The Grace of God in the Gospel
Do you ever talk to yourself while you’re getting ready in the morning to remind yourself to do something that day? There is cute Facebook video of a father and his little girl standing in front of a mirror and he’s telling her things that he wants her to believe about herself that day. He’s trying to instill values and self-worth in his daughter as she goes into the world.
I actually do the same thing, sort of. Don’t laugh! But each morning I have a list of sayings that I read allowed to myself. The first one is repeating a personalization of Romans 1:16, today I will live unashamed for the gospel as it has the power to save not only me but everyone who believes. It’s a daily reminder of the importance of the gospel in my life and how I should live each day.
Most of today’s devotional are my reflections on a book called The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler. The gospel is amazing and important for every day of our life, not just salvation! How so?
The gospel saves us from hell. (Past) Hell is the consequence of our sin in the hands of a Holy God.
The gospel makes us holy. (Present) The gospel conforms us to the image of Christ, the “true” image of God, not broken by sin.
The gospel sustains us. (Future) The gospel gives us hope that God will complete the work of the gospel in us. (Phil 1:6)
I often think about how God came up with the idea of the gospel: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus to atone for our sins and Romans 11:33-36 helps us with that.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments
and untraceable his ways!
34 For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?
35 And who has ever given to God,
that he should be repaid?
36 For from him and through him
and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever. Amen.
Essentially, we can’t even comprehend it all and we won’t till we see Jesus face to face. However, we can get some glimpses to the magnitude of the gospel as we read Scripture and dwell on it. I have heard people express this idea that they need to gain points with God, they need to serve, do good works, straighten up their life, go to church every week, and pray and read their Bibles every day so that God will be happy with them. But it’s not true.
The grace of God displayed in the gospel is incomprehensible, and it’s so freeing when it finally clicks.
Think about this, every bridge that collapses, we question why God would allow that to happen. But here’s my question, how many bridges have you been on that haven’t collapsed? Do you wonder and marvel at God’s grace there? Every good thing in this world is here because of the mercy and grace of God. Every breath we have. He owns it all and owes us none of it. Yet, He gives it freely to us, but at the cost of His Son.
I remember saying this when I was saved, “God, if you take these burdens from me, forgive my sins, then I will do whatever you ask of me the rest of my life, just tell me and I’ll do it.”
That sounds pretty good, right? And it is true, that’s why I am a pastor today instead of a doctor. But there is something wrong with it, I was bargaining with God, saying if He would do something for me, I’ll do something for Him. I was watering down the gospel, I was saying that Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t enough to save me, I had to bring something to the table. But in reality, I had nothing to bring, He already owns it all, including my life.
You see, I realized that God was already completely satisfied with what Jesus had done on the cross, therefore, there is nothing I can do to satisfy Him further. Our only response to the gospel then is to surrender in agreement with what Jesus has already done. My statement should’ve been, “God, thank you for taking my burdens and sins freely, I can’t wait for You to use my life for Your glory. I’m here send me.”
The grace God shows us through the cross changes everything. He doesn’t need us, He wants us, He chose us, and He provided a way for us to be in relationship with Him forever. As Pastor Tim says, “we get to” come to church to worship Him and to serve Him. To be generous with what God has given us because He has already given us everything. And to gladly join God in His mission to redeem the world because His gospel has the power to save everyone who believes.
My hope is that as we reflect on the gospel today, that we realize the magnitude of the grace of God, so that we might live for the glory of God.
For His Glory,