Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Gospel for Christians

I received a disheartening message today. It was letting me know about a past sin in a fellow Christian's life. The point was clear, I shouldn't be accepting their teaching because they were a sinner. And it broke my heart. It took me a moment to figure out exactly how to respond, or if I should even respond at all, but then I knew. I could only respond with one thing - the Gospel. 

You see, as we are all failures. We all make mistakes. That's why we need Christ. We've all messed up and have things in our past that we wish weren't so - but that doesn't change the Gospel. Not for me, and not for you. We are all sinners in need of a Savior.

The ironic thing was, that the Christian teacher in question was preaching that very message. He never once claimed perfection, he only claimed the cross. With everything that I have done, all of the mistakes that I have made, that is the exact kind of teacher that I need. I don't need a perfect pastor who has never known the pain that serious sin causes ones heart, I need someone who knows firsthand the joy of undeserved forgiveness. 

A few years ago I knew a wonderful woman. When I say I knew her, we went to the same church and Bible study, and our children often played together, but we weren't inseparable. We never shared our pasts or tears of any sort. But she left an impact on my life, and part of that impact was words that I will never forget. She said, "I've got a lot of baggage in my past, when I came here I was pretty screwed up. But God brought me through it, and I am through it. If people are bothered by it, then that's between them and God, because it doesn't bother me anymore." I absolutely loved the peace that she had about her past mistakes. I don't know what her sin was or how grievous it was, but I know that it happened while she was a believer, not before. Christians aren't insta-perfect. We still make mistakes, and God brings us through them. 

In fact, the only real difference between Christians and non-Christians isn't about us at all. It lies in the Gospel. We have accepted that we will never, and can never be perfect, that we need the perfect blood of Christ to grant us forgiveness not only for the mistakes of our past, but for the mistakes that we make each and every day. The Gospel is just as important for Christians, as it is for non-Christians, the only difference is that we are suppose to recognize the power in the blood. 

That is my prayer for myself at least - that I don't take the Gospel for-granted, not when it comes to my sin, and not when it comes to the sin of others either. God sent His Son, part of Himself, to die so that we could be forgiven of our numerous, horrific sins - all of them. He is so amazing ins't He?

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