The Gospel is only as good as God is good.
The moment we begin relying on our good efforts rather than God’s finished work, the Gospel loses its relevance and value. Even after being justified, we retain the joy of our salvation by continuing to practice the repentance and faith in Christ alone that redeemed us in the first place. It is the power of Christ that saves us, and the power of Christ that keeps us saved – what an enduring Gospel!
Sin and self-righteousness must be continually warred against as the enemy of our souls – whether big or small; let’s not settle for conquering “big sins” then accepting “small sins” as okay before God, because our good deeds now outweigh the bad. Decide in advance to never agree with your sin or struggle, but to side with God about your sinfulness and receive His grace and His pruning daily. As Paul patterns in 2 Corinthians 12:9, boast in your weakness “so that the power of Christ may rest upon you”.
If offended or found in conflict with His Word, conclude that God has a standard and you are not it.
Quickly ask for humility and the revelation to grasp His mercy and wisdom in every situation – in suffering and in rejoicing, in the routine and in the adventurous, in His commands and in His silence. Meditate on His right-ness (righteousness) and take comfort in the reality that God alone is good and wise. Do not be conformed to the prideful thinking of this world, “but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Even now, for many “in the church”, God is becoming increasingly unreasonable the more they learn about Him. As Matt Chandler mentions in his book The Explicit Gospel, our culture has been successful in convincing the majority that “it’s we who are good, and God who is fallen”. Angry, murderous, anti-women’s rights, demanding, distant and irrational – they are convinced this is a God who made up an impossible standard and now wants to shove perfectly “good” people in hell for not meeting it. So even though many hear (and even respond to) a gospel preaching, they don’t really feel it’s good news – just better, maybe, than all the bad news out there. At least this offer promises a ticket out of eternal misery to go spend time with a stiff and boring God, if we choose to give up all our fun on the earth right now. What a deal!
Most will not confess this, but demonstrate their true belief by the apathetic and lukewarm regard they now have for their faith. The Gospel is now repetitive, worship only emotional, reading the Bible brings no benefit and prayer proves purposeless. The reality is, God was not received as “Good” in the first place – just convenient. Many times, a deal was only made that they thought would lead to self-improvement and bartering for benefits – but the kingdom of God is not a democracy! There is one King and one Lord, whose government shall reign forever in holiness and excellence. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all – abandon your defense now and receive His sacrifice for your sins.
All who go before His Supreme Court without the Advocate will be proven foolish and guilty (John 14:6).
Saints, let’s guard our hearts from this great falling away! I am praying that by grace Psalm 119 truly becomes our anthem, and that we can exclaim with the author in verse 68: “Father you are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” Disciples, fight to retain the sweetness of the Gospel that was “preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).
Taste and see that the Lord is good… then keep drinking!
Read more articles from Volume 2 below: