In my ministry, “Christians Need the Gospel,” I follow a roadmap expressed in the phrase, “Christ as our Righteousness, Sanctification, and Reward.” This roadmap was given to me from the Lord, and it addresses the areas of righteousness, sanctification, and reward. The enemy had systematically attacked my conscience by erecting doctrinal systems of error in these areas. Although I understood that justification unto eternal life was a free gift through faith, I struggled to experience genuine comfort or change of atmosphere in my heart. I realized that I was still looking to law-keeping in some form in the areas of sanctification and reward. This impacted my view of the Christian life. which was shrouded in gloom under the impression that there may be severe consequences for my sins and failings at the judgment seat. This view was inconsistent with the law/grace distinction that I had learned when it came to eternal life.
The view of the “end goal” of the Christian life colors the whole path. I often say that if you think there is a “whipping
post” at the end of your race, you’re going to sneak off and hide in the concession stands!
I did not see rewards as a cause for rejoicing but as a way to avoid punishment on that day. In my pursuit of being “ready,” I joined the most extreme group I could find, the ones who were “really doing” the Church life and the Christian life the “God-ordained way.” I’ve been a Christian for about 30 years, and approximately 20 of it were characterized by my erroneous pursuit:
- Learning the doctrine (absorbing the system of error) (first several years)
- Joining the only group that I could find that believed it
- Taking up the burden of the “call” .
- Discovering over the course of a decade that I had no way to fulfill the vows I had made to the Lord or to the people I had made myself accountable to in this arrangement
- Exiting in a state of disgrace, and losing everything that I had built from my own pursuit of justification unto reward, including my marriage, household, and witness
- Theologically “detoxing” and spending quite a few years untangling the doctrinal mess.
The saga cannot be explained here, but my candid testimony is available on my YouTube channel. The first three points represent years of religious zeal, mystical pursuit, and “special” identification with a “vision.” I thought I would be among the “special few” who would enjoy the kingdom in the next age, while everyone else would be punished. The next three points show my downward spiral into weakness and failure. Eventually, I lost my assurance of salvation. But the Lord whispered to me, “Another house can be built.” And He built my house on a better foundation: Christ!
Part of my theological “Detox” involved trying to get involved at some level with “normal” churches, and I discovered that although the names and terminology were different among various groups, all were saturated with variants of the same leaven that I had absorbed in my journey. Eventually the Lord showed me that my views of sanctification and reward had overthrown my view of justification by faith: (You might want to check out the article: Works based Sanctification Undermines Faith based Justification (www.christiansneedthegospel.com)
So for the last 4 years I’ve been teaching that Christ is our righteousness, sanctification and reward, to address so many ways in which hte enemy has substituted works in the place of Christ in every phase of the Christian life. The Lord brought a lot more clarity to the teachiing. Most of it encountered a lot of resistance, providing an opportunity to see more and more concerning the truth. The culmination of these views can be seen in a post called “Theological Perogative.”
The Content Hub This area is under construction as of April, 2023. I’m working on building out “Christ as Our Righteousness” and will hopefully have the other pages ready soon as well. These will be content hubs representing growing content.