The gospel is about much more than how we get saved and go to heaven. The gospel is about the work of Christ saturating every aspect of our lives.
The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue, but of life. It cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole soul and penetrates to the inner recesses of the heart.
By forgiving, we do become Christ to others. By bearing in our bodies the weight of unjust accusation, undeserved pain, and unretaliated harm, we are the Holy Spirit’s message of Jesus to others. By the practice of forgiveness we have the privilege of being a living witness to the One we most love, and who has loved us eternally and sacrificially.
In seeking after holiness we are not so much seeking after a thing as we are seeking a Person. The blessings of the gospel – election, justification, sanctification, glorification, and all the rest – have been deposited in no other treasury but Christ. We don’t just want holiness. We want the Holy One in whom we have been counted holy and are now being made holy. To run hard after holiness is another way of running hard after God.
Abide and Obey by Kevin DeYoung taken from The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2012, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 123.
The default condition of our flesh is “earn it.” We enter the world in love with legalism. We are convinced that we can merit God’s favor. We love moralism, but we resist the gospel. Parents who understand this never cease preaching the gospel to themselves and their children.
Effective parents equip their children to overcome the world – not by changing and controlling their environment (things external to their children), but by going after their children’s hearts. We change their hearts by teaching the gospel, modeling the gospel, and centering our homes on the gospel. The gospel, rightly understood and modeled, makes Christianity attractive. Effective parents make the gospel so attractive that the world cannot get a foothold in their children’s hearts.
The gospel is not just the A-B-Cs of Christianity; it is the A through Z. Every virtue of the Christian life grows out of the deeper experience in the gospel. Spiritual growth happens not by going beyond the gospel, but going deeper into it.
The gospel cannot be preached and heard enough, for it cannot be grasped well enough… Moreover, our greatest task is to keep you faithful to this article and to bequeath this treasure to you when we die.
God is not looking for people to work for Him; so much as He is looking for people who will let Him work for them. The gospel is not a Help Wanted ad. Neither is the call to Christian service. On the contrary, the gospel commands us to give up and hang out a Help Wanted sign (this is the basic meaning of prayer). Then the gospel promises that God will work for us if we do. He will not surrender the glory of being the Giver.
[God] commands us to let Him work for us before commanding us to work for Him.
Understanding the Gospel message and receiving the Gospel message always shows itself in manifesting the Gospel message in our actions.
So we discipline ourselves for godliness, but trust in His grace. We strive to live our Christian life, but find our rest in Him. We labor to the point of exhaustion, but realize His yoke is easy and His load is light. Examine yourself regularly to stay balanced. We live Gospel-centered lives – trusting His grace and sovereignty for salvation and trusting His grace and sovereignty for daily living as well.
If we as a church are not unified in Spirit-driven Gospel ministry, there is nothing strong enough to hold this flawed and diverse group of people together as one.
We know our sin brings personal consequences, but let’s remember it also affects others. You are part of a body. You sin, others in the church are hurt. Yet most of all, it affects how other people think about Christ. The stakes cannot be higher regarding the need for your personal moral integrity. Our entire life must be seen in the light of the Gospel’s proclamation through Christlike personal transformation.
Let’s remember, we enter with faith and continue to live by faith. We believe the Gospel and live Gospel-centered lives. We are saved by grace and we are continually empowered by His grace. We work, but give God all the glory for His working in us.