Earlier I mentioned how everything in the Bible is pointing to Christ. Everything in the Old and New Testaments exist to reveal a God that brings good news to his rebellious creation. The unfortunate problem with our understanding of the gospel is the sad limiting of its application. We have reduced the gospel to being the good news that saved us to have the qualifications that will get us into heaven. It’s like a ticket you get when you get saved that you only use when you come before the judgment seat. You get the ticket when you pray the prayer and you use it when you need to get into heaven. It has no value in between. This is not true—of course it’s not true. I wouldn’t be teaching a class called Gospel for Life if I believed the gospel had no immediate day-to-day application. But it does. And now, having laid the bedrock for the rest of this series, I want to point out something. I want to open your eyes to see something maybe you’ve read a hundred times but never have seen before.
REMEMBER THE GOSPEL?
2 Peter 1:5-7 gives a litany of virtues Christians ought to build their lives upon. “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” Immediately following this passage is one of the most striking verses about the gospel: “for whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed of his formers sins.”
Did you catch that? Peter draws a clear connection between Christian virtue and remembering the gospel. Our ability to live out daily Christian character is possible to the degree that we remember the good news of Jesus Christ. Our ability to have faith is tied to our memory of the gospel. Our ability to persevere is proportional to our thinking through the gospel. Our very godliness is limited to how much we keep the gospel on the fore of our minds. The gospel should effect everything we do. This is fascinating. And this is what the rest of our series is about. It’s Gospel for Life.
The next blog will go deeper into this concept.