Changed by the Gospel
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Recently, I read an article titled “Gospel Centered” by a respected Southern Baptist leader who chastised churches for replacing the Gospel with “moralistic rules,” that “teach new converts that once they enter into salvation through the Gospel, now they need to start living a moralistic life with a whole new set of rules like; attend church, read your Bible, stay sexually pure…” In his article he separates the saving power of the Gospel from the transformative power of the Gospel, but that is impossible.
The Bible certainly tells us that the Gospel changes a person’s eternal destiny, but the Bible also tells us it transforms a person’s present reality. It is by the transforming power of the Gospel that new converts begin a new life. Yes, that person is eternally saved, but that person is also changed from the inside out by the Holy Spirit who resides in everyone who believes the Gospel.
To say that true faith in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, only provides a way to escape hell and enter Heaven sells the Gospel short. The Gospel does even more than that. The Gospel also changes your mind—your heart—today. When you believe the Gospel you put fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness to death. (Colossians 3:5) You put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, and lying. (Colossians 3:8-9) You put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and love. (Colossians 3:12-15) Why? Because “you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…” (Colossians 3:9-10) You are changed by the Gospel.
For the church to proclaim the whole Gospel, the church must “teach new converts that once they enter into salvation through the Gospel, now they need to start living a moralistic life with a whole new set of rules like; attend church, read your Bible, stay sexually pure…”
Have a God Filled Week,
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