Tuesday, August 21, 2012
A Gospel-Powered Life
"I have been crucified with Christ;
and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me
and gave Himself for me."
How has the gospel affected you this morning? What about yesterday or the day before? Is the gospel necessary only for salvation or does its purpose stretch beyond?
The gospel - the incarnation, sinless life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ - has a depth and complexity that goes beyond human understanding, and yet God has chosen to reveal Himself through His Son and the actions of His Son to sinful, degenerate, dead man. Yes, the gospel is essential for salvation - seeing His perfection, understanding our helplessness, receiving His substitutionary sacrifice - my sin in exchange for His righteousness - the gospel brings men to their knees before a holy God and draws us into an eternal, familial relationship with the Creator Himself.
Jesus in my place.
But I contend that many of us stand and walk away from the foot of the cross, grateful and relieved that our record has been cleared, without any sense that the exchange that happened at the cross changes everything.
There is a power source that comes in our salvation gift bag that many leave sitting on the bottom, still wrapped and ignorant of its presence, let alone its purpose. We yank out the eternal life coupon, wave it in the air and believe that since our fire insurance is in place, we now can live knowing the life after death is going to be so much better than now.
Then we try to be good, but we're still sinners by nature, so we do the best we can. It's hard, but Jesus is forgiving and in the end, our destination is set. Works don't save us anyway, right? So the gospel has changed my eternal life but not necessarily my earthly life.
What a sad life.
I'm not even sure it's a saved life.
So, what is that power source? What is in the bottom of the bag? What am I missing?
Well...not so fast. I just want you to start thinking about the gospel and whether it affects you on a daily basis. Just today - when you go to bed tonight, think through your day and make an assessment. Did the gospel show up at all? How has the incarnation, or the sinless life, or even the resurrection made your day look different? Or maybe it hasn't had an affect on your day - that's a possibility, too.
I'll tell you what - next post, I'll discuss the specifics of the gospel and we'll see if it makes more sense to you...