To the one who never feels as though their striving to please God is enough and is never sure of his salvation:
No matter what you do – even if you sell all your possessions and move to the most dangerous country in the world for the sake of ministry – you cannot do enough to be accepted before God. And the beauty of the gospel is that you don’t have to. God so loved you that, despite your hopeless state of sin, he sent his Son – God in the flesh – to live the life you could not live. Jesus alone has kept the commands of God. He alone has been faithful enough, generous enough, and compassionate enough. Indeed, he alone has been radical enough.
Though Jesus was free from sin through his life, he bore the penalty of sin in his death. He took your place and your punishment, dying the death you deserved. Then he rose from the grave in victory over sin. And…when you turn from yourself and trust in your Savior, he will cleanse you from all your rebellion and clothe you in his righteousness. The starting point of your radical life is your radical death – death to yourself and death to you every attempt to do enough before God.
The gospel has saved you from your work, and you are free from any effort to overcome your guilt before God. You can stop working and start believing. If you have never trusted in Christ like this, then I urge you to put down this book and place your faith in him. You don’t have to repeat a prayer, sign a card, or sell a thing. Based on nothing you have done and everything Jesus has done – by grace alone through faith alone – God will declare you right before him.
And to the one who lives as though faith alone has zero impact on their life:
So called faith without acts prompted by that faith is a farce. Real faith always creates fruit…
The reality is that when you believe in Christ for salvation, you not only are declared right before God as Father, but you also begin to walk with God as friend. In addition to new birth, Jesus gives you new life: a life of joyful obedience and overflowing love. So when you hear Christ’s radical call to live sacrificially, you do not think, In the gospel I am free to flout his commands. Instead you think, In the gospel I am free to follow his commands. And the faith that God has graciously given to you begins to produce radical fruit from you.