Christianity says, “Because you have been accepted, therefore, change.”
Greetings, Tower View Family,
Hope you are doing well.
As we continue to pray about what God is doing and will do among us now and in the years to come, I wanted to remind ourselves of what makes us Christians different. Christianity teaches something completely different than every other religion. Every other religion says that if you change, you will be accepted.
Christianity doesn’t proclaim good advice like Dr. Phil or Oprah…but good news. And that eternal news transforms us from the inside out.
This is by no means an in-built truth. And those of us in the church often forget it quite a bit. For many Christians, the Gospel acts only as the entry gate into Christianity. It is the “prayer we pray” to begin our relationship with Jesus. The appetizer we eat to get to the main meal of the “real” Christian life.
The Gospel, however, isn’t just the appetizer of which we consume while we wait for the main meal. It is the meal itself. It is not only the way we begin in Christ—it is the way we grow in Christ.
As Tim Keller says, the Gospel is not just the ABCs of Christianity, but it is the A–Z. All of the Christian life flows from the good news of what Jesus has done.
The purest waters from the spring of life are found by digging deeper, not wider, into the Gospel well.
Believing that you’ve been accepted by grace, though, transforms you in a fundamentally different way—in an organic way. It does two things in your heart that religion could never do:
1. It gives you peace and security with God, which produces love for God.In John 14:18, Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” A faithful father does not leave his kids wondering whether or not he loves them. When I have to go away on a trip, I don’t say to my kids, “Daddy will be back soon . . . or maybe he won’t. Maybe I’m not your daddy at all. You’ll just have to wait and see if I come back. Sit around and think about that while I’m gone, and let that compel you to become better children.”
That wouldn’t produce love and loyalty in my children. It might produce a little fear-based obedience, but it’s only a matter of time until fear-based obedience turns into father-loathing rebellion. God doesn’t want that for us any more than we want that for our own kids. He wants us to be at peace with him, and that begins by recognizing his compassion for us.
2. It releases power in your life. There are only two things that the Apostle Paul ever calls “the power of God.” One is the gospel; the other is Jesus Christ himself. The same power that surged through Jesus’ ministry during his time on earth is available to us today. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit, and it comes into our lives when we believe the gospel. As Paul put it, when we behold the glory of God in the face of Christ, we are transformed into glory (2 Cor 3:18-4:14). All it takes is a look. “Look to me,” Jesus says, “and live!”
No Bible lesson is complete without it, because without the story of God’s grace the Bible can become instructions to obey without the power to obey.
No ministry strategy will take off without the Gospel, because we aren’t running a business based on pragmatics. We’re responding to God’s lavish grace with open hands.
Remember: Nothing will cut through this present darkness except the gospel, prayer, and the transformed lives of those who confess Christ.
Thank you for praying, serving, and being a part of TVBC as we seek to win our area for Christ!
In Christ Alone,