living hope

by Elizabeth de Barros

We have forgotten that genuine, enduring passion
is born out of one’s knowledge of the truth
and, specifically, the truth of the Gospel.
The more one comprehends its beauty,
the more one will be apprehended by its power.

-Paul Washer


The gospel is a message of hope based on Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Not too much to argue about there. Even atheists know this. They just don’t believe it.

Do you?

Find me someone who wants to die. Tomorrow, there will be more willing volunteers lining up to collect little oily black balls stretching across hundreds of miles of America’s coastline than signing up to die. There’s no glory in dying — only in saving. It’s code. The moral compass of the day.

Dude, social justice rocks! We can do this, c’mon! 

So many good ideas, but our navigational tools are failing us. We’re drowning in our own good works.

Speaking from the grave, A. W. Tozer says,

“The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in His name. We want to be saved but we insist Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of Mansoul and wear our tinsel crown with all the pride of a Caesar; but we doom ourselves to shadows and weakness and spiritual sterility.”

If in your life and as you walk you discover that your cross doesn’t slay you, impale you against the affections of this world and all its empty promises, you have not yet come to the cross of Christ. You’re still looking back, making nice with the world. From there you take your cues, finding comfort in its ways, trusting in goals and dreams where moths eat, nails rust and corruption has made its first and last deposit. You’ve erected your own cross, filled with elaborately carved displays of self-effort and vainglory, a cross that lacks the one thing needed.


Oh, I know. Nobody wants to die, but die we must.

Only by His Spirit can we ever hope to live a crucified life and by that same hope to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

This is the only gospel worth hoping in, the only cross worth dying on.

For further meditation

1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 1 Peter 1, Romans 6:5-10

Gospel 101