Throughout history Biblical understanding seems to ebb and flow. The doctrines of grace seem to be lost then found again. We are in one of those days where the Gospel is being rediscovered anew, so I too would like to throw my hat into the ring if only to add to the growing swell.
Rom 10:9-13 “ because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.””
Simply stated, although it is both simple and deep, the Gospel is the good news of God reconciling His people to Himself, through Christ, by the Spirit, into one body, and for our good and His glory. Justification is the part of the Gospel which declares us righteous before God because Jesus washes us of our sins through his suffering on the cross and His death, and imputation adds Jesus’ righteous deeds, attitude, and life to our account due to His resurrection from the dead after our sins were imputed to Him on the cross, through which He paid their cost. Since sin separated us from God, He reconciles us to Himself in a relationship which declares us His children and co-heirs with Christ, His preeminent Son. Simply put the Gospel declares us God’s accepted and beloved children in Christ.
Rom 8: 14-17 “ For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Every Christian will spend their life trying to accept the truth of this and believe its depth. The news is so good that it is hard to truly believe and live like it is true, but it is so very, very, very true! We were once sinners, enemies of God, cursed with death and suffering, heading to punishment in judgement, and God saved us in Christ from our sin, declared us righteous, and adopted us into the family. God Himself promises to make us as righteous as He already sees us in Christ, and He will lose none of us.
John 6:35-40 “35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.””
As a helpful tool consider this analogy of the Christian life. Christ is like a boat. God has drug up our dead lifeless bodies from the bottom of the ocean, drowned in our sin, and has given us new life and placed us in the boat of Christ. We are now safe from the waves of doom and death, although they shudder and sputter around the boat. Sometimes we often get splashed with a little water but ultimately we are safe. However, due to our old experiences and lack of faith we often splash about in the little water that lies around our feet as if we are drowning all over again. In actuality we are completely safe, just a little wet, but in no real danger of death or being lost over the edge but we, in our finiteness, loose sight of Christ, and like Peter sink into the waves (or puddle) while never really being in danger. Oh, we think we are in danger, we act like we are in danger, but we are really never in danger. We are in God’s hands and nothing and no-one can harm us there or steal us away.
When life throws waves at you and you feel the wetness and see the water around your feet, do not panic, remember you are in the boat of Christ, safe from condemnation, free to love God and Neighbor, accepted as a child, and loved as a precious treasure. You will never drown again, Christ has you safe and sound, and will carry you through the storms and waves of life that have toppled lesser men. *(Please don’t carry this analogy too far it is only meant to teach we are safe in Christ even though we at times life like we aren’t).