Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Effect of the Gospel

A couple of months ago, I took one of my favorite Influence Network classes. It was taught by Jessi from Naptime Diaries, and it was a fantastic class about sharing the gospel. 

I remember her starting out at square one, with a slide stating what is the gospel?

I think it was right about then that I realized I had no clue. Sure, I had a gist. Jesus came, Jesus lived, Jesus died & Jesus rose for us. I knew this. I understood that we are created in His image, and it's when we fully surrender our lives to Him that He helps us become what we were intended to be. 

I understood that it's when we fully surrender our lives to Him that He frees us, molds us and changes us. 

I knew and understood these things because I have lived them. Because I'm living proof of the fact that letting Jesus into your heart can never do anything except radically change you. 

And for the record, if you have fully surrendered your life to Jesus, then 
you are living proof, too. 
It doesn't matter how radical your transformation was. If you have let the love of Jesus Christ into your heart, then I can guarantee you have experienced change as a result. Change, growth, freedom. 

Share that with people! You may be just the inspiration that they need to seek out the truth about Jesus. 

But you know what, if someone had asked me what is the gospel? I wouldn't have known how to respond. I'm fairly certain I would have rambled on, like I just did for the past 15 lines. 

Jessi's class helped me walk away with an understanding of how to share the gospel. And for that, I am so thankful. 

I mentioned before that I'm reading The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller. This book has further elaborated on the gospel for me. It wraps it all up into a beautifully worded, powerful & effective sentence. 

I thought I would share it with you :)

The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. 

Bam. So good. 

You see, there are two parts to the gospel. One is understanding the incredible love and acceptance that is found in our Savior, Jesus Christ. The kind that you can spend your entire life searching for in this world, and never find. 

But there's another part, too. Along with understanding this incredible gift freely given to us, you have to understand why we need it. If you understand that Jesus is amazing and wonderful and selfless, but you don't understand why you need a Savior in the first place, that brings you back to the gospel. 

For the record, I'm describing myself when I say that. I'm describing myself for the first 22 years of my life. So I am not condemning or judging people who feel like they don't need a Savior, 
I get it. 

But as someone who's been there, I say to you scroll up. Read that statement one more time, slowly. 

Do you feel that wave of peace come over you? It's because somewhere, something inside of you believes that statement. Something inside of you understands that we are broken people searching for the love that our Savior freely gives us. 

So you understand the gospel, believe it even! What now? 

That's where the effect of the gospel comes into play. And The Meaning of Marriage sums it up in one piece of scripture. 

And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.

2 Corinthians 5:15

We are born into a world that tells us to live for ourselves. 

To go to school, get a degree for me
To get a job that pays me well. 
To find a spouse that treats me well. 

I said earlier that if you've let the love of Jesus Christ into your heart, I have no doubts that you've experienced change. I know this because we live in a world about me, me, me. And God tells us to live for Him. And if you let that wash over you, 
you will be transformed. 

So friends, let the gospel wash over you today. Let it take effect in your life. 

I can promise you, you will never regret it. 


katie_shannon said...

That was one of my favorite classes!!!

Mosby Hardin said...

Even though I have been a Christian almost my whole life this is definitely something I needed to heart today! It is so easy to forget what the Gospel is and a reminder is always welcomed in my book:) Thanks for sharing Amy!

The Pink Growl said...

love this Amy! reminds me of that old hymn That's why I'm not ashamed of the gospel.

Chelsea said...

I love that quote- and you're so right! We have to understand the depth of our sin to fully appreciate the love of God. It's a beautiful thing!

Kerrie Williams said...

you're so wise Amy :) The "me me me" part nailed it on the head. Replacing those statements with "Him " changes everything.

Go to school (or not) and do the job HE wants for me.
Do things that bring HIM glory.
Find a spouse (or stay single) in a way that honors HIM.

Game changer.

courtney {splendid actually} said...

such great meanings, Amy. you have summed it up here beautifully.

carr_gill said...

Such a great reminder and love the way that quote goes. So powerful. Thanks for sharing!

Erika Spitler said...

Oh Amy... you are so, so amazing. I find such depth in your words and I know it's only the fruit of the time you spend in the secret place!

Kiki said...

This is SO good and so true. It's weird, that even though I believe it, if put on the spot, words like the Gospel are always hard for me to define. But with the definition you shared, I now have the answer. Thanks girl! :)