Archive for Gospel

Gospel Scriptures

I have an obsession with the Gospel.

I love it.

I love everything about it.

Just hearing it makes me breathe a little deeper.

That’s why I have piles of books that are centered on the Gospel:

But more than that, I love reading Scriptures about the Gospel.

Truth be told, I have books about it because I love to read. And what better to read about than what you are obsessed with? But the Scriptures are what really matter. The Scriptures are the basis of all the books, and they are the basis of my love for Jesus.

With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my favorite scriptures that summarize the Gospel with you today.

Gospel Scriptures

NOTE: All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version® 1973, 1978, 1984, and 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. (Emphasis mine)

Ephesians 2:1-10

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” 

 

Philippians 2:5-11

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-9

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third dayaccording to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”

Romans 3:21-26

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

Acts 10:34-43

“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

“We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Titus 3:3-7

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

Isaiah 53

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(verses 4-6)

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;

and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

John 3:16-18

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Romans 6:1-11

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 2:8-15

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Ephesians 2:11-22

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” … remember that at that time you were separate from Christ… without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

What about you?

What are your favorite Gospel Scriptures?

Share your answer in the comments below!

 

Did you like this list? You can find several more Scripture lists I have compiled here.

The Peace of the Gospel

Proverbs 16 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. As someone who is self-employed it’s a great reminder for me each and every day. When I was reading through it this morning, verses 6 & 7 really stood out to me. Here’s what they say:

“Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.”

I added some notes in my Bible just to clarify the passage in my mind. Here’s what I have:

“Through love and faithfulness (the sacrifice of Christ) sin is atoned for; through the fear (loving respect) of the Lord a man avoids evil (sin). When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he (God) makes even his enemies live at peace with him.”

 

That’s the gospel.

Through the love of Christ our sin against God is forgiven and we are able to live at peace with Him for all eternity.

In my Monday morning ladies’ Bible study group, we’ve been working our way through the beatitudes, and this week we were on verse 9 (blessed are the peacemakers) so this reminder of the gospel came at a perfect time for me.

We just finished talking about how the key to true peace is trust in God. It’s obeying His commands and living to please Him. In other words, when we lovingly respect God, we find peace. When we trust and obey, He fills us with the peace that surpasses all understanding and we are able to inspire peace in others wherever we go – even with our enemies.

Peace isn’t about our surroundings. It’s about our relationship with the Creator of the world. When we are right with Him, He gives us peace and we can trust Him to take care of everything else. And what a blessing that is.

Before you go, the women’s ministry leader at our church shared the following article on blessings with us on Facebook, and I wanted to pass it on to you. It’s certainly worth reading: The One Thing Christians Need to Stop Saying

What the Gospel isn’t

I mentioned in my last post that there are many different ways that people define the Gospel. To truly understand the Gospel, you need to know exactly what it isn’t, so in this post, I’d like to share a few things that are important to know that the Gospel isn’t:

The Gospel isn’t…

  • A promise of prosperity – The Gospel doesn’t promise us that once we accept Christ into our lives that we will live a long, happy and healthy life. I’m not saying you won’t, but there is nothing in the Gospel that says you will. The very fact that our Savior died one of the most unimaginable deaths possible should remove that promise out of the equation for us – but even if it didn’t, Jesus Himself said in John 16:33 that in this world we would have trouble (not riches and happiness – trouble).

It’s a growing theme today in the church to promise that Christianity will make all your troubles fade away, and that’s why I believe it is important for me to tell you otherwise. Accepting Christ’s work on our behalf doesn’t change anything about the world that we live in. There will still be bills to pay and people who sin against us. We live in a fallen world, nothing will change that. However, when we accept Christ’s work on the cross, we know that this world isn’t all there is. We know that while we might be merely surviving in this life, that we will be safe in eternity. While we might not prosper here, we will be welcomed into God’s kingdom when we die and be eternally happy (Rev. 21:4).

God’s gift to us is far better than earthly riches that will pass away. When we understand that, we can set our minds on things above – things yet to come (Col. 3:2).

  • A list of rules or required actions – Colossians 2:16 says that believers shouldn’t let anyone judge them based on what they eat or drink, by the religious festivals, New Moon celebrations or Sabbath days that they do or don’t observe. The reason for this is that there is no one act or combination of acts that you can perform or avoid to earn salvation. It doesn’t matter if you read your Bible every morning before the sun comes up, celebrate Passover instead of Easter, or go to church every weekend, the Gospel isn’t a to-do list. While those might be good things to do, they won’t save your soul, and they are not the Gospel.

This might step on some toes, but since the Gospel isn’t a list of rules or required actions, and not something that we can earn, it isn’t a prayer that we pray either. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that if you repeat after me you will be saved – Jesus never said that and neither did anyone else. I’m not saying you can’t be saved if you did say one of those prayers, I’m just saying that saying a prayer doesn’t save you – that isn’t the Gospel at all.

I absolutely love the words written in 1 Samuel 16:7: “Man looks at outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” You see, it isn’t so much what we say or do, or even what we appear to be, but it’s what is in our hearts that God really cares about. Yes, Jesus did say that if we love Him we will obey His commandments (John 14:15), however even if we truly believe that whatever rules we follow are because we want to glorify God Proverbs 21:2 tells us that all of our ways seem right to us, but God weighs our hearts. He knows if we are trying to earn our salvation or acting out of love for Him. It’s that simple. No act we can perform will gain us the salvation of the Gospel, but if we truly love God, we will try to act in a way that pleases Him, knowing that if we fail, He will forgive us because the price for our failure has already been paid.

The bottom line is that the Gospel isn’t something that you can earn or a promise of earthly things. It’s a gift of grace from our Creator (Eph. 2:8).

  • A license to sin – While the Gospel isn’t a list of requirements, it’s also not an excuse to do things we know are against God’s will. Once we accept Christ and start learning more about who He is and what He has asked of us, we will want to do things that please Him. Knowing that we will be forgiven if we fail, out of love for God we will purposely try to please Him.

When you truly love someone, you want to make them happy – you want to make them smile. It’s true that you might not be able to do that all the time, but you want to. If you don’t care what they think or say, then it isn’t real love. When we love God, we can’t help but care about what He wants. When we accept the Gospel, we do so out of love for God and what He did for us. This means that we will not use it as an excuse to sin because we know we’re forgiven, but instead, have a growing desire to please Him with our thoughts and actions (1 John 5:3).

Here’s how the apostle Paul wrote it in his letter to the Romans (6:1-4):

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

When we accept Jesus’ work on the cross, we start a new life – a life where we strive to please God out of love. Not continue to sin because we know we are forgiven. Sure, we will never be perfect, and will always struggle with sin – it’s human nature – but we will love God more than sin, and desire to honor Him.

  • Temporary, old-fashioned, or outdated – Another thing the Gospel isn’t is ending. Christ died one time, for all time. There is no limit to the number of sins His blood will cover, and nothing will ever come along that will replace His saving work on the cross. The author of Hebrews pointed out that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (13:8) What He did for us will never change, and His love for us that prompted Him to offer us the free gift of salvation will never change either.

We will never be able to out-sin God’s love. The blood that Christ shed on the cross didn’t have an expiration date or a sin limit. It wasn’t a temporary solution for those people who needed a leg up to doing it on their own. It was a permanent covering for those who admit they are sinners and could never make it on their own.

What Christ did will never go out of style, because it was never stylish to begin with. We will never need something new or trendier to take the place of His work, and we don’t need a new message that is easier for us to relate to or cooler to tell our friends about. The Gospel has always been offensive. I mean, God became a man and allowed the people He created to brutally kill Him. That’s not the kind of thing that’s cool to do, but He did it because He loved us. His sinless blood covered the sins of the world, and that is all that was needed then, and all that will ever be needed for the forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 9:27-29

Not only will Christ’s work on the cross last forever, but the work it does in our lives is unending as well. The Gospel isn’t a onetime thing that you experience and then move on from. It doesn’t save us from our sins and then simply stop applying to us. We need the Gospel every single day of our lives. It’s where our hope comes from.

The New Testament is full of reminders about the Gospel written to believers. Reminders of what Christ did, why it mattered, and how it should affect them. If you believe the Gospel for the truth that it is, it will affect everything about the way you live your life, the way you see the world, and the way you react to the things that happen.

The Gospel is an eternal gift from God promising us that Christ has paid the punishment for our sins so that we can spend eternity with Him.

Comprehending the Gospel

So if the promise of the Gospel isn’t something we can earn, how do we begin to comprehend it? Here’s something that the apostle Paul wrote to help the Ephesians understand:

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins… But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. …For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (2:1, 4-5, & 8-10)

That isn’t exclusive to Ephesians, but each of the letters that was written to believers in the Bible has the theme that we are sinners, and are saved by the grace of God. We’re not saved by good works, but for good works. Here’s another verse that Paul wrote, this time to Titus:

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” (sound familiar?) “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy… so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (3:3-5, 7)

Have you ever had someone give you something just because? Not because it was your birthday, they felt you deserved it, or because they wanted something in return, but just because they were thinking about you and wanted to show you how much they cared? That’s the Gospel. We don’t deserve it, we didn’t earn it, there’s no practical reason that we should have it, but God loved us so much that He gave it to us anyway.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Truth

The Truth – It sounds like something that you would ask a child for when it’s obvious that they’re lying. But what about when it isn’t so obvious? The truth doesn’t always seem to be so black and white in our world, yet even when the truth isn’t clear, the truth is still the truth.

We live in a world that prefers to see things in context – a world that doesn’t want to see things in black and white, but rather to look for the gray areas. However, no matter how you choose to look at or word deceptions, the truth remains the truth. There is a very real truth that millions, if not billions, of people are being deceived about.

The truth that I’m talking about is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the begotten Son of God (John 3:16). If you were to take a survey of Christians and non-Christians alike asking them to define the Gospel, you would get a wide variety of answers – both about its meaning and its importance.  However, God’s Word – the Holy Bible – is very clear on the matter. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the single most important thing that anyone will ever hear.

Why?

Because it determines our eternity. Allow me explain:

The Gospel Defined

Gospel Beauty

The Bible says that we were created by God – He placed us on earth to live full lives and have community with Him (Colossians 1:16). He created us to love us. However, something went terribly wrong. God’s very love for us demanded that He give us free will – for forced love is no love at all – and with that free will we chose not to love Him back. We chose to love ourselves and live our lives chasing after our own desires. Nevertheless, God didn’t give up on us. He was willing to lay down His life, not only to prove His love for us, but also because the lives we have chosen to live have dire consequences that He didn’t want us to have to experience.

An easy example of this that has been used time and time again is thinking of God like a judge in a court room. One day, we will stand in that court room and have to be judged by Him for what we did in our lives. Now, He isn’t going to get all emotional and throw us in jail because we chose not to love Him, yet He is going to hold us accountable for the things we have done.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have done some pretty rotten things in my life, things that I would really rather not discuss nor have to pay the consequences for. Yet our lives are open books to God. He is all-seeing and all-knowing. He not only knows what we’ve done, but He also knows what we have been thinking every moment of our lives (Proverbs 16:2). Nothing is hidden from Him (Hebrews 4:13).

So when we stand before Him on judgment day, He isn’t going to get out a scale and determine whether we did more good than bad. I’ve never seen a judge do that, nor would I think it was okay for someone to get away with committing a crime just because they did a lot of good before or after. That wouldn’t be justice, and a judge that allowed it wouldn’t be a good judge.

When it comes down to it, we will stand before God and be held accountable for the things we have done that were wrong. God has what I like to call a “short list” of some of the things He will be holding us accountable for in the book of Exodus – most people know them as the Ten Commandments. It includes things like not stealing, killing, or lying, and while this is the “short list” it’s usually long enough to convict each and every one of us (because – who hasn’t told a lie?), Jesus broke it down a little further for us in His famous Sermon on the Mount. He said, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment… anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22). Scary, huh?

The point is that a human judge would convict a man for killing another man, but God has even higher standards.  He created us to love, and when we hate others that’s exactly the opposite of what He created us for. He further pushes that point when He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:43-44).

Based on those standards, we are all guilty of committing crimes against the God that created us. This means that we will be convicted and sentenced on the day that we stand before Him – and that is just the beginning. What we so often want to overlook is the fact that God doesn’t offer community service. Once we are convicted of breaking His laws, there is only punishment – banishment from God’s presence into the lake of fire (known more commonly as Hell) for all eternity.

Now let me stop for a moment, because I know what you might be thinking: “If God is so good, how could He send good people to Hell? He set His standards too high and no one could ever live up to them.” If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re exactly right. He did set His standards so high that no one has ever, or will ever be able to meet them – well, no mere human anyway. Mainly because none of us are ‘good’ – we might not be as bad as Hitler, still that doesn’t make us good (Romans 3:10). We have all broken God’s laws and hated Him (John 3:20). But where there was no way, God has made a way.

God loves us so much, that He chose to become a human and take our punishment for us. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life. He was tempted in every way that we are, yet He didn’t sin – not even once (Hebrews 4:15). He knew it would be impossible for us, so He did it Himself. In doing so, He became not only our role model, but also our Savior. The perfect judge sentenced us so that justice would be done, but then He posted our bail.

When God first created the world, He issued a warning. There was only one thing that Adam and Eve couldn’t do, but if they did, God told them that they would die (Genesis 2:17). Physical death was the original punishment for sin, then after our physical death we face judgment for our eternal punishment. But Jesus never sinned. He was God in human flesh – sinless and eternal. We couldn’t handle that though. Jesus threatened our ability to make it on our own. Before He came, people had to observe hundreds of laws and sacrifice animals to be forgiven when they failed, and if they did everything they were supposed to just right, then they would be okay. But what everyone was missing was that it was impossible to do.

When Jesus came, He changed everything, and the religious leaders of the day were jealous and devised a plan to get rid of the threat that Jesus posed. They hung Him on the cross for professing to be who He really was. In doing so, He paid for a crime that He didn’t commit. To quote the prophet Isaiah: “…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (53:5).

That is the Gospel truth.

We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), which means that we all deserve to be punished by God’s standards. But God loved us so much, that even though we have fallen short, He paid the price for our crimes against Him so that we could still spend eternity with Him (John 3:16).

But Why?

Before going any further, I need to address a very important question: Why was there a need for the Gospel in the first place? Why did Christ have to come and die? Why didn’t God make a different way?

I’m not going to pretend to know all of the answers. After all, God tells us in Isaiah 55:9 that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts. But I can tell you why I’m glad He didn’t choose a different way. It’s not that I’m happy that Jesus had to suffer and die, I’m just thankful that He did – here’s why:

Any other way would have left salvation in the hands of sinners.

If God would have changed the rules, if He would have said that sin was forgivable without punishment as long as ______. If ‘x’ amount of sin could go unpunished, then it would be up to us to get into Heaven. Salvation would be something that we had to earn. No one would know if they were safe. “What if I screwed up the next day? What if I thought I was doing enough good, but barely missed the mark? Would God alter the guidelines for those of us who were almost making it?”

I’m so thankful that we don’t have to address those questions – that we don’t have to worry. Because of Christ, we can lay all of our cares at His feet. We can relax and let His grace wash over us. We can rest in the knowledge that there is nothing left for us to do – Christ completed it all at the cross.

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God sees sin as a very serious thing – something punishable by death, something that has to be covered in blood. And Christ became the perfect sacrifice. “The One who had no sin (1 John 3:5) died for our sins and shed His blood so that we could be forgiven.” We have all fallen short of the glory of God, and we could never make it on our own.

Jesus paid our price, one time for all time. He finished it at the cross, so now when we see our sin and our failures, we don’t have to wonder if this is the sin, if this is the time, that will push us over the edge and condemn us to Hell for eternity. No, when we screw up, when we fail, we can look to the cross and know that we are forgiven. I don’t need to know the exact reason that God chose to die in our place to be thankful that He did. After all, there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend (John 15:13) – It’s good to be loved by God!

Read part 2 of this post, What The Gospel Isn’t, here.