1. The Gospel is Not Advice for Self-Improvement
The gospel is not advice for self-improvement or how to be good but rather a
declaration that Jesus is King of the universe, that you are in rebellion against God
and that there is nothing you can do to restore your relationship to God on your own.
What makes the gospel “good news” is that though you deserve to be cast into hell
for all of eternity for your rebellion against God, Jesus has made it possible for you to
be reconciled to God through His sinless life, sacriﬁcial death on the cross and
resurrection. What is even more amazing is that not only can you be reconciled to
God but you can be made a part of His family and live with Him forever in the new
heavens and earth for all eternity!
Realize that the purpose of the gospel is not just to get you out of hell but to
reconcile and restore you to God whom you were created by and for. If you don’t
want God on His terms that means you would rather be your own god and He will
honor your desire as He will not force Himself upon you. But realize if you don’t want
God after you die you will not only not have God but you will not have anything that
He created. You will have desires but nothing to fulﬁll them.
What you have to do to be reconciled and restored to God is ﬁrst recognize and
confess that you are in rebellion against Him. That you, in your unbelief, have turned
from Him to be your own god and that you seek to ﬁnd happiness, fulﬁllment, and
purpose on your own terms in created things rather than in your Creator. You are
spiritually dead and the proof of this is that you continually sin by breaking God’s
laws. You lie, you steal, you cheat, you manipulate, you gossip, you covet, you lust,
you fornicate, you love pleasure rather than God just to name a few.
You try to convince yourself that you are a good person by comparing yourself to
others but deep down in your heart you know the truth because you sense the
darkness and emptiness that is there. Don’t try to make excuses in order to justify
your sins but rather admit them and take responsibility for all the choices you have
made in your life and the things you have done.
After you confess your rebellion and sin then you need to surrender and turn back to
God in your heart and put your trust in Jesus and all that He did for you in order for
you to be restored to God. When you do this Jesus takes your sin and you get His
righteousness then the Holy Spirit comes inside you to empower you to live the life
God wants you to.
From this point on your life is not your own since you were bought with the price of
Jesus’ life. You life is now His to do whatever He pleases to do with it. But don’t be
afraid, Jesus loves you! He is King of kings and Lord of lords. So follow Him, obey
Him, serve Him and worship Him. If you do, you will experience life to the full as God
intended. Not an easy life but a life that brings God glory and you joy and blessing
both now and in the life to come.