True Christianity

“Because we follow Jesus Christ, true discipleship is always centered on the liberating and radical grace extended to us through him…The gospel is about what Jesus has done to save us, not what we do to save ourselves. Gospel-centered discipleship is about living into our identity as accepted, adopted sons and daughters of God, and following Jesus by the strength and power he provides. The discipleship that many of us have experienced is often about self-control, self-reliance, self-righteousness when we ‘succeed’ and self-reproach when we ‘fail.’ Gospel-centered discipleship is about celebrating and growing into our acceptance while works-centered discipleship is the ill-fated, soul-sucking, burnout-inducing attempt to earn God’s approval.”

“Gospel-centered discipleship tells us we’re not worthy, that we can’t measure up, and it’s only by grace that we’ll become like Jesus. While works-centered disciples spend most of their time looking down on everyone else or themselves for not measuring up, gospel-centered disciples spend their time looking up in wonder at the grace they have been shown. While works-centered disciples are usually arrogant or depressed, gospel-centered disciples radiate joy and exude a holy confidence. While works-centered disciples are profoundly self-focused, morbidly introspective, and narcissistic, gospel-centered disciples are Christ-focused and radically others-focused. While works-centered disciples try to run on the fumes of self-effort, gospel-centered disciples are propelled by the grace and power of God. To follow Christ works the same as being saved by him–by grace, through faith.”

–Stephen Lutz, College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture