At the age of 9 I accepted Christ as my Savior. I understood what I could as a 9 year old about what that meant. I knew the only way I could bridge the gap between me and God was through Jesus. But I also felt that there was something I had to do to "earn" or "keep" this salvation. I needed to be as good as possible in order to live life as a Christian. I lived the next 21 years of my life with that basic understanding. I was a Christian but I was missing the point - I didn't truly understand the gospel.
Then 3 years ago God totally got a hold of my heart and changing my understanding of who He was and what He had done. It has not been a quick and easy change but it has been a change that has totally revolutionized me.
I have come to realize there is absolutely NOTHING I can do to make myself worth enough to stand before an Almighty God. I am powerless. Even my tiniest of sins make me a vile and wretched sinner before a perfect and holy God. I deserve nothing but death because I am not righteous to stand before God.
BUT, Christ died for me!!!! The perfect Son of God became man (something I will never understand or fully grasp). He lived a perfect sinless life and then He was crucified. He willingly laid down His life for me. In my wretched state of sin He gave up everything for me. Because of that all that God sees when He looks at me is the perfect righteousness of Christ. WOW!!!!
These verses from Romans 5:6-8 sum it up perfectly. This is the message of the gospel that I missed out on for so many years. It is not about me it is all about the work that Jesus did on the cross.
"Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 3:2-3&6
There is a song that we have been singing in church this year that sums up the journey that I have been on to more fully understand the fullness of the gospel. You can listen to it here.