Friday, December 25, 2015

The Gospel of Grace and the struggle to remember it

Over two and a half years ago, I posted about the gospel and how it affects our daily lives. Not surprisingly, all this time later, I still find myself in the same struggle.

From the political discussions to the work setting to the family setting to the Facebook setting...the struggle remains to keep Christ the center of all thought. Scripture tells us, "in [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Col 2:3ESV. And here I am at the end of 2015 STILL struggling daily to glorify Him in all that I say, do, and think. If I lose a proper biblical focus, I could wind up in utter despair and compromise the gospel by thinking I have to be perfect in order for it to be true or for God to be pleased with me. Our gospel is not a gospel of works. It is a gospel of GRACE. Friends, WE MUST UNDERSTAND THIS! I MUST UNDERSTAND THIS! In that post over two years ago, I quoted Eph 2:8-9, "for it is by GRACE you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing. IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, NOT A RESULT OF WORKS, so that no one may boast..." You and I must NEVER think that we are made right in God's sight by OUR OWN WORKS (not good works, obedience to the Law, not ANYTHING WE DO!)... Eph tells us that it is by GRACE! The more you and I understand grace, the more peace we will have. If you allow yourself to think that you can DO ANYTHING to make God love you more, you will NEVER have peace! You can never do enough! The Ephesians passage says " NOT AS A RESULT OF WORKS."
I am harping on this, because this is my struggle. And I imagine others having this same struggle.

Many churches and people in churches propagate this in the way they tell sinners they can be saved -by telling them it's their decision. This is an error. God chose whom he would save before time (Eph 1:3-14; Rom 9:6-29; John 6:65...Look them all up!) That Ephesians passage tells us that even our faith is a gift of God!

But again, how does any of this help me when an employee is yelling at me at work for some perceived injustice? How does this help me when someone on Facebook calls me a heretic for my Biblical beliefs?   It helps me to remember that God's gospel of grace is true in all events of my life. I've believed the gospel, so that means God gave me the gift of faith. Christ died for ME. He has orchestrated the events of my life for his glory and for my good (Rom 8:28). Even when I am told by a customer that I don't know how to do my job, Christ is my king. Even when I can't see how I am going to get through the day or the work shift, Christ is in control. His gospel is still true.

 One way I have enlisted the help of my family is that they tell me as I am heading out to work, "Remember Who you serve!" How does that help? If I can remember that I serve the God who brought about the truth of the gospel in the midst of a rough day, I can have peace knowing that Christ has saved me and that all the junk I may go through is working in me godly character according to His will. Knowing the gospel as well as other aspects of Biblical truth are quite the armor in our daily battles. They are spiritual battles. Ephesians (again!) tells us in 6:10-20 that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood and goes on to tell us how to be equipped for the battle. Part of that readiness comes from knowing the gospel.

Merry Christmas, Friends. Fill your heads with as much Biblical truth as possible. This can only come by opening up your Bibles and reading and studying. Remember the gospel. And remember, God is all sovereign...

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