The message of The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley isn't a new one, but it's certainly one that isn't always preached clearly. As a woman who personally struggles with legalism and a sense of earning God's love and forgiveness and approval, I experienced a sense of relief as I read through the pages of this book. I have always known that Jesus' blood covered my sins, but I still felt like I needed to "do my best" and "make God proud." And if I sinned (which is daily . . . for everyone), I had better make sure those sins got confessed ASAP, and I'd better try harder to do the right thing next time. Effort, effort, effort. Thus telling God that His Son's blood must not've been quite enough.
But Farley reminds us, "Our forgiveness and cleansing are solely because of the finished work of Jesus Christ." It is FINISHED. Once-and-for-all forgiveness.
As I read his words, I could really feel the burden being lifted from Farley's shoulders. He dealt with being driven by a guilt-based faith for many, many years, which only led to depression. When he discovered the LIFE that God intended to give us through His Son's sacrifice, Farley began to experience freedom and God's truly unconditional love.
"Jesus exposed the futility of life under law," Farley explains. No one can keep every letter of it, and God doesn't expect us to. He simply desires for us to love Him and accept His grace and forgiveness. He doesn't want us to get down on ourselves when we sin; He wants us to simply desire what He desires. And since, as Christians, He truly does live in us, His desires become our desires. If we do not desire what He desires, then He is not in us.
"The message of 'Jesus plus nothing' from start to finish is often too humbling for us to swallow. Instead, we opt for performance hoops to jump through in order to impress God . . . The secret is that grace deactivates our pride. Removing the law from our lives means our self-effort is no longer prodded to control behavior. The law excites human effort. It encourages us to depend on resources outside of Christ. But unconditional acceptance deactivates human effort and allows the Holy Spirit to be all that he wants to be through us." I love this. This is the freedom God intended.
It is vital for everyone--Believers and non-Believers alike--to be exposed to The Naked Gospel. The author's fervor is contagious; his words are well-written; and his message is clear (as is the book cover--ha!) and well-delivered. Read it. And share it.
To order this book, visit bookschristian.com.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the product mentioned above for free by The Ooze Viral Bloggers in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”