“Titanic Sinks Four Hours After Hitting Iceberg”
“ON THE MOON! And It’s ‘One Giant Leap for Mankind’”
All these headlines were breaking news at one time, but now they’re . . . old news.
For many Christians, the gospel isn’t much different. I don’t know about you, but for most of my life, I thought of the gospel as good news for unbelievers but old news for believers.
Boy, was I wrong.
News flash: The gospel isn’t mainly for your lost neighbors!
The Gospel Is Still for You, Believer
But don’t just take my word for it. In Romans 16:25, Paul writes to believers, “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ.”
Did you catch that? It’s the gospel that strengthens us as believers. The simple, familiar story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf.
Here’s another verse, written about believers, that clues us in that the gospel isn’t mainly for our lost neighbors: “The gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth” (Col. 1:5–6).
Is the gospel bearing fruit and increasing in you and me? (Hint: If we’re not regularly rehearsing gospel truths, it probably isn’t.)
I like how Tim Keller puts it: “The gospel is not just the ABCs but the A-to-Z of the Christian life.”
Remind Yourself of the Gospel
The gospel is meant to change everything about our lives. Everything. Paul understood that, which is why he reminded the Corinthians believers over and over of the gospel:
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you (1 Cor. 15:1).
We need to daily remember the gospel, too. Here’s a video I recorded a couple years ago that will help you do just that.
Receive the Gospel
Paul goes on, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received.”
At one point, you received the gospel by faith for the first time. You believed it. Are you continuing to? When you hear the gospel for the 3,000th time, do you sigh because you’ve heard it before? Or do you gladly receive and believe the gospel each time you hear it?
Blogger Dane Ortlund says it like this:
At the most fundamental level, I am an irreversible “believer” the rest of my life, by the grace of God. But at another level I move from believer to unbeliever (from exercising faith in Christ to forsaking faith in Christ) dozens of times, hundreds even, each day.
At the doctrinal level we look to Christ with sustained, consistent permanence. But in our everyday experience we keep faltering, keep swiveling away from Christ and looking to other saviors—even Christian saviors like Scripture memory or service in the church.
Ouch. Been there, done that. You and I need to continually believe and receive the gospel. To cherish it. Paul was convinced that nothing is more important than the gospel: “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received” (1 Cor. 15:3).
Dust off the Gospel Daily
If the gospel is so important, how can you grow in your understanding and appreciation of it?
- Realize you’re not more loved by God if you grasp all the gospel implications for everyday life. You and I are accepted by faith in Christ alone.
- Embrace the hard truths of God’s holiness and your sinfulness. I first learned the importance of this from The Gospel-Centered Life curriculum. As your awareness of God’s holiness and your sinfulness grows, Christ and the cross He bore will only become sweeter to you. Don’t be scared to take ownership for your sin. Christ came to die for sinners. You have a Savior, and He does not condemn you (Rom. 8:1)!
- Repent and believe each day, all day long. Repent of forsaking Christ in favor of a works-righteousness, and believe again in Christ’s perfect righteousness applied to you. Repent and believe. Repent and believe. As my friend Kelly Needham says, “Repentance—not performance—is the work of a Christian.”
- Observe how the New Testament authors communicated, and imitate them. Over and over, the New Testament authors begin with a gospel declaration (who we are in Christ), followed by a gospel expectation (how we are to live in light of this). Watch for this pattern, and communicate this way with others (including your kids!). When you share a gospel obligation, don’t leave out the related gospel declaration.
- Read gospel-centered resources. Here are a few recommendations from our team:
- New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp
- Alive in Him: How Being Embraced by the Love of Christ Changes Everything by Gloria Furman
- God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself by John Piper
- Craving Grace: Experience the Richness of the Gospel by Ruthie Delk
- The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story by D.A. Carson
- Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in Our Weakness by Barbara Duguid
- Comforts from Romans: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time by Elyse Fitzpatrick
The Gospel Isn’t Old News!
The fact that:
the Titanic sunk . . .
and mankind left footprints on the moon . . .
and Princess Di died . . .
doesn’t have a whole lot to do with your everyday life, does it?
But if you’re “in Christ,” the fact that:
Jesus died . . .
was buried . . .
and rose again . . .
has everything to do with your everyday life. Everything.
Is this a newsflash for you? Have you tended to think of the gospel as good but old news or as good news for today and tomorrow and the day after?