Believing the Gospel – Pt. II

November 12, 2010

So, when did you believe the Gospel?  Perhaps the better question is “When DO you believe the Gospel?”  Of course, the standard answer to this question has something to do with “the moment you ask Jesus in to your heart” or when you gave your life to Jesus.  Essentially, it is focused on the moment you switched teams, right?

The trouble I have with this idea of belief is that it fails to grasp the workings of faith on either side of conversion.  Its kind of like walking in to a movie that’s halfway through and wondering why nothing makes sense.  Belief in the Gospel comes both before and after the conversion event.  Here’s how…

Believing the Gospel before conversion…

As the community of faith lives together on mission, we do so as a sign and foretaste of the Kingdom Jesus is coming to set up when he returns.  We live out of the Gospel’s story and give tangible presence to the life, words and work of Jesus.  Though it will be a broken community and a marred witness to Jesus’ life, our life together should speak of a kingdom and a King who are beyond our witness, healing us and calling us in to his life.  As we embody this life and story, our lives inherently become an invitation to believe the Gospel, giving context to the words we speak.

Believing the Gospel is a response to the life of Jesus lived out and embodied by the church’s life together.  In other words, our life together–words, actions, attitudes, etc.–leads not-yet-believers to desire the Gospel story they see in us to be true.

Believing the Gospel after conversion…

Often times we reserve the sharing of the Gospel for those who have not yet joined us in our pursuit of Christ.  We think that as followers of Christ we already know the Gospel and have no need to hear it again and again.  We could not be more wrong.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I struggle to believe the Gospel.  I need to hear it again and again if I am ever to truly live (which is what real belief looks like) what I claim to be true in the Gospel.

Tell me I am accepted and loved unconditionally so that I might stop trying to earn the acceptance of those around me!
Remind me of the grace of God so that I will stop checking the knots on this great suit of leaves I’ve sewn for myself!
Wash my feet as a demonstration of Jesus’ kingdom life that I would believe greatness is found in service and sacrifice!
Tell me I am secure so that I will stop hoarding the blessing of God in my life!
Preach the Gospel to me so that I might believe it and live!

When did you believe the Gospel?  I believed it as I saw it lived out as an alternative to the story I was living in before committing my life to Jesus.  I believed it when I gave my life to the Lord and surrendered control at conversion.  I believed it this morning as I ate in thankfulness of God’s provision, this afternoon as I celebrate life springing up in Olympia and hopefully later today as I receive correction from those around me who know my tendency to deny and disbelieve the gospel in the day to day.


2 Responses to “Believing the Gospel – Pt. II”

  1. Karen Wulf Says:

    could you just keep reposting this one? I need to read it daily.

  2. KatieO Says:

    Amen and amen. I remember precisely the moment I converted, I guess you would say? But I feel like much of the time from then until now has been spent in unbelief…and now, like baby steps, I feel like I am finally, day by day believing in the Kingdom that is here (and in me). Amen.

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