when you hear the word Gospel what do you think? most people would say, “well, it means the “good news” from God.” others will say it stands for the means of salvation for all who believe it. now i may shock you here but those comments aren’t wrong BUT there is so much more to it than that.
twenty-six years (give or take a year) i stepped into the realm of evangelical Christendom. at the time i struggled with many things, when i “accepted Jesus into my heart” i felt that all those things, those struggles disappeared. some did, some still plague me to this day…..but i digress.
my understanding of the gospel then and for the first ten years of my christian life was that God saved me when i believed in Jesus and now God was working in my life to make me better, holier, and righteous. i needed to do my part though, i needed to pray, read my bible, witness, stay away from “secular” things. in the beginning i was really good at it. i also came to believe that if i didn’t do those things that God would not bless me, that my sin would block my relationship with Him, and that in His anger with me for sin i commit, He would discipline (read punish) me. I was taught that while it was God who saved me, it was up to me to grow in my life with Him.
i was mostly wrong.
the Gospel is so much more than what i ever thought that it was. the gospel truly is the “GOOD NEWS”. but in order for the there to be good news we have to understand the bad news first. here it is….
humanity is damned. the tentacles of sin permeates the soul of every human being. no one is truly good, or altruistic.
“There is none righteous….”
i could see that in my own life. most of the “good” i was doing was to manipulate others to my will, and even after my conversion, except now my good works were a way to manipulate God into doing what i wanted. plus there are a host of other things within me that would cause most christians to douse themselves with holy water and run screaming from the room.
after ten years of living under the pressure to achieve spiritual maturity, i was having a spiritual breakdown instead. it was at that point the Holy Spirit began to teach me the Gospel. what i learned changed everything in my walk with God, and in my relationship with other people. it truly revolutionized my life, and has put me at odds with many fellow believers.
but the rest of this conversation will take place in my next post. this one is going on too long.