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The Danger of Half-Gospels

John Wesley famously preached a sermon against "The Almost Christian." Reading it recently, I found myself reflecting on how many of the failures he tries to attack come from picking certain parts of Christianity and applying them to ourselves without joining them to other parts that are equally necessary. That pattern of picking and choosing makes me think about the gospel, the good news of God's salvation in Jesus, and how few in the modern church seem to actually embrace or live into it as a whole.
The issue is simple: for that message to make sense, we need to parts together to make it whole. The gospel only works if we understand deeply both that we are sinners and that Jesus freely saves sinners.

We must own our sinfulness - that we are not good or righteous, we are not even okay. We are rebels against heaven who poison all that we touch. Even our hidden and respectable sins should earn us damnation. When we point at the world as if the sin lives only out there ra…

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