I was recently challenged by a conversation I had with a good friend. He was reflecting on how the gospel affects us in the daily details of life. I'm used to thinking that "the gospel" is a message we share with others. It's the message I believed and as a result, I am "saved." Back in November of 2011, I posted a short entry trying to define the gospel. Simply put, the content of the gospel message is: Jesus Christ became a man, lived a perfect life, died, was buried, and three days later he rose from the dead. okay... but SO WHAT?
I've believed the gospel message. I know Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and my God. I have been rescued from God's wrath through Him(1 Thess 1:10.) There is now no condemnation for me because I am IN Christ(Rom 8:1.) But is that all the gospel does- is it only fire insurance? Do I only have to believe once and I'm "in?" The Bible tells us that we must live holy lives as well as have faith. We are to strive for peace with others and to live holy lives (Heb 12:14.) We were saved by grace and God gave us the gift of faith (Eph 2:8-9), but this was in order for us to walk in the good works that God has prepared for us (Eph 2:10.)
So, I ask the question, "How does the gospel impact my daily life?" How does it impact YOUR daily life? When things aren't going well at work, does the gospel help you? When a dear loved one has received a dreaded diagnosis, can the gospel affect how you deal with it? When your "enemy" does all he can to harm you, how do you respond? Friends, in any of these circumstances, I want the gospel to be REAL and to have an impact on how I respond. For example, I work with the public. Often times people can be rude, insensitive, demanding, and I must be gracious and polite and winning in my response to them. This is beyond difficult sometimes. Can the gospel help me at work? Absolutely! I need to remember that Christ died for sinners-> I am a sinner-> the person I'm dealing with is a sinner....I need to remember that Christ was unjustly treated; He had never done wrong or sinned against ANYONE -> I, on the other hand, sin with every breath and deserve unjust treatment in general; and yet I am SOO OFFENDED when someone is unkind to me. And to top it off, at work, I am not preaching the gospel to people and and I am being mistreated (at times)- I'm not saying I SHOULD be mistreated, I'm just saying that when I am mistreated, it's not directly for the cause of Christ. The Bible tells me to "endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as children." Heb 12:7NIV. So God loves me and through hardship He is teaching me discipline. Understanding the gospel helps me endure because the gospel is TRUE. Jesus really lived a perfect life. He really died. He really rose from the dead. He really is with me until the end of the age- even when a customer is angry and in my face. He really inspired the Scriptures that give me so much rich instruction. And the "sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Rom 8:18 ESV. <-That is really TRUE. It's all true because the gospel is true.
I hope that you can start to see how the gospel can impact even the minutest detail of you life. I'm trying to see how this is so and it is truly helping me to respond to situations in a more godly manner. I know I won't be perfect until Glory, but by God's grace you and I can continue this journey- we can continue to progress in our sanctification. Remember, God is all sovereign...