The Gospel is Shocking

A few notes and inspirations from my Professor, Dr. Darian Lockett

To my brothers and sisters who are in Christ, I pray you hear God’s voice through my words and may the Holy Spirit guide you:

You know what is actually quite shocking? The gospel. The gospel isn’t just something we get through as a stage in our walk; not simply “we know it, now we can focus on bigger and greater things” or “I heard it and I believe”

But rather, the gospel is something that we live in everyday.

We are broken and we need Jesus.

Why is it shocking? Because the deeper the message of the gospel seeps into you, the more you begin to realize just how much you fall short of the glory of God; we are so broken.

The deeper we go with Jesus, the more we need Jesus.

We actually discover that we are more broken than we thought we were.

The gospel reveals more on how bad we are.

Even our efforts are seen as filthy rags before God, what can we do?

The gospel is shocking.

How can we stop ourselves from just giving up?

Even though we feel like we are too far away from God, even as we go deeper and deeper – realizing we are more broken than yesterday, there is only one answer.

We need the cross more.

In 1 John, the mistake the readers make was the self-deception, they believed they “have no sin” (1 John 1:8) But we do have sin, we are still messed up. Yes, we are transformed by His spirit now but our perfection is yet to come.

Repeatedly in our lives we are to repent and believe, repent and believe…

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

We are striving for holiness with God’s help but who is the perfect Christian?

Who is the perfect other than Jesus? Surely no-one or yourself came to mind but yet our expectations of others resemble near perfection.

We all make mistakes, we all still sin. Even in our transformed self now, even under Christ, we are still broken. We are crippled creatures, crippled till we meet Jesus. But yet, we expect that we’ll be healed completely in our lifetime.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6)

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Rom 8:30)

Amen, that he has began a good work in us. Amen, that he has transformed us now and continually working in us. Final amen, that He will also complete His work in the future.

Brothers and Sisters, I hope you don’t mistake this as an endorsement for wallowing in our brokenness. I by no means want to encourage the notion of “we are broken and still sinning even in Christ”.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:2)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17)

We are a new creation and our old self has died with Christ on the cross. We should live with this identity by all means but to remember that the work in us is still a continuation. “…continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil 2:12b)

Claiming we are not broken is self-deception. Claiming that we are perfect now is self-deception. We should be more thoughtful on this subject.

(What scares me, just as much as it should scare you, is the idea of self-deception. There could be things in our lives that we are unaware of and actively still sinning. Nothing but the word and the Holy Spirit can convict us. Something to think about.)

To keep it real, we have to understand what it means to be real. We are messed up and we are broken, but we are continually transformed now. We don’t live perfect lives, even if we try – it becomes rags. We screw up and we make mistakes. But thank God for the cross, for which we increasingly need daily.

“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” 1 Cor 9:16

A Reformed View of God’s Love

by Rev. Chris Connors  (Manasquan Reformed Bible Church)

John Knox wrote; “You make the love of God common to all men, and that we constantly do deny.” Why did he write that? He wrote it because he knew that…

Love is one of God’s attributes, along with holiness and righteousness.

Love is an attribute of God (1 John 4:8,16; Romans 5:8).

Holiness and righteousness are equally attributes of God (Josh. 24:19; Ps. 99:5; Rev. 4:8; Psalm 145:7; Acts 17:31).

God cannot love sinners without justice being fully satisfied (Ex. 34:7). God does love some sinners because Divine justice and mercy meet in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on their behalf (Psalm 85:10; Rom. 5:8).

God does not need to love any sinner.

There is nothing about us sinners that moves God to love any one of us (Ps.l4:l-3; 144:3; Gen. 6:5; Rom.3:10-19).

God’s own good pleasure is what moves Him to have mercy and show love to any particular sinner (Eph.l:5/9, 11; Rom.9: 15,16; Exo.33:19; Deu.7:7-9).

Election is the fountain of God’s love for sinners.

Before the foundation of the world. God has set His love upon some sinners in unconditional election (Jer.31:3; 2Tim. 1:9; Eph.l:4). Electing love gives the elect to Christ, and Christ to the elect, as the gift of love to save the elect (Johnl7: 6/11; Eph. 1:4). At the same time God, to show the glory of His justice, leaves others in their sins as objects of His righteous hatred (Matt. 11:25-26; Rom. 9:13,15,18, 21-23).

God’s love always saves.

Because the elect world is loved in Christ (Eph.l:3ff).

Because Christ was given to die on the cross to save the world of elect sinners (John 10: 11, 26-29: John 3:16; Rom. 5: 8; 2Tim. 1: 9, Gal. 2:20).

Because God’s love, flowing from election, produces effectual calling, justification and glorification (Romans 8:28-31; Jer. 31:3; I Peter 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:9).

God loves the elect – God hates the reprobate.

God loves the elect eternally, unchangeably, and savingly (Jer. 31:3, Mal. 3:6). God justly hates the reprobate (Rom. 9:13,18, 22; 2 Peter 2:8).

The hatred of God is sovereign and righteous. Sovereign in that God passes by for no other reason than his own good pleasure. Righteous because God hates them as guilty sinners and purposes that, in the way of their own sins, they should be condemned and damned.

It is NOT true that God loves all sinners, but hates their sin.

Sin can not be separated from the sinner, because it is the nature of man that is sinful (Psalm 51:5; Jer. 17:9; Matt.l2:34-35; Luke 6: 44-45).

The Bible speaks of God being angry with, and hating the wicked, that is people who do wickedness (Ps. 5:4-6; 11:5-6; Prov. 16:4).

The proposition is true only of God’s elect for God loves them in Christ (Rom.5:8-10; Eph.2:l-10). God loves them because He predestinated them unto the adoption of children in Jesus Christ, and He has satisfied His justice against them and their sin when Jesus died in their stead on the cross of Calvary. And, God loves them in such a way that they ALL are all united to His Son for justification, sanctification and glorification – being brought to live unto God, confessing always: “The life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Eph.l:4-5, Gal. 2:20).

God is not actively loving non-elect men when he gives them good things in this life, like money, health etc, or even when He sends them the gospel to hear.

Prosperity is no sign that God’s loves this or that particular sinner (Ps. 73:18-19; Luke 12:20, 21).

Hearing the gospel preached is no sure sign that God loves this or that particular sinner (Matt.l3:10- 15, 22:14; 1 Peter 2:8; 2 Cor.2:14ff).

A sinner may be assured that God loves him/her only when there is evidence of that love having produced saving faith in their life. In other words. God’s electing, redeeming love, is manifest in their lives through true faith and repentance (1 John 4:19).


The Biblical and Reformed faith teaches that God’s love flows to His elect, and His elect alone, in and through Jesus Christ.

© 2012 Manasquan Reformed Bible Church (Source)

Monergism FAQ

A resource of common theological questions and answers, not fully comprehensive but a great starting point for further pursuit:

This a new subsection we are currently working on at With answers drawn from the whole of Scripture, we briefly and concisely cover some of the most common questions about Christianity and Christian theology. Here is a starting list for our Theological FAQs — we hope to add more questions as time allows.

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