When Christians my age talk about “116,” we’re either referring to the Christian rap group or the verse in Romans:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
We make a cry that we’re “unashamed,” that we’re willing to represent Christ wherever we go.
But as I thought about that idea this morning, another thought came to my mind.
Can we be so ashamed of our need for the Gospel that we reject it sometimes, that we disbelieve it?
The most important thing we can ever believe is the Gospel, is the fact that Jesus died for sins so that we could be made whole in God through Him, so that our sins could be forgiven, so that we could be put into right relationship with God. And the Gospel says we don’t need to do anything to be loved.
I’m very self-sufficient. Well, at least I like to think that I am. It’s one of my biggest flaws.
When you have a self-sufficient attitude, you’re more likely to reject help, whether that be from the people around you or even from God. When trying to fight sin, you’d rather not be accountable or let people into your life. If you’re frustrated with work, you’d rather just work things out yourself. You don’t like things being handed to you for free. If you see something wrong with yourself, you’ll only be satisfied when you fix it.
I can’t remember exactly when I realized this about myself, but it was some point last year. Last fall, I set a reminder on my phone that I would get daily at 8 a.m.
It’s Proverbs 3:5. I emphasize the “not” because I am in desperate need of reminding myself that I suck and that I can’t rely on myself. I must trust in God for everything. I desperately need to!
And perhaps the biggest area I need to trust in God and lean not on my understanding is the area of the Gospel. I can be so self-sufficient and so ashamed of my need for the Gospel that I don’t even want to accept the grace.
If I’m a Christian, I’ve already accepted that grace for myself for a lifetime. But day-by-day, I have to make a choice to accept grace and let that guide how I think, how I speak and how I act.
I also just gotta believe that I’m forgiven and loved. That’s the most important thing you can ever believe. If you’re a Christian, it’s true for you.
We need to put ourselves aside, our desire to get everything done ourselves, and simply accept the grace of the Gospel. We need not be so ashamed of our need for it. That need must drive us to believe in the Gospel even more and trust it even more! Self-sufficiency is insufficiency in light of the Gospel. And that’s always a good thing.
So don’t be embarrassed of your need for the Gospel. Be excited for it, because it’s met in Christ.