Gospel Abuse

Posted by Matt Lane on May 2nd, 2010 filed in Bible, Christian Living

The Gospel is life. It can’t be taken off on a whim and then conveniently put back on when you need to say “save me” prayers. Oh sure many try but it is an abuse of the highest degree.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says that in Christ we are a new creation. How does that happen? Seriously, what are the mechanics of that? I’m not trying to be facetious here but how exactly does that happen? What things do I DO to become a new creation?

The fact is that I have very little to do with it. The Bible says that people must believe in Jesus and put their faith in him. To many that sentence means little and admittedly is often flippantly tossed around in church-world with the words “believe” and “faith” being rarely explained.

At the risk of reducing believing and faith to a simplistic explanation, people must trust in Jesus above anyone else and above everything else. Okay I did it again, trust has to now be defined. This trust we must have in Jesus is not like eating a sandwich and trusting that it will nourish your body. The fact that it does will not take much trust on your part and is pretty easy to believe. This trust in Jesus is more like trusting a rope while repelling off a 100ft cliff, or like trusting a parachute and believing it will open in time, or for some, much more like when a child jumps off a stair into their fathers arms. Whatever analogy you want to use, this trust is complete in that if what you are trusting in fails, your life is gone. Most of these analogies breakdown because eventually, you can stop trusting.

But this where it gets hard. It’s pretty hard to not trust in things and people and I still am not sure how I become “a new creation”. This is where God comes in and does what only he can.

I don’t know a lot but I know I can’t keep a sustaining trust/belief/faith in Jesus without God’s help. I’m just not that good. I also know I can’t become a new creation. I just don’t know how. Thankfully verse 18 says that “all of this is from God through Jesus”. Lots of people don’t like the word but this really is a supernatural event and it is how God reconciled us to himself.

God has made us (Christians) new and it is a work only he can do so let’s not pretend that we can then take it off or that the Gospel is just a governor to restrict what we can or cannot do. If the Gospel was just a governor and I could do what I please up to a certain point, I’m pretty sure I could make a mess out of things in about 3 seconds flat.

We cannot take off the Gospel in a vain attempt to stop being ambassadors for Christ. The Gospel can no more be taken off than you can take off your skin. Skin is vital to your body and the Gospel is vital to your soul. Attempting to take it off and on is abuse to the highest degree.

The apostle Paul finishes the chapter with very fitting words: “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

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