Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 18-Perspective In Trials

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 18-Perspective In Trials

More than anything else I could ever do, the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them. For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials.69 The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.70

Preaching the gospel to myself each day provides a lens through which I can view my trials in this way and see the true cause for rejoicing that exists in them. I can then embrace trials as friends and allow them to do God’s good work in me.

69-Romans 5. “(1)…having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2)…and we exult in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; (4) and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; (5) and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

70-Romans 8. “(28) And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (29) For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…”James 1. “(2) Consider it all joy, my brethren, when your encounter various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (4) And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” 2 Corinthians 12. “(7)…there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me-to keep me from exalting myself! (8) Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. (9) And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (10) Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 16-Obedience Borne Of Love

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 16-Obedience Borne Of Love

To love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, and strength is the greatest commandment in the Law.57 If I could simply fulfill this one commandment, I would gladly fulfill all others as a natural matter of course.

So how can I come to love God with all my being?58 The Bible teaches that genuine love in my heart for God is generated by an awareness of His love for me,59 and nowhere is the love of God more clearly revealed than in the gospel.60

Therefore, preaching the gospel to myself is a great way to keep God’s amazing love before my eyes, so that I might experience its power to produce in me a passionate love for Him in return. Captured by His love in this way, my smitten heart increasingly burns to do His will and feasts itself on doing so.61

57-Mark 12. “(28)…’What commandment is the foremost of all?…(30)…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

58-1 John 5:3. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not burdensome.”

59-1 John 4:19. “We love, because he first loved us.”

60-Romans 5. “(7) For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. (8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” John 15:13. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Ephesians 2. “(4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ…,”

61-John 14:31. “…so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me…”John 4:34. “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.'” Psalm 40:8. “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law in within my heart.”

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 15-Cultivating Humility

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 15-Cultivating Humility

According to Scripture, God deliberately designed the gospel in such a way so as to strip me of pride and leave me without any grounds for boasting in myself whatsoever.50 This is actually a wonderful mercy from God, for pride is at the root of all my sin. Pride produced the first sin in the Garden,51 and pride always precedes every sinful stumbling in my life.52 Therefore, if I am to experience deliverance from sin, I must be delivered from the pride that produces it. Thankfully, the gospel is engineered to accomplish this deliverance.

Preaching the gospel to myself each day mounts a powerful assault against my pride and serves to establish humility in its place. Nothing suffocates my pride more than daily reminders regarding the glory of my God, the gravity of my sins, and the crucifixion of God’s own Son in my place. Also, the gracious love of God, lavished on me because of Christ’s death, is always humbling to remember, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the Hell I deserve.

Pride wilts in the atmosphere of the gospel; and the more pride is mortified within me, the less frequent are my moments of sinful contention with God and with others.53 Conversely, humility grows lushly in the atmosphere of the gospel, and the more humility flourishes within me, the more I experience God’s grace 54 along with the strengthening His grace provides.55 Additionally, such humility intensifies my passion for God and causes my heart increasingly to thrill whenever He is praised. 56

50-Ephesians 2. “(8) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (9) not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” 1 Corinthians 1. “(27) but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, (28) and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that he might nullify the things that are, (29) so that no man may boast before God.”

51-Genesis 3. “(4) The serpent said, ‘…(5)…God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil.’ (6) When the woman saw that the tree…was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate…”

52-Proverbs 16:18. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

53-Proverbs 13:10. “By pride comes nothing but strife…” (New King James Version)

54-James 4:6. “…God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

55-Hebrews 13:9. “…it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace…”

56-Psalm 34:2. “My soul shall makes its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear it and rejoice.”

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 14-A Heart For The Lost

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 14-A Heart For The Lost

The more I rehearse and exult in gospel truths, the more there develops within me a corresponding  burden  for non-Christians to enter into such blessings. This is also what seems to happen to the apostle Paul while writing the book of Romans.

In Romans 5 Paul exults in his righteous standing before God.44 In chapter 6 he speaks of the freedom of sin which Christ has accomplished in believers,45 a freedom from which Paul confesses had not yet become fully realized in his own daily practice (chapter 7).46 Nonetheless, coming into chapter 8, he recounts the fact that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.47 With increasing flourish, he rehearses numerous gospel themes throughout the length of chapter 8, and he climaxes the chapter with a triumphant exclamation to conquer overwhelmingly in all things.48

What effect do such gospel meditations have upon Paul? What emotions so they produce in him besides the obvious joy he feels while reciting them? Paul bares his soul at the very beginning of chapter 9: “I have great sorrow,” he says, “and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could which that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, my kinsman according to the flesh.”49

Coming down from the heights of gospel meditation, Paul’s heart is devastated by a burden for his fellow-Jews to experience the saving power of the gospel. His burden existed long before he started writing, but it is undoubtedly intensified by his rehearsal of gospel truths in Romans 5-8, a rehearsal which inevitably leads his thoughts toward the plight of those outside Christ.

Hence, if I wish to have a ‘Romans 9″ kind of burden for non-Christians, I should become practiced at celebrating the gospel as Paul does in Romans 5-8. Over time, my joy in the gospel will become increasingly tinged with grief, and this grief-stained joy will lend a God-inspired passion to my ministry of evangelizing the lost.

44-Romans 5. “(1) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,…(2)…and we exult…(3)…we …exult…(11)…we exult…”

45-Romans 6. “(1) What shall we say then? Are we to continue to live  in sin so that grace may increase? (2) May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:6. “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin,”

46-Romans 7:19. “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.”

47-Romans 8:1. “(35) “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…(37) But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. (38) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

48-Romans 9. “(1) I am telling the truth in Christ…(2) that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. (3) For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (4) who are Israelites…”

 

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 12-My Inheritance In The Saints

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 12-My Inheritance In The Saints

The gospel is not just a message of reconciliation with God, but it also heralds the reconciliation of all believers to one another in Christ. Through the death of Christ, God has brought peace where there was once hostility, and He has broken down the racial, economic, and social barriers that once divided us outside of Christ.37

Also, when God saved us, He made us members of His household,38, and He gave us as gifts to one another.39 Each brother and sister is a portion of my gospel inheritance from God, and I am a portion of their inheritance as well. We are significant players in each other’s gospel narrative, and it is in relationship with one another that we experience the fullness of God in Christ.40

Hence, the more I comprehend the full scope of the gospel, the more I value the church for which Christ died,41 the more I value the role that I play in the lives of my fellow-Christians, and the more I appreciate the role that they must be allowed to play in mine.

37-Ephesians 2. “(14) For he himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (15) by abolishing in his flesh the enmity…so that in himself he might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (16) and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by having it put to death the enmity.” Colossians 3:11. “a in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.” Galatians 3:28. “There is neither Greek or Jew, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Revelation 5:9. “…You [Jesus] were slain, and purchased for God with your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”

38-Ephesians 2:19. “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are God’s household,”

39-Ephesians 1:18. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know…what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”

40-Ephesians 3. “(17) “…you being rooted and grounded in love, (18) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (19) and to know the love of Christ…that you may be filled up with all the fullness of God.” 2 Timothy 2:22. “…pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 1 Peter 4:10. “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Ephesians 1. “(22)…the church, (23) which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily, Day 11-Loving My Brothers And Sisters

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 11-Loving My Brothers And Sisters

The more I experience the gospel, the more there develops within me a yearning affection for my fellow-Christians who are also participating in the glories of the gospel. This affection for them comes loaded with confidence in their continued spiritual growth and ultimate glorification, and it becomes my pleasure to express to them this loving confidence regarding the ongoing work of God in their lives.34

Additionally, with the gospel proving itself to be such a boon in my own life, I realize that the greatest gift that I can give to my fellow-Christians is the gospel itself. Indeed, I love my fellow Christians not simply because of the gospel, but I love them best when I am loving them with the gospel!35 And I do this not merely by speaking gospel words to them, but also by living before them and generously relating to them in a gospel manner. Imparting my life to them in this way, I thereby contribute to their experience of the power, the Spirit, and the full assurance of the gospel.36

By preaching the gospel to myself each day, I nurture the bond that unites me with my brothers and sisters for whom Christ died, and I also keep myself well-versed in the raw materials with which I may actively love them in Christ.

34-Philippians 1. “(3) I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, (4) always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, (5) in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. (6) For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (7) For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.”

35-1 Thessalonians 2:8. “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.”

36-1 Thessalonians 1:5. “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.” (New King James Version)

 

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 10-Enslaved By Christ’s Righhteousness

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 10-Enslaved By Christ’s Righteousness

The righteousness of God, credited to me through Christ, is not merely something I rest in, but it is also the premier saving reality by which God governs me. According to Romans 6, when I obeyed the gospel call I was both declared righteous and “became a slave to righteousness” at the same time.30 Quite literally, the righteousness that God credited to me became my master on the day I was converted! And now I am daily called by God to surrender the members of my being as slaves to do whatever the righteousness dictates.31

That I would be called to present my members as slaves of this imputed righteousness implies that my justification has something to say to me by way of directing me how to live my life each day. What it directs me to do is to be holy; and what results from my obedience to its rule is sanctification, or holiness of life.32 Hence, it could be said that ‘sanctification’ is merely the lifelong process wherein I joyfully surrender myself to God’s imputed righteousness and then do whatever this righteousness directs me to do. Indeed God has clothed me with His righteousness . Now He wants this righteousness to master me.

The more I exult in the reality of my justification in Christ, the more I position myself to experience the full governing force of its sanctifying power in my life. And the more sanctified I become, the more I experience the full breadth of eternal life that God has given to me in Christ.33

30-Romans 6. “(17) But thanks be to God that…you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed. (18) and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (literal translation=”slaves of righteousness”)

31-Romans 6:19. “…For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”

32-Romans 6:19. “…so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”

33-Romans 6. “(19)…so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification…(22) But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.”

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 9-Resting In Christ’s Righteousness

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 9-Resting In Christ’s Righteousness

The gospel encourages me to rest in my righteous standing with God, a standing which Christ Himself has accomplished and always maintains for me.26 I never have to do a moment’s labor to gain or maintain my justified status before God!27 Freed from the burden of such a task, I now can put my energies into enjoying God, pursuing holiness, and ministering God’s amazing grace to others.

The gospel also reminds me that my righteous standing with God always holds firm regardless of my performance, because my standing is based solely on the work of Jesus and not mine.28 On my worst says of sin and failure, the gospel encourages me with God’s unrelenting grace toward me.29 On my best days of victory and usefulness, the gospel keeps me relating to God solely on the basis of Jesus’ righteousness and not mine.

26-Romans 5. “(1) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” 1 John 2. “(1)…And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; (2) and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins…”

27-Romans 4:5. “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited  as righteousness,” Hebrews 4:3. “For we who have believed enter that rest…” Matthew 11:28. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

28-Romans 5. “(18) So then as though one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of of life to all men. (19)…through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”

29-Romans 5. “(20)…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, (21) so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (6:1) What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace might increase?” 1 John 2. “(1)…And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, (2) and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins…”

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 8-Freedom From Sin’s Power

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 8-Freedom From Sin’s Power

As long as I am stricken with the guilt of my sins, I will be captive to them, and will often find myself re-committing the very sins about which I feel most guilty. The Devil is well aware of this fact; he knows that if he can keep me tormented by sin’s guilt, he can dominate me with sin’s power.

The gospel, however, slays sin at at this root point and thereby nullifies sin’s power over me. The forgiveness of God, made known to me through the gospel, liberates me from sin’s power because it liberates me first from its guilt;25 and preaching such forgiveness to myself is a practical way of putting the gospel into operation as a nullifier of sin’s power in my life.

25-Romans 6:14. “For sin shall not be a master over you, for you are…under grace.”

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 7-Sufficiency In The Gospel

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 7-Sufficiency In The Gospel

The gospel serves as the means by which God daily constructs me into what He wants me to be and also serves as the channel through which He gives me my inheritance every day of my Christian life.21 Hence, it could be said that the gospel contains all that I need “for life and godliness.”22 It is for this reason that God tells me to be steadfastly entrenched in the gospel at all times and never to allow myself to be moved from there.23 The mere fact that God tells me to stay inside the gospel at all times must mean that He intends to supply all of my needs as long as I am abiding in that place of luxury.24

21-Acts 20:32. “…I commend you…to the message of his grace [the gospel], which is continually able to build you up and give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” [literal translation]

22-2 Peter 1:3. “…his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence.”

23-Colossians 1:23. “…continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel…”

24-Colossians 2. “(8) See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (9) for in him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, (10) and in him you have been made complete…” 2 Peter 1:3. “…his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence.”