It’s the Gospel, the Good News that we can have life in Christ. Not because we loved him enough or had enough faith or did enough good things. But rather because He is sufficient. He loved us, so he came down.
Whether the circumstances of life are good or bad, I think we can all get so distracted with ourselves, to the point that we value our performance and obedience to God over God himself. If I have enough faith, then XYZ will or will not happen… But that’s not the Gospel. The promise of salvation and the gift of a Savior is that Jesus did it. He paid our debt, and he completed the good work from the Father. This is great news.
And it’s a tremendous blow to our pride. Because when things go well, we can’t puff up our chest and assume extra righteousness by our own brilliance and morality. And when things fail or someone points out our faults, we can’t battle it indefinitely to prove ourselves or sit and wallow in self-pity, because our reputation no longer defines us.
When we surrender our judgment to Jesus, we surrender our glory to him, too.
I think one of the reasons the concept of the Gospel is so difficult to grasp is because we want to contribute. It’s as if to say, “ok Jesus, you wipe away my sins, and I’ll fill up the resume with my good works.” But Jesus does both. He wipes the slate clean by paying our debt on the cross, and he submits the perfect resume of performance by living a guiltless life.
Which means, salvation is never beyond us. We are never too good to not need the saving grace of Jesus. And equally, we are never too bad to be disqualified. Because either way, salvation was never ours to obtain. We were never meant to save ourselves.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. – Ephesians 1:4-5
Before the creation of the world… The plan was always Jesus.
We are invited into a relationship with the Lord God, with this Savior Jesus Christ, through this Savior Jesus Christ. We are invited into his family, his kingdom, and into a part of his story. But God is not dependent on us. He is not let down when we fail, and he is not lifted up when we succeed. He is who He Is. He stands alone. And yet he saw us. And He loved us. So he sent his son to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. Jesus stood in our place. He sufficed as the sacrifice and made right what we had made wrong. And he achieved salvation for all people.
When we accept his invitation, we receive everything he has promised. And we never risk losing it, because we weren’t the ones who earned it.
The work is finished. And the work is secure. We can have life in Christ, not because of anything we have done, but because of everything he did.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. – John 19:30
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. – Acts 4:12
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. – Ephesians 2:8-9
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. – Titus 3:4
I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. – Revelation 5:5
Additional Scripture: Isaiah 59:16; Romans 3:23-24, 8:23; Galatians 2:20-21; 2 Corinthians 5:21
Process: Take time with these verses. Journal, jot notes, write a favorite verse on your mirror with a dry-erase marker. Let God’s truth seep in and override anything contrary to what the world teaches. And spend some time in prayer – Repent over the ways you attempt to glorify your own name, and worship God for who he is and what he’s done.
Related: The Sufficiency of Insufficiency
The Bible Isn’t About Me
Sing It: The Rock Won’t Move