Doing Gospel-life together
Posted on August 2, 2021 by Catey Stover in Victory Call
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
How much or how often does the Gospel impact daily life? Is it a tool God uses to bring us to Himself and come the end what will usher us into heaven? For a long time, that was my understanding.
“God did not give us His gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness. The wise believer learns this truth early and becomes proficient in extracting available benefits from the gospel each day. We extract these benefits by being absorbed in the gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do.”[i]
A counselor once told me, “You need grace as much today as you needed to get saved.” That started me thinking of the Gospel in a new way. The Gospel is for my day, today.
Along the way, I read and taught C.J. Mahaney’s books The Cross –Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing[ii] and Living the Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing[iii] I recommend both books.
The Gospel is not shelf-worthy or attic-worthy, something to be stored until further notice. It is needed every day, in every relationship and for every decision. Without the Gospel framing our thinking on a constant basis we will slide towards me-ism and/or legalism.
Me-ism is a self-centered life that causes my thoughts, decisions and attitudes to be filtered through the lens of ME. Will this get me what I want? How will this serve me? What will this cost me? Time? Comfort? Pleasure? Happiness? Money? Convenience?
Legalism is a law-based, rule-based life that causes thoughts, decisions and attitudes to be filtered through the law as the standard of righteousness. This is borne out of a belief that living according to law gains me acceptance with others and with God and it leads to self-righteousness.
The Gospel dispels both of these “-isms” Me-ism is shattered when rather than living for my own glory I live for Jesus’ glory. The Gospel becomes the most important lens through which I view all of life. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4
Legalism dies in light of the Gospel. Jesus met God’s standard of righteousness and then declared us righteous. We have His righteousness. We cannot add or improve on that. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4
Doing Gospel-life together is characterized by relationships based in the Gospel and God’s glory. Rather than my way and my glory motivating my thoughts, attitudes and actions, the Gospel motivates me. How does the Gospel inform my heart in all my relationships?
Even after being a believer many years, I am still learning this. I realize that for the Gospel to inform my day, my thinking, my attitudes, my actions and my relationships, I must have it on my mind. That requires that I rehearse it daily to keep it fresh in my heart.
“The more I experience the gospel, the more there develops within me a yearning affection for my fellow-Christians who are also participating in the glories of the gospel. This affection for them comes loaded with confidence in their continued spiritual growth and ultimate glorification, and it becomes my pleasure to express to them this loving confidence regarding the ongoing work of God in their lives.
Additionally, with the gospel proving itself to be such a boon in my own life, I realize that the greatest gift I can give to my fellow-Christians is the gospel itself. Indeed, I love my fellow-Christians not simply because of the gospel, but I love them best when I am loving them with the gospel!”[iv]
Lord, teach us to live the Gospel together.
[i] Milton Vincent. A Gospel Primer for Christians, 2008. Pg. 5
[ii] C.J. Mahaney. The Cross –Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing, 2002.
[iii] C.J. Mahaney. Living the Cross –Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing, 2006.
[iv] Milton Vincent. A Gospel Primer for Christians, 2008. Pg. 22 (1st paragraph see Philippians 3:1-7; 2nd paragraph see 1 Thessalonians 2:8)
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. -1 John 2:10-11