Monday, October 5, 2009

I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

A post by Joel over at Grace Roots has inspired me to think about the statement "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.." (Rom. 1:16).

The real gospel - grace - is powerful to save!  I want to be unashamed to say what the true gospel is - that by grace God accepts everyone as they are, because of the finished work of Christ, not because of any of our own righteousness, and that acceptance is a purely free gift with no strings attached.  We receive the gift - and the very life of Christ - by simply believing this news!

The old so-called "gospel" that I heard or believed in my legalistic days is truly one to be ashamed of.  It said I had to jump through hoops to get the favor of God, had to perform to be accepted, had to do it all on my own to be worthy.  It disdained anyone coming as they were, with no requirements put on them at all.  It never freed people from the law; it simply bound them under new "Christian laws".  It saw grace as heresy.

I actually read in a Christian magazine once that the idea that God accepts people as they are is "heresy".  What?  The idea that God accepts people as they are is THE GOSPEL!  This statement in the magazine broke my heart, because it seemed the writer was so bound up in law-thinking that the true gospel seemed like heresy to him! 

I wish that the whole world knew how loved they are by God, that they can come just as they are to Him and know they ALREADY have His full acceptance and love.  No clean up required before OR after their coming.  The gift of life and righteousness is so free it's ridiculous, and it goes right on being free after we're saved - no changes or improvement required then, either.  The whole point is to walk through life now with a Real Friend, someone who has been our friend from all eternity!  A friend named Jesus who will live inside us...you can't get a closer Friend than that!

I am not ashamed to say that God accepts me just as I am!

I am not ashamed to say that Jesus gave me His righteousness for free as a gift without me doing a thing - I just grabbed that present and grinned!

I am not ashamed to say that the whole wide world is reconciled to God - made friends, totally forgiven - by the cross of Christ without them lifting one finger!

I am not ashamed to say that all the world stands completely forgiven because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus, and no sacrifice on their part is ever required for that to be true - it already IS true!

I am not ashamed to say that Jesus loves me as I am, not as I should be in my thinking!

I am not ashamed to say that every child of God is perfect before Him right now no matter how they blew it yesterday or will blow it tomorrow!

I am not ashamed to say that as a child of God I am not under the law at all and am free from all demands and requirements and rules.

I may not understand grace completely, but I know one thing: law-based living and the performance "gospel" STINKS!  I'm sticking with the beautiful "heresy" of grace that freed me with the power of God called LOVE...that said to me "Come just as you are!  All is forgiven; come into My arms forever!"

8 comments:

  1. "I am not ashamed to say that the whole wide world is reconciled to God - made friends, totally forgiven - by the cross of Christ without them lifting one finger!"

    I'm not sure I understand this statement. Matthew chapter 7 states very clearly that of all those who profess Him as Lord....only a "few" are genuine. Certainly...not everybody is forgiven.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ike,

    I agree that not all who say "Lord" are genuine. The passage I was thinking of here is in 2 Co. 5:19: "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them". To me, not counting sins against them means forgiveness. Christ took away the sins of every person (John 1:29), but not every person has received Christ by faith and been born again.

    To be honest, in my many years in church, I was not taught that everyone is forgiven
    (or else I did not understand it if it was taught), and only recently have I understood it more. I hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry sparrow girl....I can't agee with what you are saying. All those outside of Christ will stand before the Lord someday and give an account for every last one of their sins. Only those "in Christ" are forgiven.
    Do you really believe that Christ died for all sins but one? If He didn't die for unbelief...I'm in trouble!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ike,

    I believe as you do that Christ died for all sins, even the sin of unbelief, which we have all been guilty of before we came to Christ! If He didn't die for unbelief, we would all be in trouble, so true! :)

    To me, forgiveness is not the same as salvation. Salvation is the imparting of Christ's life and righteousness to a person upon their faith in Him. All people are forgiven of all sins, but if they never believe in Jesus they are still sadly without His life within. The main thing seems to be receiving His life, not sins.

    I'm rather new to some of these ideas so perhaps another grace blogger could answer any question better than me (ex. Grace Roots).

    Ike, have a good day and thanks for stopping by to read my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yup indeed the whole world stands forgiven, they just don't all know it yet..........!! Great post Sparrow!! I think you are grabbing on to grace way more than you give yourself credit for!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lydia,

    Thanks for saying that! Your blog has been an encouragement to me for sure in learning about grace!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Look, Ike, we know you don't agree with our message. What is your point with this? Sparrow isn't trying to be contentious. Why are you?

    We can chase our tails all day long over this issue. In fact, you have, Ike, over at Joel's.

    Christ reconciled the WHOLE WORLD at Calvary. Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. What will men be condemned for? Read John 3. Unbelief. Righteousness was imputed to all, legally placed on our account at the cross, but righteousness is imparted, becomes ours, through belief. What good is life if you never choose it? God settled our account through Christ. But He does allow us the freedom to choose to accept it or not. Life or death. SIN IS NOT THE ISSUE.

    Grace, y'all. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is so good to be forgiven! The gospel is a declaration of a fact, not just a possibility! I thank God for how He used you all to help me understand this!

    ReplyDelete

May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14