fruit. The fruit is get to keep and obey His commands.
Our obedience is not the source but rather the fruit of our relationship with God, clear understanding of the Gospel. The Love of Christ compels us to be who are and who God is molding us to be.
I know we are all familiar with this famous verse in Philippians 4:13;
“I can do all thing THROUGH CHRIST who STRENGTHENS me”
This means, for me to be all to do all things, I have to recognize the source and ask him to strengthen us, compel us, empower us to be obedient and victorious in Jesus name.
Let me leave you with this quote from Charles Spurgeon,
“While I regarded God as a tyrant I thought my sin a trifle; But when I knew Him to be my Father, then I mourned that I could ever have kicked against Him. When I thought God was hard, I found it easy to sin; but when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I smote upon my breast to think that I could ever have rebelled against One who loved me so, and sought my good.”