Heroine Addicts, Home-school Kids and the Gospel of God’s Grace

Bottom line, Christianity is not about becoming good, or cleaning up one’s life. It’s not. It has to be more than this. How can I say such a thing? Well, Jesus didn’t need to die to save anyone from an immoral lifestyle. You can clean up your life without him. People do it all the time. Mormons live great lives and deny the Gospel everyday. Besides, if good is the aim of the Gospel then from what do “good” people repent? You know, like the home-school kid. Sin runs much deeper than misbehavior.

Obviously, conversion brings a change, but salvation is not about the adjustment of one’s behavior from bad to good. Ultimately, Christianity is not about our “goodness” at all. It is about Jesus’ “goodness.” Jesus’ righteousness makes the goodness of the best people look like a dung heap by comparison. (Philippians 3:8-10) The Gospel is about the application of Christ’s righteousness to our account. It’s about the recognition of our need for his righteous life. (Romans 3:21-24) Even the best of us. It’s about the substitution of his life for our due punishment. (Romans 5:6-8) Even the best of us.

We have to repent of our goodness as much as we repent of our badness. Don’t forget – when Jesus came preaching repentance he did so to the best people on the planet. Really good people. People who would crush you in Bible trivia. Again, people need to repent of their goodness as much as they need to repent of their badness. People who put their faith in their relative goodness and don’t flee to Christ righteousness are just as offensive to God as the worst person we can imagine. (Matthew 5:20) People don’t go to hell because of bad things they do, but because of who they are. People don’t go to heaven because of good things they do, but because of who Christ is. People – even good ones – go to hell because of their natures regardless of how good they appear. People – even bad ones – go to heaven because of who Jesus is and what he has accomplished regardless of what they have done. (Ephesians 2:8-9) … read more

Byron Yawn: Byron is the senior pastor of Community Bible Church in Nashville. He is the author Well Driven Nails, which examines the preaching ministry of John MacArthur, RC Sproul, and John Piper.

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About John
A follower of Christ and sinner who needs his grace everyday.

4 Responses to Heroine Addicts, Home-school Kids and the Gospel of God’s Grace

  1. Brian says:

    Three quotes from “Heroine Addicts, Home-school Kids and the Gospel of God’s Grace”

    1. When good people repent – it’s a miracle.
    2. We have to repent of our goodness as much as we repent of our badness.
    3. People are saved by grace whether off the street or out of the pew.

    I sometimes used think deep down that it was more of a miracle for God to save really bad people than it is to save decent people….I was wrong. The reason why? There is no such thing as a decent person, we are all really bad. Even in our very best state before conversion we are are as filthy rags, we are a disgrace to God and enemies of his with no hope. No, I was not a drug addict, no, I was a good works addict but I was just as condemned. I was the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable of the pharisee and the tax collector and pray im more like the tax collector every day, Thank God he saves sinners.

  2. marc mullins says:

    We should never be so self-righteous to think we can ever obtain worth before our Holy God on our own. The Gospel is the most powerful words in the world, shared by the power of the Holy Spirit, if he so chooses no one, no not one, can resist the inevitable renewal of heart.

  3. “As Tim Keller explains it, the gospel isn’t simply the ABCs of Christianity, but the A-through-Z. The gospel doesn’t just ignite the Christian life; it’s the fuel that keeps Christians going every day. Once God rescues sinners, his plan isn’t to steer them beyond the gospel but to move them more deeply into it. After all, the only antidote to sin is the gospel—and since Christians remain sinners even after they’re converted, the gospel must be the medicine a Christian takes every day. Since we never leave off sinning, we can never leave the gospel.”
    Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian

    • I have the book. On my reading list. 🙂

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