3.) Christianity isn't sin management 


Let's face it. We Christians take the gospel for granted every day. Surely there's something more flashy about the Christian life than beginner, baby-Christian, Sunday school stuff, right? Wrong. 



The gospel gets our head out of the clouds, shrinks our "me-centered" spiritual aspirations, and gets our feet back on the ground again. I know we've heard it all before but we need to be reminded over and over—you, me, your Bible study leader, the pastor. We were once dead in our sin, and while we were still enemies, Christ died for us! I don't know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time forgiving people that cut me off in traffic. 



The gospel is simple, profound, and glorious. This is the stuff that changes hearts. Want to stay Jesus-focused, gospel-centered, and keep the big picture in sight? Don't get so self-absorbed in your own sin management. Instead, keep your eyes on Jesus and what he accomplished for you on the cross, then respond in worship. 



That's it. The pressure is off. 



Stay the course. Don't get swept away by gimmicky discipleship programs promising magical victory over sin. Remind yourself daily that your sin died with Christ on the cross and that you too will be raised to new life.  




Matt Johnson is a pastor at mars hill church and publication manager for re:lit and Resurgence. He also serves as a leader in Mars Hill's redemption groups.

Throughout the 90s and the early part of the decade, Matt was a traveling musician. Matt met his wife, Rose, at Mars Hill in '97 and they served in music ministry together for over 10 years. In recent years Matt has written music criticism for paste magazinethree imaginary girls, Seattle Sound, and Bandoppler.

Matt and Rose got married in 2001 and they have two young daughters.