The Gospel and the Heart – by Eliezer Gonzalez

Apr 7, 2016 2078


Someone told me recently that much of the preaching that they heard was about external matters, such as behaviour, lifestyle, and Christian standards. She said that I seemed to preach much more about the inside – the matters of the heart. She asked me why that was. So here are my reasons.

I am a Christian, which means that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. This also means that I want to live as he lived, and I want to teach as he taught.

The teachings of Jesus overwhelmingly focus on the heart. Jesus directly and constantly rebuked those whose religious teachings were focused on the externals.

It is not even about having a balance, It is simply about putting first things first.

Without a radical transformation of the heart, the externals are meaningless. Without a heart of love, a religious focus on the externals is not only meaningless, but dangerous in the extreme.

Jesus knew that a transformed heart leads to a transformed life, and never the other way around. He taught a Gospel that emphasised God’s radical love for his wayward children. It is a love that can melt and transform the hardest heart. From such a heart will come the kind of Kingdom life that pleases God.

To teach any other kind of message is to be like the white-washed sepulchres of the Pharisees – seemingly nice and shiny on the outside, but putrid and stinking of corruption on the inside (Matt. 23:27–28). Jesus was very clear that what defiles us is not the externals, but those things that come out from our hearts (Matt. 15:1–20).

So where is your focus? Is it on ensuring that your heart is right with God? Or is it on the behaviours of Christian living?

If your heart is right with God, the rest will follow. If it isn’t, then you will struggle all your life, attempting to live a life that you will never be able to live. And you will lose your soul.

– Eliezer Gonzalez

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