Mind, Heart, & Hands: The Power of the Gospel In Life

26 Nov

“Many Christians live with a truncated view of the gospel.  We see the gospel as the ‘door,’ the way in, the entrance point into God’s kingdom.  But the gospel is so much more!  It is not just the door, but the path we are to walk every day of the Christian life.  It is not just the means of our salvation, but the means of our transformation.  It is not simply deliverance from sin’s penalty, but release from sin’s power…The gospel changes everything!”

These words from Bob Thune & Will Walker’s book, The Gospel-Centered Life (New Growth Press, 2009), help us to see the significance of the Gospel not only for our justification, but also our sanctification.  When we apply the message of the Gospel to life, we find a wealth of wisdom for life.  Love, anger, marriage, suffering, death; the Gospel causes us to view each of these in a new light, as well as how we respond to them in our lives.

Instead of loving selfishly for our own gain, we love selflessly for the benefit of others, just as Christ did in coming to earth, and going to the cross, for us.  The counterintuitive nature of the Gospel changes the way we understand marriage.  No longer is it a tit-for-tat, you do your part and I’ll do mine, relationship, but rather a relationship marked by a willingness to love, forgive, and serve one another no matter how many times our spouse may fail us.  Similarly, our anger towards others is diminished as we remind ourselves of the wrath of God that was formerly upon us, but taken away by the work of Christ.  Suffering is no longer viewed as the punishment for failing to meet God’s standards, but rather, a means of accomplishing our redemption.[1]  Finally, the Gospel gives us hope in the midst of tragedy and death, reminding us that there will be a day when death shall be no more, and, for loved ones who knew Christ, they are already experiencing many of the joys of unhindered communion with God.

In addition to each of these, the Gospel guides us in our sanctification.  The longer we study the Word of God, experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and live in community with fellow believers, we develop a greater awareness of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.  In turn, we are led back to Christ and the Gospel.  We grow in our appreciation for what God in Christ has done to redeem us, set us free from these sins, and enable us to walk in obedience of the will of God.  Because of these truths, as well as our security in Christ, we then, can renew our efforts at obedience day-by-day, and experience the fruits of joy, love, and hope, to the glory of God

[1] Romans 5:3-4, as well as other passages, remind us of the fact that suffering is a refining work of God to bring about holiness in our lives and conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  This work began in Christ’s suffering upon the cross and will one day be completed at His return (Rom. 8:29-30, Phil. 1:6), but in between is oftentimes furthered by suffering.


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