Do Christians ever outgrow the Gospel? I mean isn’t the Gospel what you heard in Sunday school or vacation Bible school when you were a kid? Surely we are beyond that now right? Nope–not if we really understand how wonderful and radical the Gospel truly is.
There is Only One Gospel
The Christian Gospel is unique, offensive, and wonderful. We don’t just
need help from God. We need to be rescued. We can’t do anything in and of ourselves to earn our way to God.
When you read Paul’s letter to the Galatians, this becomes crystal clear. Paul is blunt:
“I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah.” – Galatians 1:6-7
If anyone offers a formula of “Jesus + anything” to earn God’s acceptance and forgiveness, then it is not the Gospel.
Jesus is either enough or not. There is no middle ground. Here is what the Gospel says:
“You are in such a hopeless position that you need a rescue that has nothing to do with you at all. And then it says: God in Jesus provides a rescue which gives you far more than any false salvation your heart may love to chase.” – Timothy Keller
And we do love chasing things don’t we?
There is Effort in the Christian Life But Not Earning
This is the glorious truth that sets us free from performance Christianity. Our Gospel identity sets us free to live unshackled from performance, comparison, guilt, and shame. It prepares us for both success or failure.
Because I now stand in the grace of God in Christ, I am free to live for God’s glory and pursue holiness in everyday life (which by the way is the best way to live).
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1
I am intentional in what I do but I am not earning God’s acceptance.
Free to Live for God
So whether you are a parent navigating challenges of family or work.
Or if you are a student navigating friendships, next steps, relationships, majors, or what school you will get into–we never outgrow the Gospel.
And that’s truly good news!
Here’s a question for you: Where are you tempted to try to earn God’s acceptance? (if you are a Mom or Dad reading this, then this would be a good thing to share with your kids sometime at the appropriate level because that will teach them how to rest in their Gospel identity amidst their own highs and lows.)
Hit Pause on Your Day and Reflect
Take a few minutes and let these words wash over you. Read this section of Scripture few 2 or 3 times. Read slowly and gratefully.
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“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” – Romans 5:1-11