If you’re like me and grew up in church, then the term ‘gospel’ is probably a familiar one. I heard it on Sunday mornings in Sunday School, in the afternoon during church service, during the summer at Vacation Bible School and various summer camps, and somehow along the way I still didn’t understand the gravity of it. Little did I know, somewhere along the way I was buying into this idea of Christian moralism. I knew faith in Jesus Christ was the only way to be saved. I also believed that I knew the gravity of sin. Even though it was not verbalized, in the back of my mind, I had somehow deceived myself into thinking that because I don’t steal or do x, y, and z, that I had earned my salvation. And without even realizing it, I had nullified the gospel.
The fact of the matter is it was easy for me to think I was a good person when comparing my actions with others. However, I am just as flawed as the next person, and when comparing myself next to Jesus I can see how much I fall short. Just because my sins are different than the next person’s doesn’t make me any less sinful or in any less of a need of a savior. It is only because of God’s grace that I am saved.
I really like the passage in 1 Timothy where Paul is describing his life before Christ as a blasphemer and persecutor, but the grace of God overflowed onto him. Then he goes on to say, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” 1 Timothy 1:15 ESV
One of the many beauties of the gospel that reveals God’s grace and mercy is that it’s a free gift to anyone who receives it, and that includes you and I. There isn’t anything we can do on our own merit, and there’s no credit that we can take for it.
College can definitely become overwhelming at times, and it’s easy to get caught up in life. At times you may even feel like you have to work hard to prove yourself or to gain the approval of others. One of the super comforting things of the gospel is that Jesus was good for us. That is not an excuse to keep intentionally living in the lives of sin we were living before coming to know Jesus, but what it does mean is bad news- there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves, and good news- He saved us and took on the cost of sin in our place.
Yes, in college there will be many new things to adjust to, and sometimes there may be hardships. Life is full of uncertainties, but these sufferings are only temporary because Christ has overcome the world.
Coming into college, one thing I knew for sure I wanted to do was find a community of believers that encouraged me in my relationship with the Lord. Here at the BCM I found exactly that. If it weren’t for the amazing people I have met here at the BCM and getting involved in a Journey Group, I’m not sure if I would have grown closer to Jesus quite the way I have over the last few months. I am incredibly thankful for this community and their hearts for Jesus and for others!