To be too good to be true

236 you get nothing for freeMost Christians do not believe the gospel - they think that salvation can only be achieved if one earns it by faith and morally impeccable life. "You do not get anything in life." "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is not true either." These well-known facts of life are inundated by each and every one of us through personal experiences. But the Christian message is against it. The gospel is truly more than beautiful. It offers a gift.

The late Trinitarian theologian Thomas Torrence put it this way: "Jesus Christ died for you precisely because you are sinful and wholly unworthy of him, and he made you his own, before and regardless of your faith in him has bound you to him by his love so that he will never let you go, even if you reject him and send him to hell, his love will never stop. " (The Mediation of Christ, Colorado Springs, CO: Helmers & Howard, 1992, page 94).

In fact, that sounds too good to be true! Maybe that's why most Christians do not really believe it. Perhaps that is why most Christians think that only those who earn by faith and a morally impeccable life will receive the salvation.

However, the Bible says that God has already given us everything - grace, justice and salvation - through Jesus Christ. We can not help it. This perfect commitment to us, this indescribable love, this unconditional grace, all we could not even hope to earn ourselves in a thousand lives.

Most of us still think that the gospel's main purpose is to improve one's behavior. We believe that God only loves those who are "straightening up and taking the right path". But according to the Bible, the gospel is not about improving behavior. In 1. John 4,19 says that the Gospel is about love - not that we love God, but that he loves us. We all know that love can not be brought about by coercion or force, or by laws or contracts. It can only be given voluntarily and accepted voluntarily. God gladly gives it and wants us to openly embrace it, that Christ lives in us and enables us to love him and each other.

In 1. Cor. 1,30 stands for Jesus Christ is our righteousness, our sanctification and our salvation. We can not offer him justice. Instead, we trust him to be everything for us in which we are powerless. Because he first loved us, we have become free from our selfish hearts to love him and each other.

God already loved you before you were even born. He loves you even though you are a sinner. He will never stop loving you, even if you fail every day to live up to his just and pleasing behavior. That's the good news - the truth of the gospel.

by Joseph Tkach


pdfIn life you get nothing for free!