Does the Gospel of Jesus Christ Shape Everything You Do?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is in every book of the Bible, even Esther, where God is not mentioned a single time. God’s perfect plan of salvation was laid before the foundation of the world: He knew we would rebel against His design (and how self-centered and arrogant we are, too), and He knew this would mar his perfect world, and lead to the death of His creation, Physical and Spiritual. He knew we would build monuments, cities, businesses, lives, and worship the things we create as opposed to worshipping the One who created all. And yet, He still sent Christ to die for us, though we made ourselves enemies of His.
Jesus, fully God, yet fully man, lived perfectly according to every righteous requirement of the Law and all of the covenants, and was nailed to a tree for His teachings, meant to bring people back in to right worship of and relationship with God. Yet this was part of the plan! When they nailed Him to that tree, He nailed our sins to the cross! He was buried, but on the third day, rose again, conquering death, the consequence of our sins! We can have new life now, and in eternity with Him forever, if we follow Jesus and are born again.
Christian, this is, simply, the Gospel: does it shape everything you do? Does it form every part of your life? In your family, is the Gospel the center? Is it the reason you go to school or work? Is it who you are in your choices for entertainment, or how you speak to others, or when you’re out doing your errands? The Gospel of Jesus Christ gives us freedom, not merely in the Spiritual part of our lives, but in every part, and we should walk as if He rescued us from our sin and snatched us from the enemy that is death! All of our life, every facet and part, is owed to Christ, and thus, we should live as if we have been set free (freed from sin, not freedom to continue in it). Is your life new? Are you living in that sweet freedom? If not, seek Christ, and hold on to that promise of Scripture: whom the Son sets free is free indeed!
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.