For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV)
16 months. That’s how long I’ve been serving what we call The Community. You may not believe it, but you can learn a great deal about people in 16 months. I can’t speak for all of you who will read this, but for some of you: I know you. I know your fears, I know your struggles, I know your ambitions, I know your plans, I know your pains, and I know your joys. Community…I know you and I know the biggest obstacle that most of you face: You forget the Gospel. It’s not a rare thing amongst young Christians, but don’t overlook its danger just because it’s common. How can I be so sure that you often forget? I will be rather blunt since most of you hate long articles, as do I…
There are two types of forgetfulness. One is what I will call, for lack of a better term, negative forgetfulness. You think you are in the negative because you forget that Christ has made you positive, if you have trusted him in faith. Some of you fall into this category because you forget that Christ has taken on ALL of your sins. This is the person who claims to have trusted in Christ, yet still hangs on to an emotional guilt. This is the person who professes that they “have been” forgiven, without really believing that they “are” forgiven. Some of you understand the concept of forgiveness, but you don’t sense the forgiveness you understand. You know the sun is hot, but you have yet to fell its warmth! You feel guilty, you feel dirty, you feel worthless, and you feel as if God will certainly punish you in the end. You have forgotten that “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin.” Let this truth burn itself into the forefront of your mind: If you entrust your soul to Christ, then Christ has taken your sin and guilt onto himself. Let your heart sing to the cross I’ll cling, for there Jesus paid for everything.
The second type of forgetfulness is what I will call, for lack of a better term, positive forgetfulness. You think your positive because of your great dedication and your solid morality. Some of you identify with this category when you forget that Christ is the basis of your righteousness, not your morality. Don’t be mistaken; morality is a good thing… until you turn it into a pedestal. You begin to feel higher than those around you and you become angry when you are not recognized for your awesomeness. You become hardened to the Gospel’s call to go the broken, because you forget that you once were broken. You forget that God takes broken pieces to make beautiful things. You become critical, judgmental, and angry. You forget that you are no greater than any other man. You forget that Christ calls you to exchange your pedestals for crosses. That Christ calls you to go to the poor, orphans, and widows. That Christ calls you to love justice, mercy, and to walk humbly. You forget the joy of following Christ, because you’re caught in the misery of following yourself. You forget that it is the work of Christ that has saved you. Some of you have forgotten that “ so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Let this truth burn into the forefront of your mind: Your acceptance before God is based on your identity in Christ. Your identity in Christ is rooted in the cross, not a self-acclaimed pedestal.
Remember the Gospel friends. Every single day, wake up and preach it to yourself and go to bed praising God for it. Never forget the Gospel. In the words of Tim Keller, “it’s not just the message Christians are converted by, but also the solution to every problem the Christian faces.”