That is one of the most fundamental misunderstandings that 21st century American society has with Christianity.
It is not man’s gospel.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins the sermon with a section called The Beatitudes, 8 statements, most of which seem counterintuitive at first glance. But these are much deeper than pithy statements. They point us to the ethics of Jesus.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The Bible is clear that we are justified by faith. Jesus died on the cross. Jesus’ life was enough, his death was enough, the blood that he spilled was enough, his body that was broken was enough, the life he was resurrected to was enough. We could not earn God, we could not be Godly, and from his mercy and goodness, Jesus came for us, to live for us, to die for us, to save us from our sins. And all you have to do is to trust in that, to have faith in that.
And when you do, God gives you his Spirit. Like the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
At the beginning of each year, millions of Americans make new year’s resolutions. Common resolutions include eating healthier, saving more money, quitting smoking, or learning a new skill. All of those are great things.
But the reason why we create new year’s resolutions is because there are areas in our life where we know we should be doing something and where we aren’t. Maybe it’s something we’ve tried and failed at before, but new year’s gives a sense of optimism. I think before we focus on anything else in 2017, our resolution should be to start (or continue) living each day for God.
We can feel like we want to get all of our ducks in a row before we can make time for faith. There are always reasons to not pursue God. There are always things that come up, difficulties we have. If we wait until everything is perfect before we do something, it never happens.