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The Upside Down Gospel

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Almost everything Jesus taught is counter-intuitive to human wisdom. If you’re looking for logic, go to math. But if you’re searching for truth, come to Jesus.

That’s the way I began my mentoring of several post college young men a few years ago. These men were raised Christian, but at best were secular Christians. What’s a secular Christian? A person who believes what the Bible says, and has an outward veneer of spirituality, but has little spiritual depth, or a worldview that actually governs their day to day decisions.

Signs of a secular Christian?

  1. They make major decisions without first trying to determine God’s will.

  2. They care more about what their friends think than what God thinks.

  3. They do not live by faith, unless they are forced to.

  4. They rarely sacrifice personal comfort and security to be obedient to God.

So why are so many Christians, secular? Because everything Jesus taught is counter-intuitive.

  1. Love your enemies.

  2. Turn the other cheek.

  3. Forgive 70 times 7.

  4. Everyone who has left houses, or brothers or sisters, father, mother or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much.

  5. The first shall be last and the last first.

  6. You cannot love God and money.

  7. Deny yourself daily.

  8. I came not to be served but to serve.

I know what a secular Christian is. 40 years ago, I was one. I knew very few Christians who actually lived this counter-intuitive gospel. I went to church, believed the Bible, trusted Christ for my salvation, taught Sunday School. But, I just didn’t see the need to be overly obedient or spiritual. I didn’t need box seats in heaven – after all, how bad could the bleachers be? I thought I was in because I believed the correct information about God, but I did not live for God. What was missing? Faith!

What is faith? A good definition of faith is this; courageous obedience to the teachings of the Bible. And embedded in every act of courage is risk. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It is believing what you’re about to do is so right, noble and true, that your faith overcomes your fear.

You cannot have true faith unless you’re born-again and the Holy Spirit convicts you. Then only will you want to live out this counter-intuitive gospel. However, if you’re not living by faith, daily, you may not be a Christian at all.

If you believe you are born again, right now – today, what teaching of Jesus do you find most difficult to live out? Trust Christ, throw logic out the window and begin living by faith. And in an hour do the same thing, and the hour after that.

The righteous will not just have faith, “they will live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)

How following Jesus works in real life.

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