4 Reasons to Beware the Goodness Gospel

| March 10, 2015

For many of my formative years, the overarching and consistent message I received at church was, “Be good.” It’s quite possible that I didn’t have ears to hear the message of grace or a heart to embrace that I was actually loved by God. But this idea that Christianity was about being good became a detrimental foundation for my spiritual life. I attempted with everything in me to be good, but my efforts only reinforced what I knew deep inside: I wasn’t good enoughand never could be. Sin was forever crouching at my door, and none of my attempts to “be better” had much value against the indulgences of my flesh.

In my late 20s, still plugging along in what I now call the goodness gospel, I opened the book of Galatians. The words absolutely came alive. God opened my eyes instantly to a lack of understanding about what Christ had done for me, and he began that day the long and arduous process of unraveling my grip on the goodness gospel and replacing it with the true gospel. The goodness gospel preached salvation by faith but sanctification through self-effort. Through Galatians, I heard the true gospel, which is that I received my…

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