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Enjoying God Blog

How does an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ affect our lives? What difference does it make in how we live and how we relate to others and how we handle the countless struggles and experiences of life? Here is but a small sampling of how life is influenced when the Gospel is at the center. In each of the following texts, the subject matter or ethical responsibility or commandment under consideration is in some way grounded in or flows out of the gospel. This would include such Christian responsibilities as:

• Suffering (1 Peter 2:18-25; 3:17-18)
• Humility (Philippians 2:1-5 in relation to 2:6-11)
• Marriage (Ephesians 5:25-33)
• Use of our Money (2 Corinthians 8:8-9; 9:13)
• Forgiving others (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13)
• Loving others (Ephesians 5:1-2)
• Serving others (Mark 10:43-45; John 13:1-20)
• Freedom (Romans 14)
• Prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-7)

Consider also how the gospel functions in the following situations. In other words, in each of the following instances, the appropriate response, as the texts cited make clear, is to preach the Gospel to yourself! This is always the case when . . .

• You don’t feel loved by others (Rom. 5:5-11; 8:35-39)
• You don’t have a sense of any personal value (Mt. 10:29-31; 1 John 3:1-3)
• You struggle to find meaning in life (Eph. 1:4-14; Rom. 11:33-36)
• You don’t feel useful (1 Cor. 15:58; 12:7-27)
• You feel unjustly criticized (Rom. 8:33-34)
• You feel excluded by others (Heb. 13:5-6)
• You feel you have no good works (Eph. 2:8-10)
• You are constantly asking the question: Who am I? (1 Peter 2:9-10)
• You live in fear that other people have the power to destroy or undermine who you are (Heb. 13:5-6; Rom. 8:31-34)
• You don’t feel like you belong anywhere (Eph. 4:1-16; 1 Cor. 12:13)
• Satan accuses you of being a constant failure (1 Cor. 1:30-31)
• Satan tells you that you are an embarrassment to the church (Eph. 3:10)
• You find yourself bitter towards the Church and indifferent regarding its ministries (Acts 20:28)
• You find yourself shamed into silence when confronted by non-Christians (2 Tim. 1:8-12)
• You find yourself experiencing prejudice against those of another race or culture (Rom. 1:16; 2 Cor. 5:14-16; Eph. 2:11ff.; Revelation 5)
• You struggle with pride and boasting in your own achievements (Rom. 3:27-28; 1 Cor. 1:18-25, 30-31)
• You feel despair and hopelessness (Rom. 5:1-10)
• You feel defeated by sin and hopeless ever to change (Rom. 7:24-25)
• You feel condemned by God for your multiple, repeated failures (Rom. 8:1)
• When you lack power to resist conforming to the world (Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 6:14)
• You feel weak and powerless (Rom. 16:25)
• You are tempted sexually (1 Cor. 6:18-20)

Likewise, consider how the Gospel functions in life when you find yourself saying:

• I’m not having any impact in life or on others (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
• I feel guilty and filled with shame all the time for my sins (Eph. 1:7)
• I live in constant fear (Luke 12:32; Rev. 2:9-11)
• I struggle with anxiety and worry about everything (Mt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Pt. 5:6-7)
• I am defined and controlled by my past (2 Cor. 5:17)
• I live in fear that God will abandon me (Rom. 8:35-38)
• I can’t break free of my sins and bad habits (Rom. 6:6,14)
• I’m afraid to pray and fear that God will mock my petitions (Heb. 4:14-16)
• I carry grudges against those who’ve wronged me and live in bitterness towards them (Col. 3:12-13)
• I can’t find strength to serve others, fearing that I’ll be taken advantage of by them (Phil. 2:5-11; Mark 10:45)
• I’m a spiritual orphan and belong to no one (Gal. 4:4-7)

The gospel is preeminently practical. It is the ground and motivation and driving force in everything we do as Christians. It is far more than merely the doorway into the kingdom of God. It is the foundation, focus, and abiding principle of life in the kingdom. Never let it be said that the gospel is only for unbelievers. It is now and always will be for the children of God as well.

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