What is the Gospel? (Part 2)
One of the best ways to understand something is to understand what it is not. This is the second in a short series about ways men get off track with the Gospel.
False Start #2: The Gospel is about our performance.
Most of us grew up in a performance-based culture. It is the iron law of a fallen world: “If you want a reward, you must perform to get it.” When a new man starts attending church, from the start he’s looking around to figure out, “What do I need to do to be successful and accepted here?” In other words, “What is the standard of performance?”
All religions except Christianity are based on performance — you must do something to make God happy, or at least avoid his wrath.
Sometimes leaders inadvertently send messages that Christianity is based on performance. Like, “We really need you to be on this committee.” Or, “If you really love Christ, you will be in church tonight.”
The Bible has this to say about how salvation comes about: “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy” (Romans 9:16).
Christianity is based upon performance, but it is the performance of Christ as the merciful atoning sacrifice for our non-performance (sins).
Sometimes I think we give the impression that Jesus said, “Come unto me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you more work to do!”
In our ministries to men, let’s be sure we don’t give men the impression that their salvation depends on the amount of effort they expend.
Your brother in the battle,