Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
One day I was brushing my teeth and had one of those thoughts so clear it had to come from God: There is no such thing as failure because it is covered by grace. This made me start seeking out books on grace so I could saturate my mind with the message of grace. I began reading Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary and found some truly thought-provoking ideas that will continue to have a profound impact on me spiritually.
The author, J.D. Greear, begins by explaining the general misconceptions we have of the gospel:
“For many evangelicals the gospel has functioned solely as the entry rite into Christianity; it is the prayer we pray to begin our relationship with Jesus; the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of Christianity. After we get into the pool, we get into the real stuff of Christianity: . . . learning rules and regulations of how to behave.”
The gospel isn’t merely relevant to convincing people of their need for salvation; it is relevant to how we view ourselves, our circumstances, and our lives. The gospel isn’t about things we need to do to be “good” Christians because we don’t have to try to be “good enough” for God.
“We are changed not by being told what we need to do for God, but by hearing the news about what God has done for us.”
Greear encourages us to preach the gospel to ourselves daily. He provides a sample way to do that in what he calls The Gospel Prayer, a prayer-statement affirming God’s presence, approval, and power in our lives:
In Christ, there is nothing I can do what 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.
The reason we need to preach the gospel to ourselves daily is because we easily forget or we begin believing the lies of the devil. But we must keep bringing ourselves back to the gospel because it is the power of God in our lives.
“Whatever spiritual dysfunction you have in your life, the cure is the gospel.”
At the beginning of Christ’s ministry, God stated his pleasure in His Son (Matthew 3:17). Then Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and Satan raised doubts about God’s pleasure with Him: “If you are God’s Son . . . (why are you hungry, etc). God wouldn’t let this happen to you.” Greear writes:
“Jesus told the enemy that He did not need bread or protection to prove He was the Father’s Son; the Father’s declaration was sufficient.”
This struck me at my point of pain because I have really wrestled with why God doesn’t provide for me. It framed my spiritual struggle in a new way that helped me clarify the influence of the Accuser trying to convince me God isn’t good.
The gospel really is the cure for every spiritual dysfunction and, after reading this book, I’m going to do better at preaching the gospel to myself.
Also available in print or ePub from Christianbook:
|Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
By J.D. Greear / B&H Books
For many years J.D. Greear looked like the model Christian. In high school, he avoided rock music, dancing, and movies because he thought they would make him worldly. In college he learned that international missions was important, and went to 25 countries in 10 years to serve God and the poorest of the poor with his time and resources. And as a pastor he leads a large, growing church. But somewhere along the way, he actually began to hate God. His thoughts were filled with negative emotions, like jealousy and anger, and he saw God as demanding more and more, and never satisfied. Greear finally realized he had never allowed the truth of the Gospel to impact his heart.
Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary is Greear’s manifesto to the world and the church exploring the beauty and power of grace-filled living. Greear also shares what he calls “The Gospel Prayer” a powerful way to saturate oneself daily with the core truths of the Gospel. Learn how to lay down your desire for a works-driven righteousness that always leaves you feeling empty, and embrace the full story of God’s love and purpose for you.
|Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary – eBook
By J.D. Greear / B&H Books