I get what the whole positive thinking message is trying to do. Do better –Try harder – Be positive. I spent much of my life pushing that theme. I have come to realize that trying to spiritually exercise my way to salvation will leave me feeling beat up, frustrated and depressed, because no matter how hard I try I don’t measure up.
There seems to be a popular theme in much of the modern-day church – a get better, self-improvement message replacing the gospel. Ministers pontificate from their crystal soap boxes with a positive self-help theme that has nothing to do with the message of the gospel. They preach; “You can do it” – Grace says, “I did it for you”.
The message of the gospel is that of God’s goodness and mercy embodied in grace. Jesus in His mercy died on a cross that we might receive salvation. All the self-help in the world cannot earn even one ounce of grace. Concretized in the foundation of grace is a message that not only improves our daily life but leads the lost to forgiveness of their sins by the blood of Jesus Christ. All the help we need is found at the foot of the cross. Any advice on how to make your life spiritually better that is not channeled by the message of grace affronts the gospel and insults the life laid by Christ on Calvary.
The message of gospel speaks to our heart’s deepest needs filling us with God’s purpose and desire. Many times as believers we think we need to grow deeper into God while thinking that the gospel is only for the unsaved. Sometimes we see the gospel as not feeding us with “solid food,” but only with “milk,” thinking that we need to move on fuller maturity of knowledge. In truth, there is more than enough meat found in the message of grace that keeps us grounded in our infancy and in our maturity as Christians. Grace reminds us that everything we need for our past, present and future is found in the gospel.
I have come to realize and understand that I must remind myself every day of the work of grace in my life, less I become insensitive to the message of the gospel that decrees the mercy of God. It is when I forget the message of grace incarnate in the gospel that I find myself in trouble in life.
We cannot be fickle as followers of Christ allowing our ears to be turned away from the message of the gospel by a feel good, “I can do it” message outside of grace. A Christ-less gospel is not the gospel – Jesus Christ is the gospel. Any variation of the Truth of Grace, is a lie about God. Those who are proclaiming the positive feel good message as the gospel are unfaithful to the message of the Grace of Christ. Paul tells us in Galatians – If one of us—even if an angel from heaven were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed. I said it once; I’ll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed.
Embrace the message of grace given to us by our Lord. The power of grace is not mere human optimism, or a feel-good, do better message. The message of the gospel is grace, and it comes straight from God by the blood of Jesus Christ.
- The Offense of the Cross – A Rebuke to the Modern Gospel of Watered Down Half Truths (thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com)
- Basis Christian Beliefs (stromquistm.wordpress.com)