Guest / Limited Access /

Afew years ago, I volunteered to be a counselor at a youth camp. During the bus ride to camp, I had a conversation with one of the other counselors. She told me the story of how she came to faith in Christ. "I grew up going to Catholic school and church," she said. "I knew who Jesus was. I had an awe and fear of God instilled in me. I believed that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world."

Then she stopped, her lip quivering, "But I never really understood that Jesus died for me." She went on to tell me about how she attended a Christian concert where she heard the message of the gospel. All of her Christian knowledge about Jesus became personal. Her heart was captured by the glorious truth that Christ died for her ….

Interestingly enough, the summer in which I listened to this woman's testimony was the summer in which I was having an epiphany that went the opposite way. Having grown up in evangelical churches all my life, I had always taken for granted the truth that Christ died for me. That truth was emphasized again and again, and it had gripped my heart long ago. What was becoming more glorious to me was the truth that Christ died for us. I was beginning to see in Scripture how Christ's death purchased his church as a bride. Furthermore, this action for us was ultimately for God and his glory ….

I'm afraid we often take the glorious for me and separate it from the for us and the for God. We shrink the gospel down until it is a message about the individual standing before God that no longer contains the gospel community at the heart of God's plan. Instead, we need to see the for me wrapped up in the for us, which is wrapped up in the ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueExit Visa: Iraqi Christians Look for Safe Haven
Subscriber Access Only Exit Visa: Iraqi Christians Look for Safe Haven
Iraqis struggle to find refuge in Europe.
RecommendedMissionaries Dreamed Of This Muslim Moment. Trump’s Travel Ban May End It.
Missionaries Dreamed Of This Muslim Moment. Trump’s Travel Ban May End It.
Why American evangelicals see Islam so differently.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickFrom Kuyper to Keller: Why Princeton’s Prize Controversy Is So Ironic
From Kuyper to Keller: Why Princeton’s Prize Controversy Is So Ironic
Former winner explains how the seminary honor that once brought the Reformed community together is now splitting it.
%%var.bookTitle%%
Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope
Moody Publishers
2011-04-01
240 pp., $9.99
Buy %%var.bookTitle%% from Amazon
Christianity Today
Counterfeit Gospels
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.