Has the Gospel stuck with you? Last week, I shared about the Sticky Gospel. I mentioned that the Gospel is something that should stick in our lives. The message of Christ is meant to be life changing. If we have truly received Christ and his Gospel, then our the focus of our lives should be changed. What is the Gospel? The Gospel is the good news that God is reconciling us to himself, forgiving us of our sin, and restoring our broken lives through the life, death, and resurrection of his son Jesus Christ. The Gospel is centered on the person and work of Jesus. Without him there is no Gospel, and no hope to be reconciled to God. Our sin has separated us from God, and only God can provide the solution to restore us once again.
There are many people who believe in Jesus, but the Gospel may not have really stuck in their lives. What is it that keeps the Gospel from really sticking at times in our hearts and lives. There are something we really need to know and own if we are truly going to embrace the Gospel fully.
We must know that “Good ole boy religion” is not the Gospel. Many people have a “good ole boy” theology. You hear and see it when there is a death. People say, “Well he was a good man,” or “He was a good ole boy.” The presumption is they are in heaven because they were a good ole boy. He may have been a lousy husband, drank too much, cared more about football than faith – but certainly this good ole boy is in heaven right? People just aren’t comfortable thinking of divine judgment and that God really will punish sin. So they just pretend every is getting in to heaven except maybe a few really bad people like Hitler. Good ole boy religion is not the Gospel, and this type of faith and theology will keep you from truly embracing the Savior Jesus Christ.
The Gospel is not about our good works, but rather about the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Jesus lived a life we could never have lived, a sinless one. Then he died a death we should have died for our sin so that we could be forgiven and brought back into relationship with God. Jesus worked on our behalf, and when we act as if our good works gets us into heaven, we are nullifying the cross as nothing. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The Gospel tells us that we are hopelessly lost without any possibility of saving our selves. There is no DIY salvation plan. You may be able to find plenty of DIY solutions on YouTube to help with your household projects. You will not find a way to heaven that is a do it yourself program. The Gospel of Christ reveals that we are completely in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. Our sin has ruined us and broken our fellowship with God. God owes us nothing but judgment, but the Gospel reveals a God of amazing love and grace.
For some the Gospel doesn’t stick because they at Jesus as a self help program. They just want Jesus to make them a little bit better of a person. They don’t think they are that bad or sinful, but they believe a little religion might make them better. They view their faith in Christ as a part of being a better version of themselves. Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good, or good people better. Jesus came to save sinners, and to bring life to those who were spiritually dead. We do not need Jesus to make life a little better. We need Jesus because we are desperate for his mercy and grace. Anything less it not a sticky Gospel and most likely will not bring about true and lasting change. So has the Gospel really stuck with you? And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at david@ sscommunitychurch.orgor 634-2960.