There is nothing more you need to do to be a Christian.
That should get your attention. Not only is it an attention-getter, it’s true, too.
“Wait,” you cry. “What about obedience? What about living for God?” I’ll get to that, but, first, let me explain the first sentence of this post.
All that you need to do to be a Christian is believe and receive. Believe that Jesus paid the price of your sins and my sins, once and for all, on the Cross. Believe that He was raised from the dead, defeated death, again – once and for all, and is now seated at the right hand of God. Believe that He lives to intercede for us. Believe. But now comes the crucial part.
Receive. Receive this seemingly unbelievable gift of God’s overwhelming love.
Maybe I have it backwards. Maybe it should be Receive and Believe.
Receive the amazing show of God’s enduring love and then believe. But not only believe what I’ve already mentioned, but so much more.
Because of the love of God in Jesus, you are now accepted as you are right now. Believe that. There’s nothing more you need to do. Jesus Himself said, “It is finished.” It’s already been done. Rest. Take a deep breath. Believe that. Relax and receive. Oops. There it is again. Receive. Believe. Receive. Believe…
Now, about obedience…
Obedience comes from a thankful heart. A grateful heart obeys God’s commands because the grateful heart knows all about God’s love. God’s love has already paid the price. God’s love is always looking out for my best interests. Because of God’s love, I want to obey. He knows best.
I am free of all the requirements. I am free of all the checklists. I am free of trying to prove myself worthy of His love or His sacrifice. I am free of trying to pay Him back. The work’s already been done. He’s done the heavy-lifting. I am free. Because of the overwhelming love of God and the freedom that it brings, I am compelled to live my life for Him.
As Tullian Tchividjian says:
“Legalism says, ‘Obey, so God is pleased with you.’
The Gospel says, ‘Obey, BECAUSE God is pleased with you.'”
This is the Gospel. It was… and IS radical. It is good news not only to those who first believe and receive (or receive and believe). But it is also good news to those who’ve already believed and received.
There is nothing more you NEED to do.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
In The Message, it reads:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”