Determined not to complain, but rather give thanks in all things, I'm just going to share something that has spoken to me this week as I have been going through this season of Lent, meditating on what Christ has done for me:
When asked how they know they are Christians, people often answer with "Because I accepted" or "I prayed" or "I went forward." Notice the "I"? All of these answers give prominence to what the person has done. This is the root of the general confusion about the Gospel. The Gospel is about what God has done!
Christianity is the only religion in which salvation cannot be earned. Christians know our salvation has been accomplished by what God alone has done, not by what we have done...
The Gospel belongs to God. It is His Gospel. From cover to cover the Bible is about God's Gospel. It was His idea and His plan: "The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: 'All nations will be blessed through you'" (Galatians 3:8)
The Bible, beginning in Genesis, reveals God's plan to restore us to what we were created to be- people made in His image, joyfully living under His loving rule and blessing. But while it saves us, "the Gospel is not primarily about man and his needs, although these are not unimportant nor are they unrelated." As good as it may sound, a man-centered gospel is not God's Gospel. A gospel that primarily focuses on man's needs or guilt or feelings or wants or ambitions is not God's Gospel. God's Gospel is amazing news about what His son Jesus Christ has accomplished on the cross. It is about what God has done...
In a day when everything (including theology) is decided by popular opinion, how easy it is to believe another gospel. How easy it is to shape our god according to what we think he should be like and not allow the whole of Scripture to explain Him...
Our part is to believe. But we must believe in this Jesus- the Christ God has revealed in the holy Scriptures and not one of our own imagination. Here I must ask: In what gospel do you believe? Is your Jesus a messiah defined by your own imaginings or the promised Messiah defined by the Scriptures? The Jesus of the Bible is utterly wonderful! And His Gospel is the only path to godliness.
- Disciplines of A Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes