This morning at church taught on the difference between a life lived according to religion and one that is lived according to the gospel. I used the following series of comparisons originally written by Mark Driscoll:
-Religion says, if I obey, God will love me.
Gospel says, because God loves me, I can obey.
-Religion has good and bad people.
Gospel has repentant and unrepentant people.
-Religion values the birth family.
Gospel values the new birth.
-Religion depends on what I do.
Gospel depends on what Jesus has done.
-Religion has the goal to get from God.
Gospel has the goal to get God.
-Religion sees hardships as punishment for sin.
Gospel sees hardships as sanctified afflictions.
-Religion is about me.
Gospel is about Jesus.
-Religion believes appearing as a good person is the key.
Gospel believes being honest is key.
-Religion has uncertainty about standing before God.
Gospel has certainty based upon Jesus’ work.
-Religion sees Jesus as the means to an end.
Gospel sees Jesus as the end.
-RELIGION ENDS IN PRIDE AND DESPAIR.
THE GOSPEL ENDS IN HUMBLE JOY.
The service went extremely well. I really felt that God was making his presence known to people this morning, and I truly believe that there was a movement of repentance of the sin of self and religion amongst our congregants and our pastor (me). I am amazed by the mercy and grace that our Heavenly Father shows us. I desire to remain desperate for the Spirit of God, and to realize that Jesus is the greatest treasure of my life.
I would like to leave you with a quote by Tim Keller on the gospel:
“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.”