Performance v Relationship

The gospel is NOT an invitation to performance. The gospel is an invitation to a relationship.

  • It’s NOT a performance FOR King Jesus.
  • It’s relational dependence ON King Jesus.
  • It’s NOT about seeking perfection.
  • It’s about seeking intimacy with Christ and resting in his perfection.
  • It’s NOT a sporting event where Jesus sits in the stands while we perform for him on the field.
  • It’s a relationship where King Jesus walks beside us, carries us, and feeds us.
  • It’s NOT seeing Jesus as an example to be emulated.
  • It’s seeing Jesus as the Lover of my Soul.
  • It is NOT fixating on our sin.
  • It is fixating on the person and work of King Jesus.
  • The fruit of the gospel transformed life is NOT duty oriented works.
  • The fruit of the gospel transformed life is self-sacrificial love.
  • Jesus is NOT the power I need to perform better.
  • Jesus is the food that nourishes my soul to love.
  • Repentance is NOT turning AWAY from sin.
  • Repentance is turning TO King Jesus. (*)
  • The result of repentance is NOT improved religious behavior.
  • The result of repentance is a renewed affection for King Jesus that expresses itself in love.
  • Our witness to the world is NOT focused on the goodness of our performance.
  • Our witness to the world is focused on the love of King Jesus despite our bad performance.
  • Holiness is NOT putting our moral behavior on display for others to see.
  • Holiness is embracing our set-apart marriage to Christ and fully enjoying him as our greatest treasure.

(*) Repentance is a turn away from sin ONLY because it is first a turn to King Jesus. Again, it’s relational. To make the point clearer, all of us would be quite able to turn from sin only to turn to another sin. Often, this is what the religious performer does. He turns away FROM obvious sinful behavior while turning TO sinful self-righteous religious behavior. This is the way of the Pharisees, not the way of King Jesus. Gospel oriented repentance does not focus on turning AWAY from sin, it focuses on turning TO King Jesus – and in so doing, sin is defeated at the heart level. In fact, “repentance” literally means to “have a change of heart.” This is what turning to King Jesus does – it changes the affections of the heart. In this way, our hearts are renewed in a deep affection for Christ, while our affection for sin and idolatry is diminished. If we merely turn away from sin, our hearts will remain hard and idolatrous. As a result, we will quickly become Pharisees. Our lips will give praise to God, but our hearts will be far from him.

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