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Why I thought the gospel wasn't the "Too good to be true news".

Why I thought the gospel wasn't the "Too good to be true news".


by Bibi Babatunde-Ikotun

Hi everyone, I trust we're doing well and not getting overwhelmed by the current global situation. It's not God's will for us to be overwhelmed because Jesus already overcame the world on the cross. We're partakers of His death, burial and resurrection hence we're victorious on every side. Don't worry or be anxious, everything will end in praise. In fact, the first Sunday after this is over shall be a jubilation service where we shall count and no one will be missing or incomplete to the glory of God! Stay strong, stay encouraged. Guard your eyes and your eye gates, focus on what the WORD is saying not what the WORLD is saying. We are overcomers in Christ Jesus! Glory! Hallelujah! Amen!

Today, I'll be sharing something a bit personal. So I was born into a Christian home. My parents made sure we're raised in the way of the Lord, we only watched Christian movies, a lot of mount Zion films like "Apoti Eri", "the gods are dead", "Just a little sin" and the likes. I didn't get exposed to secular content until my older sisters came back from secondary school and had CDs of Westlife, Backstreet Boys, Destiny Child and the likes. Based on my background, I actually thought I knew the gospel because I had accepted Christ into my life. Here is the bible verse every believer knows that brings us into salvation: 

John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It is so crystal clear yet so complicated by many believers. It says whosoever believes in Jesus will have everlasting life which means their soul will never die which means they will go to heaven. But the way I was made to understand this clear scripture was like this:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him and obeys the 10 commandments, pleases God constantly and is able to ask for forgiveness of sins before death will then not perish but have eternal life.

This version of John 3:16 never seemed too good to be true to me. It seemed like a lot of work. What is good about obeying the 10 commandments and still not knowing if you will "make heaven" on the last day. It was doing a lot on the probability that one day God may or may not accept me. How can someone ask me, will you make heaven and my answer will be "Only God knows". It even fosters a lot of judgemental behaviour based on self-righteousness. You start to look at other people as less of a Christian because you don't fornicate, you go to church 3 times a week, you're a worker, you read your bible and you pray. Hence, you begin to think God owes you salvation and the person that doesn't do the rest of the things you do doesn't deserve heaven.

The gospel I had believed in and come to know was not too good to be true. Okay, Jesus died for my sins but if I still commit those sins God will be angry with me. Nothing sounds exciting about that. I might as well continue to live in sin because I don't have an assurance of being saved from eternal damnation. I technically don't owe God my life. There's no difference between me and an unbeliever. I think I might even be worse than an unbeliever because the unbeliever knows for sure but my faith is based on guesswork.

So imagine the first time I heard the nearly too good to be true news in the light of Christ, I was angry. I felt betrayed. I felt like all my good works to try and earn God's salvation was a waste. I believed in Jesus and had received eternal life on the spot and also gotten sealed with the Holy Spirit who was my assurance that I will never ever be condemned by God. I wanted to fight everyone! How was salvation this easy! I had been told that the road to heaven was so narrow only a few people will "make it" but I have come to understand that the narrowness of the road means there is only one way and that way is JESUS!

John 14:6 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

The gospel saves

Romans 1:16 (NKJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

The gospel is the power of God to save as well as empower us to live boldly for him. The Greek word for salvation is "Soteria" which isn't limited to the forgiveness of all sins (past, present and future) but extends to healing, deliverance, prosperity. Jesus brought the kingdom of Heaven on earth and it released it through the gospel. Those who believe in the gospel have access to these things. In the bible, the gospel can be found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 that says: "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,". We are saved eternally and that alone is motivation to live right because you know God owns you!

The gospel offers forgiveness of all sins

Romans 3:25 (NLT) For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

The gospel tells us that God placed all the punishment of the whole world's sin on Jesus Christ. The wages of sin is death, we all deserved to die because of the nature of sin we received from Adam however God's gift is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. And for this perfect sacrifice, God's wrath has been satisfied! He is not angry because Jesus paid the price for everyone. The murderer, rapist, thieves, the philanthropist, the upright man, the moral person and everyone else in the world. The only thing the world has to do is to receive this gift of eternal life. That my friend is too good to be true news!

The gospel buys you for God's kingdom

Romans 5:1 (NKJV) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

The blood of Jesus was the currency that bought your freedom from hell. The receipt is the Holy Spirit that lives within you. That precious blood is worth more that all the impurities and ungodliness in the whole world. Sin is no longer an issue, the blood has conquered the problem of sin. I used to think people go to hell because of their sins because of the notion of the gospel that I knew but now I know for a fact that people go to hell because they have rejected the free gift of God, Jesus. He is the only way to the kingdom of God! And you who believe, is an ambassador of heaven representing your father here on earth. 

The gospel does not give license to sin

Romans 2:4 (NKJV) Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

When you think the gospel gives us a license to sin, it means that you think sin is greater than the blood of Jesus. God forbid! When you come into a revelation of all that God has done for you, you'll be sold out to living for Him alone. You're free from sin not to sin. 1 John 3:3 (NKJV) says "And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." When you receive Jesus into your life, you changed from the inside out! God doesn't want you to be sin conscious anymore, He wants you to be focused on what His love made you. The more you realize this, the more you're able to live purposefully. 

The gospel helps you keep His commandments for your own benefit

1 John 5:2–3 (NKJV) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

I know people misconstrue this verse to mean "Keeping God's commandments is a way to get Him to love you but we know that isn't true. This verse really tells us that if we understood how much God loves you, you'd keep His commandments. No one will have to force you or make you do it. Also, He will give you the grace and power to keep you from falling if only you lean completely on Him. The truth is that God loves you without your input and He has paid the price for you. Receiving Him in your life means accepting His love and the ability to live in the freedom He gives. Freedom from sin!

All these things are ushered in by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross but we must believe in Him to receive all of these. You don't have to be perfect to accept Him into your life, It is all your decision. Accepting His love will perfect you and all your flaws. Truly accepting Him will enable you to live for Him. 

So yeah, the gospel is indeed too good to be true. That God loves you and me too much that He died so we can become citizens of heaven and also live a life for Him by His own power, not our own power. We don't have to be righteous on our own accord but rest in the knowledge that we're the righteousness of God in Christ and that helps us to be perfect, blameless and spotless before God. I don't know about you but this is unbelievable and makes me want to do everything for God. I owe HIM ALL THAT I AM AND WILL EVER BE!

I love you so much.

With love, 
Bibi


Comments

  1. I really like what you wrote about 1 John 5 2 - 3. For me, God's love is what propels me each day to live a life of holiness and God is always there to carry us through. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ii was immensely blessed by this. Glory to God. I'm not sure I've received this much revelation about the amazing grace and salvation of God. Im blessed forever. Hallelujah! Thanks sis. May God replenish and use you even more

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had been told that the road to heaven was so narrow only a few people will "make it" but I have come to understand that the narrowness of the road means there is only one way and that way is JESUS!
    Deep! Thank you Bibi

    ReplyDelete

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