FAITH FUEL

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The Gospel of Self Help


Many times the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a mechanism for humanistic self-help. We have all seen it and heard it before, “If you love Jesus and follow God he will do this and that, and provide these things for you that you know deep down you really want.” (many times this comes in the form of material possessions and emotional states like happiness, peace, tranquility, etc. Some times the gospel is even presented like it’s primarily meant to make you a better you. “If you truly follow Jesus you will no longer be a fornicator, masturbator, perpetrator, or any other kind of general hater”. What a sham!

Now don’t get me wrong, the lordship of Christ is of course evidenced by and shown through ones life and changed mind, attitude, behavior, etc. (see New Testament book of James) but the gospel of Jesus is not primarily targeted at these things, they are merely bi-products. This order of the gospel is imperative. The gospel is targeted at your heart of utter humility and submission, precisely because you cannot do it on your own.

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The gospel is targeted at your heart of utter humility and submission, precisely because you cannot do it on your own. [tweet this] #TheGospel

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Self-help is defined as ... you guessed it, helping ones self. Technically it is the use of one's own efforts and resources to achieve things without relying on others. This could not be farther from the gospel. The gospel in it's essence is the reliance on Jesus Christ to do for you what otherwise you could not do for yourself, primarily which is to give an account and present yourself blameless before your perfect and eternal God.

So the next time your hear someone talk of Jesus and Christianity as some way to prosper you (though many times it does, and in many different ways) or to make you a better version of yourself (by many standards it does make you a better you, by making you a new you – c.f. 2 Cor 5:17) make sure that this is not your primary motivation (or theirs) for that is contrary to the gospel. Paul doesn’t mention anything under ‘first importance’ of the gospel about you, or me, only about the death of Christ for our sins and his resurrection (1 Cor 15:1-4).


#culture