"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

Lent & A Biblical Gospel ???

Last year I wrote this article right after Lent had begun. I am going to repost it a week before Lent this year upon request – with a couple of additions thanks to last year’s study through Hebrews!

Should Christians Celebrate Lent?

I get asked this question more and more. Lent used to be a pretty exclusively Catholic (and somewhat Anglican) ritual. In the past few years more evangelical Christians have begun observing Lent.

Is there anything in the Bible that says you should not observe Lent? NO.

Is there anything in the Bible that says you should observe Lent? No.

It is a part of the Catholic tradition but it isn’t necessarily wrong for a Christian to participate in it. EXCEPT – if you think that you are doing something that gains you favor from God by the doing of it then you are mistaken. By doing without anything that is lawful at lent or any other time – you are not gaining any standing with God towards your salvation. There is nothing wrong with fasting. Jesus commends it and it is to be done in private. There is nothing wrong with disciplining your body by denying yourself something.

If you try to make it mandatory upon your self or others then you are missing what Paul says in Romans 14.

There is NOTHING in the Bible about putting ashes on your forehead.

However, if the observance of Lent helps someone become a more faithful Christian – more convinced of the absolute grace of God – more in love with the gospel that freely makes us right with God based solely on the life and death of Jesus – then there is nothing wrong with it.

Often – these kind of observances become an end in themselves and not a pointer to the all sufficient, compassionate, loving, holy Savior – the Lord Jesus. As Christians we glory in Him! Jesus’ life and death is TOTALLY sufficient for us. He is our better and great High Priest.

In Hebrews chapter 9 we read of how Jesus came not “to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he (JESUS) has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

The writer of Hebrews calls us to renew our trust in our great high priest – to live moment by moment looking to Him as our Savior – our advocate – our representative – the One to whom we must draw near. I would encourage you to spend your life drawing near to Jesus, trusting in what He has done for you and waiting for Him – rather than hoping in any sacrifice you might make for 40 days or longer.

You will find the gospel of Jesus to be a SPRING of GRACE!!!! I am so thankful for the grace of the gospel. If Lent somehow points you to God’s grace then I rejoice with you – but remember that salvation, forgiveness, or any of God’s blessings are never earned or merited – they are always given freely because of what Jesus has already done. “This is the day (the day of salvation – where Jesus does for us what we could not do for ourselves) rejoice and be glad in it.”


Pastor Joe