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The Gospel in Everyday Life

I love the reality of the Gospel, and can spend hours and hours speaking of the powerful thoughts that consume me as I reflect on what the Gospel is.  If that sounds like a churchy word, then I’m sorry.  I know there is some confusion of what the “Gospel” is  versus  what “Religion” is.  I love how Tim Keller describes it:

The gospel is, therefore, radically different from religion. Religion operates on the principle: I obey, therefore I am accepted . The gospel operates on the principle: I am accepted through Christ, therefore I obey.

To me the “Gospel” is the reality that I am unable (on my own) to live up to a standard set by God, yet while I was short of this standard He made a way for me to be forgiven.  It’s in this grace and forgiveness that I find my relationship with God based.  Grace and forgiveness are the pillars of the Gospel.  I can assure you that I’ve done a bunch of good in my life.  I’ve taken in orphans, fed the homeless, shared the message of Christ with the lost, loved my family, and stayed faithful to those I serve.  However, none of that makes me any more eligble for God’s grace than anyone else.  It’s the gospel that gives me my right to be a son of the Most High, and consider myself part of this family. It’s the Gospel that motivates me to live a life that reflects the gift given me in Jesus Christ.

When I serve and when I lead, the Gospel should be reflected in all things.  The idea that grace “rules the day” should be reflected in the ways I treat others, and in the legacy I’m leaving.

Colossians 3:3 “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Jared M · June 6, 2012

    Just so you know, I’m not a fan of this post.   Since I read it Monday, I’ve been challenged by it over and over and over again.   It’s frustrating to say the least.   It’s nothing new, I realize, but for the last three days everytime I’ve somehow thought I deserved something or needed to earn something, this post has jumped into my mind and the word “grace” has been whispered [shouted] at me.
    I guess I am a fan, but not because it makes me feel good, but because it challenges the very things I call good in me.