How do you know when someone’s really “got” the gospel? It’s an important question because we spend all this time and energy working hard at helping people get the gospel and keep hold of it. What does that look like?
It might be a growth in godliness – that would be nice. But, doing nice things doesn’t mean someone’s grasped the gospel. Loads of people who don’t get the gospel do really nice things!
It’s how they respond to their sin. People only every respond to their sin in 2 ways…
- Withdrawal from God (through trying to repay the sin, minimising the sin, denying the sin, or embracing the sin)
- Drawing towards God (through acknowledging the sin, repenting from the sin, asking forgiveness for the sin, acting to stop the sin)
Notice that all the first group of actions are movements away from relating to God – even trying to repay the sin is a movement away from God because it’s trying to replace the relationship with an offering (and a pretty poor one at that). But all the actions in group two are in fact movements towards a relationship with God – even the act of stopping the sin is something done while holding God’s hand.
In the end it all comes back to prayer. When they sin… how do they pray? How do you pray?