About 10 years ago, after more than 20 years in ministry of proclaiming the gospel, the gospel started getting complicated for me. I was really good at talking about how Jesus’ work on the cross atoned for my sins. I was really clear about needing to confess, repent and enter into relationship with Jesus. I was also satisfied with how this made sense of my life and how I should live…until I realized I wanted more.
I started to learn about the way my heart ran after many things other than God to provide a sense of meaning, purpose and inner peace. I began to wrestle with the failure of merely trying to change my behavior without changing my underlying “wants.” I also began to learn that my salvation was more than just an escape from this world. I was not just saved out of the world for my sake, but I was also saved to be in the world for its sake.
Like many today, we have recognized that the richness of what Jesus accomplished on the cross can get flattened. I have penned the following language in an attempt to capture on one page a gospel that helps capture more of what Christ has done for us.
There is more to say of course, so I’d welcome your comments below.
We were created for God
We were created to live in a loving relationship with God, and to participate in his purposes in creation, and enjoy him forever. It is in this relationship that we experience God’s love in ways that give us a deep sense of peace and security. It is living under his benevolent reign that we find our significance, and satisfaction in life. Questions like “Who am I?” “What was I created for?” and “Why do I exist?” are answered in our call to be in relationship with the Caller.
We live for ourselves
Our sin is that we have chosen to be our own master, believing that we can do a better job than God to watch over our interests. Alienated from God, we try to fill the gap with inferior counterfeits like career, possessions, achievements, family, even religion, only to realize that we are enslaved by them. We know these have control over us because we experience anger (when we are blocked from them), guilt (if we don’t perform), shame (when I feel unworthy), fear (if I don’t work hard enough) and drivenness (because there is always more to do).
We need a Savior for us
Recognizing the sin and folly of being our own lord and savior, we turn to Jesus, confessing our sin and embracing his redeeming work on our behalf. We rejoice in knowing that we are totally loved and completely accepted by God because of Jesus’ record and not ours. In cooperation with God’s overtures of grace, this good news begins to free us to become the people God had always intended us to be. Fully us. Fully alive. We find ourselves becoming the kind of people that naturally love and serve others because that is who we have become.
We live for God and for others
As we continue to grow in Christlikeness, we grow in our desire to steward all that God has graced us with in service of God’s redemptive purposes on earth. With a grace-filled humility we work diligently to be both a sign and an agent of God’s shalom, and we do so in all our relationships whether in the home, in the community or in the workplace. We take great delight in being able to live into what we were created for, bringing “the presence of the kingdom and its king into every corner of human life.” 
 Willard, Dallas. Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2002. Page 15.
This article originally appeared here.