JD states, "Seeing the glory of God revealed in the gospel gives us freedom from both sin and religion. The gospel sets us free from the threat of condemnation and changes our hearts so that we want to know and serve God." When we truly understand what Christ has freed us from then we'll want to serve Him with our money, time and talents. We will love God and hate sin. We'll joyfully do whatever He tells us to do because His approval and presence are all we need.
Our Christianity will cease to be a "to-do" list of ways to get on God's good side. We'll no longer bounce between pride and despair over what we have or have not done to make God love us more. The gospel is based solely on what Christ has done for us. We are no longer burdened by adhering to a list of laws.
"The grace of God extended to us at the cross should blow our minds. We 'stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned unclean.' There is no way to understand what Jesus did for you, on a heart level, and not be radically changed. Grace changes wee-little-stingy sinners into saints of magnificent generosity"
The grace of the gospel completely transforms us into kind, generous, loving people. It opens the eyes of our heart to see the beauty of what God has done for us. We see the world around us with the eyes of compassion and not judgment. We wake up each day rejoicing in the freedom to love others, to meet the needs of others and to show others how they can experience life-changing freedom in Christ.
There really is no other way to experience true freedom except through the grace of the gospel. No amount of material wealth, power or prestige can satisfy our hearts like Christ's presence. We can follow a list of rules and make ourselves look the part of a Christian but we won't experience the freedom that Christ wants us to have.
Look at the Pharisees. They were the most righteous men who followed all the laws. They gave away lots of money, were always at prayer meeting, kept the Sabbath and were quite zealous in their obedience. "But they were also bitter, resentful, dissatisfied, and self-focused. And they hated Jesus Christ" They never knew the transforming power of the grace of the gospel.
And if I'm honest, sometimes when I look in the mirror, I look a lot like a Pharisee. I find myself going through my "Christian checklist" and evaluating my standing before God. I listen to Satan as he points out my faults and failures. In those moments I must remember that Jesus says, "You are My beloved child. I am well pleased in you. Now live that way."
The Gospel Prayer
In Christ, there is nothing I can do that would make You love me more, and nothing I have done that makes You love me less.
Your presence and approval are all I need for everlasting joy
As You have been to me, so I will be to others.
As I pray, I'll measure Your compassion by the cross and Your power by the resurrection.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.