My Gospel Story of God’s Grace

gForgiveness. I extemporaneously shared my story of God’s grace in my sermon last Sun: Gospel of Grace. I have previously shared parts of this before. I first understood the gospel in 1980 through my magical mysterious mystical conversion. At age 25 I realized for the first time with great awe and wonder and with many tears of gratitude that God forgave all my sins completely through Christ, despite myself. I experienced a peace and a wholesomeness (shalom) that I had never ever previously known (Phil 4:7). My life has never been the same for the last 34 years since that great, gracious and glorious day of my conversion.

Everlasting love. I understood the gospel again in 2005 when I lost over $1,000,000 because of my greed, arrogance, a desire to retire ASAP, and sheer stupidity and imbecility. I regarded this as my “worst” sin. I loathed myself with all my heart because of what I did. But at this miserably low point of my life Jer 31:3 came to my heart: I have loved you with an everlasting love.” I was stunned that God could love me and still loves me, when I couldn’t love myself nor bear with myself. To my surprise I understood again that the gospel or good news was entirely because of God’s unconditional love and grace, and NOT dependent on me in any way. I felt as though I was born again…again. Though I felt sick with myself, I was completely renewed, refreshed and restored. The surprising unchanging gospel and good news of God’s grace had nothing to do with my sin, shame, dishonor and disgrace.

Wow, she still loves me. Though my heart was warmed and greatly comforted by the grace of God, I nonetheless did expect my marriage to deteriorate and sour significantly. I know how much I had hurt my wife Christy and my four children. I was in massive debt, having lost in a few months far more than what Christy had painstakingly saved up for over 20 years of our marriage. She is the least extravagant, most thrifty and most frugal person I know. She buys virtually everything that is either on sale, with coupons or with rebates. But I blew all of our life’s savings and more virtually overnight. I thought to myself, “If Christy leaves me or stops loving me, I really can’t blame her.” But she still loved me. I was shocked that she could still love me. This is good news. This is the gospel expressed to me through her. Her unchanging love and gospel expression touched and transformed my heart. To this day, a decade later I am still humbled, grateful and overwhelmed. Because of her love for me, she has me hook, line and sinker. Because of her gospel love for me, I’m far crazier about her than she is about me, which is quite fine with me.

Without a doubt, the gospel is entirely what God has done, and not dependent in any way on me or my sins.

Do you have a gospel story to share? Feel free to also critique my first of many sermons on Romans, either the written manuscript or the extemporaneous preaching, where I shared the above account to conclude my sermon.


  1. I always enjoy hearing about your story Ben. And I appreciate hearing about the gospel. I read through your written manuscript and nothing stood out as wrong. I’m glad to have friends who know the gospel Jesus preached correctly! Of course I could add my own perspective on many of your statements, but that would just be a deepening of understanding. Your content is consistently in the 3-star and 4-star rating :)

    You should be a messenger trainer for every conference from now on!

  2. forestsfailyou

    Shortly before my father died he received a letter in the mail stating that we had won a trip to Disney. He deposited the check and he received a call saying that he had accidentally given too much money and needed to send some back. He kept this secret because he wanted to surprise us. He lost about $5000. He thought my mother would leave him, because she is like Christy. But Kathy didn’t. Norman passed away about 5 months later and Kathy always thought it was a major reason for the deterioration of his health.