Reclaim Rest by Accepting All of the Gospel

You Can’t Rest in Jesus if You Reject Parts of His Good News

You are your worst enemy when it comes to resting in Jesus. Jesus permanently set you free from the shackles sin and death put on you. There is only one person who can force you to live under that sort of suffocating yoke – you. No man has the power or authority to put you back in chains. Yet, you can choose as if you are still imprisoned by asserting your own will. Your freedom hinges on your choice. If you truly believe all of Gospel then it liberates you to rest in perfect peace in Jesus. If you choose to impose your own will on the Gospel and reject those parts that offend you, then you will reap the rewards of doing so. Jesus’ rest does not come from your will.

Are You Doing God’s Will or Yours?

Embrace the Completed Work of Jesus to Find Rest

The most seductive lies of Satan are constructed out of truth. These temptations are not true, in themselves, but they exploit parts of true biblical doctrines to catch your attention as a Christian. The use of these good Bible based things also establishes legitimacy for the overall ideas in your mind. These deceptions then add falsehoods to the mix that serve to totally alter the original truths and to lead you to conclusions that are entirely lies. The results of this toxic mixture is both extremely damaging and difficult to recognize in yourself. It produces falsehoods that you rely on to lead you closer to God that actually lead away from Him. It spawns actions and beliefs that seem holy and pious to you but are actually rejections of teachings of Jesus. It leaves you fighting to gain acceptance and freedom in Christ, when Jesus bought those gifts for you 2,000 years ago.


It seems logical for God to be angry, disappointed, and frustrated with you, for example. You may be one of the many Christians who view themselves as a daily let down to Jesus. You think your sin and failures has God angry with you and wondering why He wasted His time with you. Your Christian life is one of condemnation and shame as a result. You are falling for a lie of Satan, if this is you. There are measures of truth involved in the recipe that leads to these conclusions, but they are fatally adulterated by filthy deceit.

The truths involved are important ones. You know Jesus died on the Cross to save you. You understand the cost of that sacrifice and that it was love that sent Him there. You know you were bought by Jesus on the Cross and your job is to serve Him. God is your Father in heaven and you are washed clean. You also understand that God despises sin and you should turn from it in your life. You honestly intend to follow God in everything you do.

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These are all true biblical doctrines. Things are great so far.

The problem comes in execution. It is here that Satan tries to slip in lies to destroy you. You quickly find out how painfully, often, and sometimes dramatically you fall short of the glory of God, even after your redemption. It becomes clear that you don’t pray, evangelize, or give as much as you should. You see how you fear other people, lust after things on the internet, envy, argue, hate, gossip…the list seems to go on forever. You know what the Bible says about mercy and forgiveness, but your rap sheet of sin seems endless and grows every day. Your strong desire for what is holy leaves you disgusted with yourself. This is where Satan attempts to slip in the deception. He capitalizes on your feelings and whispers his deceit:

“God hates sin. You sin, so what does God think of you.”

“You call yourself a Christian and you do that? Are you really a Christian?”

“God is so tired of you and your failure.”

“THIS is what God saved you for? What a waste!”

“God is angry for what you did. You have to make it up to Him”

There are a thousand other versions of the same poisonous appeal. They all use bits of truth to evoke your feelings that God is disgusted, hates, is angry, is fed up, is running out of patience, is punishing, disappointed in, is rejecting or otherwise does not love you. It seems logical that even God has to grow weary of your failures, eventually, since you are tired of them.

Jesus’ Love is Not Based on Your Feelings

Do you see how this reasoning is so deceptive, but appealing?

It exploits truth to make a lie feels so right? You feel righteous and holy as you despise yourself and weep over God’s anger towards your failure. It seems pious to be so burdened and pained. You feel like you are doing something tangible as you are trapped in the cycle of sin, self castigation, suffering, and striving. Human wisdom agrees as you would not put up with your nonsense and would have given up on you a long time ago. Yet, it is deception in its worst form. It represents a rejection of the Gospel and subtle rebellion against God.

A life in Jesus of condemnation, shame, and running from God’s anger spurns parts of the Gospel of Jesus to cling to that which seems right to you – your own will and judgment. It is man’s will expressed as God’s holiness.

God Loves You

Give Me Liberty in the Gospel or Give Me Death

God loves you and is not angry with you, Christian. If you are in Christ then no matter how you see yourself, the Gospel says you are justified in Gods eyes. You may have heard the memory tool for the doctrine of justification – “just as if” you had never sinned. Jesus showed the depths of this love for you by dying for you while you were His enemy.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. Romans 5:8-11

You know these things as a Christian. He called you into His Kingdom and His blood facilitated your adoption into God’s family. Your sins were washed away and you were made justified by His blood. The old man who was a slave to the law is dead and your debt is paid. This is great news, but it is not all of it.


Jesus meant what He said from the Cross, “It is finished”. You know this is true as applied to your past, as do most burdened Christians, but do you truly apply these to yourself right now? The power of the Cross does not diminish once you are saved. Jesus’ blood does not suddenly become ineffective now that you are a Christian. Your standing with God does not instantly become dependent on you and your works once you are saved. It is still only the blood of Jesus that keeps you clean, secures your place in God’s family, and guarantees God’s love and approval.

Hooked on Your Feelings Not Jesus

Christ died to get you into the Kingdom. Christ also died to keep you safely in the Kingdom. You could never do either for yourself.

knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. Galatians 2:16

It is the Cross that causes God to see you as justified and righteous, no matter how long you have been a Christian, how you should know better, or how you view yourself. It really is finished.

Rest in Triumph

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14

Paul painted a vivid picture in this verse. He drew upon the Roman triumphal parades that marched through Rome on the heels of a great victory. The winning general involved was honored by a celebratory procession through the city. The victorious leader rode an extravagantly decorated chariot at the front of his arrayed army to receive the cheers of the entire city. The defeated foes were driven before the chariot and received the jeers and mockery of all. Incense burned all along the route. It was a huge party with feasting and a once in a lifetime experience for many. This is God’s depiction of Jesus’ leading you in this life…right now.

Let Go of Striving to Earn God’s Love – Day One Challenge

Jesus defeated sin and death, once and for all. He made a mockery of His enemies in the process. They are being marched through the world continually being insulted for their foolishness in opposing Christ. Jesus is eternally victorious and being praised for it like the conquering general. You march behind Him sharing in the spoils, applause, and acclaim, even though you did nothing to earn them. Jesus diffuses His fragrance through you as you march – again despite you.

Do you notice when Christ leads you in triumph?

The triumphal parade takes place not when you feel it, when you think you are doing well, or when you accomplish your goals. Jesus always leads you in victory, despite your feelings of defeat and despondency. This flawless and unchanging truth is the source of rest, comfort, joy, forgiveness, and praise in your often flawed walk. You fail. Jesus does not. You waver. Jesus never does. Jesus is your Good Shepherd. It is His job to keep you safe and part of the flock. You can trust that He is extraordinarily good at His job.

Are struggling under the weight of what seems like a constant string of failures? Do you feel condemned by God and beaten down? Do you think you are letting God down and need to do more to make God happy?

21 Wonderful Bible Verses on God’s Love – A Warm Hug from God

This is your will and judgment asserting themselves over the work of God in your life. It is your doubt in the power of the eternal God to overcome your very human acts. It may be your misunderstanding or lacking in trust in His true character. Regardless of the details, it is your decision to believe things about God and your relationship that are untrue. The Gospel in full is so much better than your expectation of what it should be – sometimes its hard to let go of your version of it. Beating yourself senseless with your failure and regrets may make sense to your flesh – but that is the point – it is your flesh talking, not Jesus. Desperately striving to make it better and pay what you owe may also seem to be the height of religious devotion. Yet, it is not the Gospel.

The simple way to escape the burden of a condemned, shame filled life in Christ is to accept that it is not from Jesus. His mercies are new every morning and His grace sufficient for every one of your sins and failures. He knew exactly what He was getting into when He chose you before the foundation of the world. You can trust His judgment.

Grab onto the completeness of the Gospel.

God still loves you right now. You are still justified today, tomorrow, and eternally because of Christ. Your sin and defeat don’t define you, only Jesus does.

“It is finished”. It can also be translated as “Your debt is paid”.

Do you believe it? Do you live it?

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. Galatians 2:20-21

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