What was the heart of your ‘rediscovery of the Gospel’?
I was completely moved by Paul’s letter to the Romans. I wanted to understand it. But I could not because there was written something that went against me, in Chapter 1: ‘God’s righteousness is revealed in the Gospel’. I disliked that word ‘righteousness’. That was because I thought that it meant that you get what you deserve, so that God punishes sinners (as I am). All scholars often explain the word like that; righteousness is the idea that you get what you deserve. I fixated on that and I thought about it day and night.
Until I, by God’s grace, looked at the context. Namely there it is that God’s righteousness is revealed in the Gospel and that the just shall live by faith by the Gospel. At that moment I understood that God’s righteousness is not that you get what you deserve, but the opposite of it; that you get what you do not deserve. God’s righteousness is not that He punishes sinners, but that He justifies them by faith. When I saw that through, it was as if I were reborn. The whole Bible now looked different! As much as I had a great dislike at first for the word, that is how much I loved it now. This text of Paul became the gateway to paradise for me.