Monday, December 3, 2012

The Gospel for Christians

I hope Mr. J. doesn't mind me using the title of his blog for the title of this post.

It’s just that I need the gospel right now.

What does the gospel have to offer to me when I am fighting the continuous presence of one of my worst qualities?

This quality is emerging with increasing destructiveness and I am getting alarmed as it threatens to sabotage all the good things that God has given me to do. This area of failure starts as a hidden fault, incubated where no one can see it, and kept out of sight for as long as I can hide it. I pull all sorts of stunts to appear as if my life demonstrates the exact opposite of this fault, but sooner or later it comes out, and little by little, I can no longer hide the evidence of it. People start to see it, but at the beginning, their politeness keeps them from saying anything, and I deceive myself into thinking that they don’t see it yet, even though I know they must. All the while, the rancid poison spreads until it is unmistakable. People start getting upset as the destruction touches them and contaminates what they are trying to do. And I start to experience failure, not just inner personal failure in a hidden part of my character, but real failure—failure of a venture that I was supposed to be good at, failure of a project that I seemed ideally suited for, failure of some good work that I was trying to do.

This problem has plagued me all of my life, but the failure gets bigger and bigger with each successive repetition, as the stakes get higher and the project that I was undertaking gets more important.

This flaw, this SIN, as I should properly call it, has already caused me colossal failure in a previous job. My boss was unhappy with me, I was unhappy with myself, and the task I was supposed to accomplish got significantly disrupted because of my actions.

That experience drove me to my knees and caused me to seek God like never before, and He led me through the process that culminated in my going to Ellerslie and experiencing the triumph of the power of the gospel like never before. I was taught the very things I needed to know in order to confront the sabotaging effects of the flesh. I started putting them into practice.

But now I’m rusty. I have fallen and I can’t remember how to get back up on my feet. I know I was on my feet, and I was walking, but I need to review and refresh how to do it.

What I need is obedience instead of this disobedience.

What I need is victory over the poisonous canker of this behavior.

What I need is power to live the impossible life, not a pep talk to just “try harder.”

What I need is the gospel.

What does the gospel say to someone in my condition? 

~ ~ ~
The answer comes
~ ~ ~

The day after I wrote the thoughts above, I was doing a bit of cleaning in my room and somehow I started thinking about money. A thought occurred to me and I asked myself what I would do if I suddenly had to pay more to live here than I used to. But instantly the reassuring answer came: “Well, I would just ask God for it, and He would provide whatever I needed to fulfill His call.” 

Then God suggested to my mind my question from last night.

“If you can trust me to provide all the money you need in order to fulfill my call on your life, can you not trust me to provide all the strength to overcome this particular quality in your life?”


Of course!

Why would I think that God would withhold that from me? Why would I think that He could easily provide money but not the grace to overcome this debilitating sin? Of course—I can come to Him, beseeching Him for the currency of “anti-wickedness,” and I can obtain as much abundance as I need in order to overcome my own worst qualities. No matter how great and deep-rooted is my problem, His grace surpasses my sin.


The beauty of it.

Grace is the answer to my sin. Grace is the currency that reaches all the way past the limits of my rebellion and scoops me up and brings me back to the Father.

And that is the gospel.

That is what had to happen in my salvation in the first place, and that is what will happen again and again whenever sin rears its ugly head. Grace deals with sin. Grace overcomes sin. Grace. Grace. Grace.


The wonder of the gospel.

God, thank you for preaching the gospel to me yet again. I needed it. You are so good. 

~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~

So it comes down yet again to faith and grace. Faith is trusting God to do the impossible, and grace is God's supply of the power to obey. 

And fear has no place. I was getting consumed with fear. Can you sense it? In that first section, you can tell that I was looking at creeping encroachment of the slimy tentacles of this dark rebellion, and I started getting really afraid that yet again, it would consume me and wreck all the good things that God was doing in my life. But why should anything erase all my triumph? I am in Christ! There is nothing that can conquer HIM. And He has given unto me all things that pertain unto life and godliness, including the victory over this persistent sin that comes knocking, knocking, knocking. Guess what? I don't have to let it in!

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1 comment:

  1. Praise Jesus!!! I just read "The New Covenant Unveiled" by David Wilkerson - "God's plan to free the Last-Days church from the power of sin", and have bought extra copies to pass around. You have just described the heart of it, as Eric would say, "in a nutshell" !

    Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

    Thankyou for sharing, and know we are praying for you. There is Victory in Jesus, the Author, and the Finisher of our faith.
    Love In Christ,
    Debbie Osborne


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