For many people the gospel is simply too simple. They want to know what the catch is. Many of us get calls from people promising you the moon and stars, just to be told at the end of the conversation that you first need to pay a lot of money. It sounds so good, but sorry, I don’t have that kind of money – and without further ado you’re cut off. And that’s why some people are also afraid of being made a fool of when they are promised heaven without having to earn it through some good deed or another, or a habit.
It is sad that some people believe that that they can only get to God by living within the strict boundaries of the law. 18If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan. In a way they draw a line through Jesus’ death on the cross. 21Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
If your dad gives you a farm, a house or a car for free, but you refuse it, saying you can’t accept it, because you’ve done nothing to earn it, you are insulting him. And it’s exactly the same when we think we can earn our place in heaven. When you think like that you’re insulting Jesus and you’re actually saying to Him that his death on the cross was not enough. Sort of as if you would feel a little better if you could contribute some blood, sweat and tears before going to heaven.
We don’t have to be afraid that there’s a catch somewhere. Jesus’ death on the cross was enough to pay for our sins. We no longer need to obey a heap of rules to be allowed into heaven. But when I look around me and read all the e-mails that I receive daily people are suffering. They are suffering under a burden of sin. Yes, sometimes I also feel depressed and angry with myself. I also feel guilty about all the wrong things that I do. Sometimes I don’t even want to look up, because my sins prevent me from reaching God. And then my peace and joy disappear.
Nothing but faith in Jesus Christ is required for salvation. Make Jesus number one in your life. Look at your life through the cross of Jesus and notice the wrong things you do and the things we know we should do, but don’t do. Know that He has already carried the punishment for your sin. And know that the law still has a purpose. Today the law helps us to know how God wants us to live.
But it is important to know that obeying the law cannot bring about your salvation. First salvation through faith in Jesus alone, then obedience to the law.
The law is still our guidance every day, but the consequences of breaking the law, the punishment, has been born by Jesus. That is why we can shout with joy again, because Jesus has died as punishment for all our sins. Our responsibility is to live a life of obedience out of gratitude from now on.
Do you believe in the simplicity of the gospel?
Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins too?
So why are you still carrying a burden?
Lord, how good You are to give your life and your body for all our sins. Please forgive us, Lord, that we are so often bowed down by sin and do not have the courage to try again. Please help us to keep believing that your sacrifice on the cross has saved us from eternal death. Your love for us is awesome. Amen