Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Naked Gospel

Thanks to Andrew Farley's The Naked Gospel, I can no longer beat myself up with guilt and legalism. I'm not sure whether to thank Farley or curse him.

Even though we know we are no longer under the Law of Moses, Farley writes that many Christians don't really believe it. If you're like me, you somethings think that you have to follow some sort of moral code in order to get into Heaven, and you beat yourself up when you feel like you're not good enough. But as Farley explains, that's the Old Covenant, which is dead. While the Law shows us God's ways, following the Law cannot save you. Only Jesus' death on the Cross can totally pardon our sins--now and forever. Farley reminds us that we are new beings, and sin no longer reins over us. Of course, we still unfortunately sin for time to time. But according to Farley it's not because of our "human nature," but because the force called Sin still lives inside of us (Romans 7:17).

"The message of 'Jesus plus nothing' . . . is often too humbling for us to swallow," Farley writes. "Instead, we opt for performance hoops to jump through in order to impress God. Sure, we trust Him alone for salvation and a place in Heaven. But when it comes to daily living, it's difficult to fathom that he wants to be our resource and carry the load."

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm way too hard on myself. Even though I know what grace means, my mind still can't believe it. I don't have to jump through any proverbial hoops to win God's favor? And Jesus already did all the dirty work? There's got to be a catch! But no, there isn't.

So now that I don't have to beat myself up with legalism and guilt, what am I supposed to do now?

3 comments:

  1. We've been studying the book of Mark at our Bible study for quite sometime now.... The amazing thing is how the standard that we are to live by is too high to do on our own.
    Examples:
    Bless those that curse you and speak all manner of evil against you....
    If you look at a another women with lust in your heart, you've committed adultery.....
    Do unto others....... If someone takes your cloak, give them your shirt as well........

    All impossible to do UNLESS Jesus lives in you..... He knew we couldn't do it on our own.


    Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

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  2. "So now that I don't have to beat myself up with legalism and guilt, what am I supposed to do now?"

    - Worship the Lord with praise and thanksgiving!
    - Invest in relationships with trust, love, selflessness and honesty.
    - Go about doing your work and contributing to your community.
    - Share the Gospel with others, both directly and slowly over time in relationship.
    - Go where the Spirit leads. :)

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  3. no matter how much we say we hate "The Law" we find the concept of grace infinitely more disturbing.

    -father robert capon

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