The Gospel says WHAT??

The Gospel says WHAT??

by Katie Brown

Westerly, Rhode Island

 

I am learning more and more that most people don’t seem to fully understand the Surrender that the Gospel requires, nor do they understand the Freedom that the Gospel gives.

Some of these mistaken people are extremely religious and morally upright. They may be the nicest, most successful and “perfect” people you know. But they are exhausted.

Others, unfortunately, have just given up. They “tried Jesus” but it didn’t work: “I said the prayer! I went to church! I tried and I tried and I tried and nothing changed!”

Both camps never fully surrendered “self,” and both camps haven’t found the joy in knowing YOU CAN’T EARN GOD’S LOVE.

Most of you, if you’ve been to church, know that Jesus died for you when you were still a sinner and by grace you were saved (Ephesians 2:5). But the text goes on to say: And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not the result of works, so no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:9 ESV)

You had no part in your salvation, and yet we easily forget that and think His gift is not enough! We think that we must “do something” to stay in right standing with God. And the church / fellow believers can drive that thinking sometimes.

Whether we want to or not, we start focusing on, “To be a good Christian you follow the commandments… To be a good Christian you read the Bible x amount of times a day… To be a good Christian you pray like this…”

For we hold [or believe] that one is justified by faith apart from the law. (Romans 3:28)

No, to BE a good Christian you are saved by Jesus Christ, by faith, and you follow Him. If you start focusing on yourself and how to “work” to get closer to God then you can start to slip and get frustrated with yourself and doubt God.

Paul writes to the churches in Galatia, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit to the yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

What yoke was Paul talking about? He goes onto explain: “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” (Galatians 5:4-5)

These believers were trying to justify themselves by the law (in this case, circumcision). It’s as if we think we have to do more to REALLY be forgiven. “There’s no way Jesus PAID IT ALL IN FULL.”

But listen, we know we have become the “righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21) and Jesus is going to present us “Blameless” to the Father, and this gives Jesus “great joy!” (Jude 1:24)

Have you not “transformed” in your Christian walk because you have been trying to work your way through a relationship with Him? Is your Christian walk a “to do list” that you are honestly tired of filling out? Are you wondering where is MY joy?

If any of this has struck a chord and the Holy Spirit is entreating you to seek more, please do! Talk to a pastor, trusted believer, and ultimately confess to God that you have been trying to “Earn your way.”

Jesus is calling to you: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

 

From Katie Brown’s blog “Earth’s Crammed with Heaven”

http://everycommonbushafire.wordpress.com

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