Why the Gospel Is Good News for Believers...Now (Part 3 of 3)
Some Advice for Gospel-Centered Living
Let me end by passing along a bit of advice for gospel-centered living. It’s not original to me. And it’s pretty simple, even if it’s not followed often enough. If the engine of the Christian experience is the good news that God has given you new life in Christ, then you need to preach this good news to yourself every day. Remind yourself about what God has done for you in Christ as often as you can. So, for example, when Satan tempts you to despair and preaches condemnation to your heart, remember that Jesus took your death sentence away; he made an end to all your sin. Besides preaching the gospel to yourself, fuel this practice with all the means of grace at your disposal: Bible reading, prayer, corporate worship, gospel-centered (and celebratory) music, and especially fellowship.
I want to end with a specific word about fellowship. If new life has been given to us, to Christians, we should expect to see evidence of this new life every day. Instead of this fact turning us inward in introspection (there is, of course, a place for this), let it also make us expect to see evidences of new life, evidences of grace, in others’ lives every day. One of the best, most faith-building, joy-producing things we can do for our brothers and sisters in Christ is to point out God’s work in their lives. Infuse courage into the soul of your spouse, your pastors, your small group by drawing attention to what you see God doing in their lives.
Of course, this isn’t all we’d want to say about sanctification or the gospel. And what’s been said is not anything new. After all, the true gospel’s been around for a while. In fact, take a look at any good systematic theology and you’ll see it talk about the relationship between Jesus’ resurrection and our regeneration and between our regeneration and sanctification. Still, and for a number of reasons, this aspect of the gospel has been often overlooked or, at the least, undervalued. As a result, we’ve missed out on a very central reason why the gospel has some very good news for us Christians today. So preach this gospel to yourself, and pass it along—for the good of the church and God’s glory.