These gospels encourage a more dynamic, refreshing, open-minded, spiritual, loving, and exciting way to be a Christian. A different way of faith, as some might assume from preconceptions about these gospels, doesn't mean some radical, secret, or cultic way to believe but refers to a dramatic shift in the focus of faith. This focus becomes a dynamic connection to a vital inner experience of God's spirit that Jesus says (in the Gospel of Thomas) is both "within us" and "beyond us." Christianity becomes not merely a collection of facts but an honest and open quest, as this gospel says, to "bring forth" Christ's spirit for both ourselves and the world.
The gospels refer to as both the "living Jesus" and the "living Christ." Thus gnosis meant our knowing Christ!
The place to find God is within oneself. We can experience the living Christ and God, by seeking, not finalizing. God in our own design.
Early church fathers refer to these gospels and mention some of them by name in their writings! Thus most believe they would have been read alongside the biblical gospels.
Your faith is not what you believe about Christ but your relationship with him!
The Gnostic Gospels were unexpectedly discovered in Egypt in 1945. Until then the discovery of these and other early gospels, the way to be Christian was simply to follow what was dictated by the Church Administrators.
In contrast the Gnostics were "seekers." It was far more important to seek God through all kinds of knowledge rather than "just believe that what is told." They were believers in Christ, but they heard a different message from Jesus. Christ's message was more spiritual than religious -- not bearing all the answers.