I watched The Gospel Revolution: Recovering the Power of the Gospel by J. D. Greear this weekend. I want to share my notes over the next few days with you.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
The first 11chapters points out what God has done for us. Then in chapter twelve Paul challenges us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.
The change in our lives is not change on the outside because of rules but change from the inside rooted in seeing what God has done for us. It is organic change—your behavior changes because you change. The gospel changes you.
Original sin is described in Romans 1:21:
Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.
You worship whatever you deem to be necessary for life and happiness—whatever you cannot live without. What you worship drives your behavior. You cannot correct behavior without changing your heart.
God does not want obedience out of obligation. What God wants is a heart that truly desires Him.
When Adam and Eve sinned they realized their nakedness and were ashamed. Some old commentators suggest that perhaps their clothing had been the love and acceptance of God. Realizing their nakedness they looked for a covering to take away their share. The human soul has a sense of shame and so we look for something to set us apart, to make us good or worthy. We come up with religion to try to establish our worthiness. Much of what we think we are doing for God, we are actually doing for ourselves, to make us worthy. We go through cycles of pride and despair.
The gospel tells you not to change in order to EARN the approval of God, but because you HAVE the approval of God.
Christ lived the life you and I were meant to live and then died the death your and I should have died—the Great Exchange. Jesus took your sin and gave you His righteousness. This is Gift Righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NASB)
The gospel reveals God’s beauty so we begin to desire Him. Love is a response to beauty.
The gospel reveals God’s mercy so we begin to love Him.
1 John 4:19
We love, because He first loved us.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
We do not produce spiritual fruit by focusing on the fruit. We focus on the love of Jesus.
Gospel-centered change is not about giving you a list of things you need to go and do for God, but making you stand in awe of what God has done for you.
God is not just after obedience. He is after a whole new kind of obedience—an obedience born of desire for God. A desire born of desire for a right relationship with Him.