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The Gospel Defined Life

Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 2:32 PM
The Gospel Defined Life Don't make the dreadful mistake of thinking that once you are saved you no longer need the Bible.
What your mind is open to will eventually find its way into your heart. - Jordan Chamblee

Satan does everything he can to weaken the testimony of the Church. One particular way he does this is by deceiving Christians into believing that once we are saved we no longer need the gospel. This is one of the most powerful and subtle lies of Satan. We cannot move on from the gospel for it is the heart and soul of our walk with the Lord. 

That being said, what is the relationship between the gospel, your daily life, and your worldview? Simply this: a Christian worldview is founded upon and built out of the gospel. They are inseparable. 

The gospel defines the things you do. James tells us “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17). Christ tells us in Matthew 7:16, “You will know them by their fruits.” In the Gospels and Acts, we see Christ and the Apostles doing many good things. But they did not do every good thing they could have. Nowhere are we led to believe that Christ healed every sick person He passed by, calmed every storm that frightened the fishermen in Galilee, fed every hungry crowd following Him from town to town. To assume He did so would be unbiblical. Why didn’t He, though? 

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Christ could have traveled the world and healed every sick person. He could have easily toppled Rome and destroyed every opposition to God in an instant. But He humbly obeyed the will of His Father. This is our example. We work out our faith in good deeds, but always constrained and directed by the example of Christ found in the Gospels. 

The gospel defines the things you think. The door to the heart is the mind. What your mind is open to will eventually find its way into your heart. The Word tells us in 1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Girding up the loins of your mind is a metaphor for gathering up thoughts that trail around like the hem of a long robe so that you don’t trip when you run. 

Hebrews 12:1-2, “… lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Both of these passages are commands to control your thoughts while laying aside worldly thoughts. They also tell you what to think about and what your thoughts should be filtered through: the “revelation of Jesus Christ” and the work of Christ who “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The gospel defines the things you believe. In today’s religious culture, many people “believe” in God. They agree that Jesus died in their place, for their sins. They will nod their heads when you tell them the only way to eternal life is through Jesus. However, many times this profession of belief is not accompanied by an outward demonstration of any inward work of the Holy Spirit. Again, James has words for these people in James 2:19, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” 

If I told you about someone and described him/her in meticulous detail, and you agreed with everything I said about him/her, you would still not have a relationship with that person. You don’t know that person. This is a huge difference between a true believer and someone who only agrees with Bible facts. The true Christian’s beliefs facilitate love and obedience and cannot be separated from them. 

The nominal Christian holds on to these facts and truths, does good things because they feel they should, but has no real, deep, genuine abiding love for the person of Christ. Christ is not precious to them. The gospel is absent from their beliefs and their worldview, and their form of faith is dead. For you who love Christ, the gospel is beautiful and the foundation of your obedience. 

The gospel defines who you are. Our identities depend on who God is. God has communicated who He is to us through the gospel and the person of Jesus Christ. When we look into the gospel we see that we are, apart from Christ, wicked reprobates deserving of hell, without exception. Because our nature is opposed and contrary to God, we are also contrary to righteousness and goodness. But Christ died and rose again. 

To illustrate just how fallen you are apart from Christ, imagine you’ve fallen into a pit that was ten foot deep. It would take nothing less than a ten-foot ladder to rescue you. What did it take to rescue you from the pit of sin? Christ Himself. It took the death of the immortal, infinite God to rescue you. You were so fallen in sin that you were infinitely separated from God. And now, if you have been rescued, you are as near to God as Christ Himself. In light of the gospel you are sinful, redeemed, rescued, justified, being perfected in the image of Christ, and will one day be glorified in eternity. This is your identity, all defined by the gospel.

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