The Hole in Our Gospel
Note: If you’re following along in the New Testament, take a minute to first read Galatians 2.
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the idea of “trying to be a good Christian?” Maybe the struggle to stay on the path that we talked about yesterday has left you frustrated, discouraged, and even angry? Being whatever it is that God calls us to be in his Word is so huge that it can leave us constantly overwhelmed. Of course, this happens not because of the nature of God’s Word, but because of our tendency to forget.
What is it that we forget? We forget that the good news of Jesus Christ has real meaning in our day to day lives. I spent a very long time thinking that Jesus took away the penalty for my sins; then he set a high bar for Christian living that I was pretty much on my own to live out. I still find myself falling into this trap. It leaves me feeling overly crushed by my failures and puffed up by my success. This hole in our gospel is what leaves us feeling hung out to dry by the ways of Christ. We feel that, for the most part, all the moments between baptism and heaven are up to us. That is not true!
Jesus didn’t just die for your past sins and your future in heaven. There is a “right now” element to the gospel. Paul says it like this in Galatians 2:20:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
– Galatians 2:20 ESV
Paul is saying something incredible here! He’s saying when we trust Christ we don’t receive a new laundry list of rules. We die! We go away. The life we live is Christ living through us. We live our lives by faith in the one who gave himself for us.
As you go through your day today, remember that you are to obey. But that obedience comes through Jesus Christ who works in you. We ask him for help. We depend on his goodness. When we fail, we remember that Jesus paid for that sin before we were born. When we succeed, we remember that it is Jesus who works in us!
I love this quote by Paul David Tripp. I’ll leave you with it today.
“If you’re God’s child, you will never again have just you to depend on. No, you’ve been blessed, right here, right now, with grace… What does the gospel say you have been given right here, right now so that you can be what you’ve been called to be and do what you’ve been called to do? The answer is Christ! He is in you. He is with you. He is for you. In him, you really do have everything you need. You simply have not been left to yourself.”
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