Gospel Importance Pt.4: Centrality Pt.2

This is the last post in our Gospel Importance series. Gospel Importance Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3. We’ll just pick up right where the last one left off. I was talking about why it’s important for Christians to remember the Gospel.

The Gospel Reveals God’s Righteousness

[17] For in it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith… (Romans 1:17, ESV)

[26] It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:26 ESV)

God is righteous and just. He will not leave sin unpunished. In His wisdom He made a way for His justice to be upheld and offer grace and mercy to sinful people at the same time. God’s wrath against us because of our sin will be meted out justly, either in Christ on the cross (when we believe and repent) or on us in Hell for eternity. If we die without Christ’s forgiveness and righteousness, God’s wrath remains on us (John 3:36).

[36] Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36, ESV)

We not only serve a loving God who forgives our sin, but also a God who is just and full of righteous wrath and hates sin. This should, again, make us extremely grateful for His undeserved mercy. And it should burden our hearts for those who have not heard this Good News. This is the story (Good News & bad news) that our culture rails against, calling Christianity closed-minded and exclusive. The gospel of Jesus Christ is simultaneously exclusive (only those who believe in Him will be saved) and inclusive (all are invited to believe in Him).

The Gospel Shows God’s Love For Us

[8] but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, ESV)

[16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. [17] ForGod did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17, ESV)

[4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— (Ephesians 2:4-5, ESV)

The gospel reminds us that we are loved… right now. God doesn’t love some future, more mature version of you and me when we will finally “get it right.” He loves us now. He loves us personally, not just us a humans. You. Me. He loved us when we were at our worst-His enemies. We should be comforted by the fact that in Christ we are fully known and yet still loved!

I’m always telling my kids I love them. I mean like, multiple times every day! I’m always hugging on them and kissing them (whether they want it or not). Why? I could say, “well I told them once that I love them and I go to work every day to provide for them and that should be enough.” No. Although they are in my family, and that will never change, my desire is that they be continuously reassured of my love for them. Because, there will be times when they are tempted to think that I don’t love them, that I don’t have their best interests at heart. The continuous display of verbal and physical affection makes them secure in their position in our family. I want them to know that they can never not be my children. How much more does God love us-His children? How much more do we need His constant affirmation that He loves us and His love for us will never change because it is based on His choice to love us and not our performance?

The Gospel Destroys Our Pride

[1] And you were dead in the trespasses and sins [2] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—[3] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. [4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—… [8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:1-5, 8-9, ESV)

We were just like “those sinners” we talk about and to whom we minister and reach out. We were on the same path to destruction as they are and the only reason we are not now is all because of God’s unmerited grace towards us. He sovereignly chose to love us. We are tempted to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We get caught up in our own awesomeness.

The Hope of the Gospel Drives Faithfulness and Perseverance

[12] Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.[13] Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,[14] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. [15] Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. [16] Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (Philippians 3:12-16)

The gospel gives us hope that this life of pain and suffering and striving with sin is not all there is. Hope that this life is as close to Hell as we will ever be. We have the hope that this is not our best life now. The gospel gives us hope and the fuel we need to do the things that the world says are stupid or a waste of time. Let’s face it, if the gospel isn’t true, Christians do some really dumb stuff. Giving away your time, your money, raising your kids a certain way, treating your spouse a certain way though they don’t deserve it, etc..

We Never “Outgrow” the Gospel

We never leave the gospel behind. We never cease needing the gospel. We are to grow deeper IN the gospel. We are tempted to think that Christian maturity can happen outside of the gospel. We are tempted to think that maturity requires us to get stronger and stronger, needing God less and less because “we got this” or need to gain some type of adolescent independence. Real maturity understands its weakness and utter dependence upon God’s wisdom, His love, His grace, His strength. Paul prays that the Ephesians (and us) grow in our understanding of God’s glory in the gospel so that we may be filled with the fullness of God.

[16] I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,[17] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, [18] having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, [19] and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might [20] that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, [21] far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:16-21, ESV)

[16] that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, [18] may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, [19] and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19, ESV)

The more we think rightly about the Gospel the better we see God’s holiness, perfection, wrath, and justice The better we see our sin, rebellion, wickedness, and hopelessness. This should make us overjoyed and eternally grateful for His love, grace, mercy, and wisdom.

We need to hear the Gospel daily (Bible reading, audio bible, sermon podcasts, etc.). We need to learn to preach the gospel to ourselves! This is not just “mind over matter” stuff. No. The gospel has power–it is the power of God!

This is the Good News and we’ll spend the rest of eternity understanding God’s love for us in the gospel! If the gospel fails to excite or motivate you, you’re in a dangerous place!

[2] if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:2b)

Is believing the gospel the pattern of your life?

Christian, remember the gospel.

Live from the Gospel.

[1] Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, [2] and by which you are being saved, (1 Corinthians 15:1-2a)

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