Sunday, July 17, 2011
I don't understand the Gospel
When I was 15 God opened my eyes and gave me a new heart that trusted completely in Jesus' work on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins. The knowledge of what the Gospel meant was nothing new for me. I had grown up in the church (in fact my father was always the preacher) and consistently I heard about my sin and my need for a savior but until that day, in the summer of 1997, it wasn't real for me. So I fully understood the Gospel? Not quite.
I began to read the Bible for myself and study it's words and slowly began to God's ultimate purpose and plan of salvation. That I was made for His glory and I had failed to truly glorify Him. So He sent His son to die so His glory would be proclaimed and my life would be redeemed. I got the Gospel now right? Not the full depth.
In 2003 I married Annie Koole (you know her as the funnier, better blogger on this very blog). I loved (and still love) her so much and soon after we were married it struck me that I had never loved and been connected to someone so intimately and deeply. I thought of God the Father and God the Son (Christ) and the separating that happened at the cross. I would never give Annie up for anything much less anyone. My understanding of Gospel reality was strengthened. Got it, right? It gets better.
Bella was born 7 1/2 weeks premature on Nov. 4 2008. Annie and I tell people she was a surprise baby (not a surprise that we got pregnant with her, but that after a flawless pregnancy she decided to come so early). Before I was close to being ready for it, I had a daughter. Isabella was MY DAUGHTER!!!! My love for her was so real and so rich that my biggest concern was her well being and her future. To my astonishment (because I didn't think I could love her more) my love for Bella became greater when I got the news of her Autism. Then the reality of the Gospel struck me again. Bella was (and is) the love of my life, I would NEVER give her up as a sacrifice for the sins of my enemies. I wouldn't give her up for the sins of the people I like or even love. I would take on any amount of pain and suffering if Bella could be freed from her Autism. Anything would be worth it if she could be relieved from future torment.
This is what makes the Gospel so amazing. God gave up His only son as a sacrifice to cover the sins of the people who were made to glorify Him, but instead thought it would be a good idea to glorify themselves. He kills His son for us "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
The Gospel is simple; BUT it is deeper than anything we can imagine. Does the Gospel amaze you? Does the reality of the Gospel floor you? Are you moved by what God has done for you in the Gospel? Do you believe the Gospel?