The churchgoers that populate the pews every Sunday each come with their own backstory. For good or ill, they’ve been drawn to church. But notwithstanding their circumstances, God’s gospel perfectly speaks to them in their need. Whether you’re running from God in rebellion or trying to win God’s favor with your religion, his grace is for you.
There is, perhaps, no better scene to identify who the church is for and what church should be about than the parable Jesus relays in Luke 18, that being the parable of “The Pharisee and the Publican.” In this short account, Christ plainly discloses the leveling nature of the gospel, in that it’s for sinners, because sinners are all that there are. The good news is for fakers and fugitives alike.