The Gospel for the Broken

Jesus came for sinners. The healthy do not need a physician (Matthew 9:12). Are you crushed beneath the weight of false expectations? Have the church and peddlers of religion hurt you? Do you struggle with guilt, shame, or regret? I’ve got good news for you if you feel like you never measure up.

We sinners are inescapably broken. We are also inseparably loved (Romans 8:35-39). Those who deal with depression, feel defeated, wrestle with doubt, or seem to drown in discouragement are bruised reeds, which he will not break. Those feeble of faith and failures in Christian living are a smoldering wick he will not quench.

Don’t try to hide your sin, assert your independence, or bury your brokenness. Instead, confess it, lean on his everlasting arms, and trust in his steadfast love. When we are weak, we are strong.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

-Romans 5:6-8

Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose again three days later for us. He didn’t do this because of our past, present, or future merit. He did so because we were and are utterly broken by sin. That brokenness takes many forms, but ultimately it has one cure. All our faith must be placed in Christ’s atoning work on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.

Perhaps you are disillusioned, and your faith is failing. You might be wrestling with what you’ve been told or taught about living up to Christian ideals. Maybe you’re dealing with the consequences of sin or disappointment when your expectations of Christianity are shattered. Know that Christ is for you.

Christ isn’t only for you when you initially believe or as long as your life maintains a certain level of Christian decorum. He is simply for you. His dying and rising are for you. Much of the Christian life is fighting to believe his atoning work imputes alien righteousness on our behalf. It’s good news for the broken all our lives.

Don’t try to get it all together to strengthen your faith. Nobody has it all together. We never will. Our doing flows from our being, and we must realize that our identity is wrapped up in Christ. His death and resurrection are not merely an acknowledgment at the inauguration of our faith. The Gospel is the perpetual touchstone of our spiritual lives.

The apostle Paul understood brokenness. He understood physical and mental brokenness (2 Corinthians 11:23-30 and Philippians 4:12) and spiritual brokenness (Romans 7:14-24). He also understood that we are able to endure and be delivered through Christ (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10, Philippians 4:13, and Romans 7:25). Our brokenness qualifies us more than our qualifications ever could. We find our salvation, hope, strength, and wholeness in the one who was broken on our behalf (Isaiah 53:5).

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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