In the midst of a culture that is desperately gathering fig leaves to cover the shame of their sin, Christians need to be on guard against joining in that dead end project. The church loses her power when she settles for a neutered gospel. A neutered gospel always presents itself as a way to cope with your various trials, shames, and challenges. But a gospel that seeks to help you merely manage your pain is no gospel. A gospel that offers only to mitigate your temptations is no gospel. A gospel that puts a bandaid of self-care on your cancer of unconfessed sin is no gospel.
Rather, this neutered gospel is just another in a long string of futile attempts to find a coping mechanism. Thinking that the gospel merely helps us cope with our sins and struggles puts it on the same level as a pill, a blunt, a striptease, a bottle, a shrink, a bet, or a silver-screen.
The Gospel, however, is more than just an aid for you to cope better with life’s ebbs and flows. The Gospel makes dead men live. Not only that, it takes those dead men and makes them more than conquerors in Christ.
The New Testament decisively declares that the Good News of Jesus’ Kingdom is that the penalty of your sin is paid, the power to overcome your sin is provided, and the promise that sin shall one day be fully eradicated is your Christian birthright. If you’re wearied with life’s trials and temptations, don’t opt for a cheapened and neutered gospel of coping. Turn from all the enticements which offer to help you get through the day, and embrace the Good News: rest for the weary; forgiveness for the sinner; eternal life for those who die in Christ.
The Gospel is more than a coping mechanism. It washes you clean, it gives you a backbone, and it promises that one day your battle with sin will be over and done, and in Christ you shall be among the victors.