Thursday, March 27, 2014

Seeing our Neediness and God's Full Supply in the Gospel ~ Part 2 ~ by Lydia

Secondly, one might wonder - why do we need the gospel? What are the reasons the gospel is just plain necessary for everyday life? There are at least three reasons why.

First, we are forgetful! With all the cares, questions, and quandaries on our minds, we often fail to keep Christ at the forefront of our focus. Even the normal, everyday things we’re busy with can crowd out this much-needed message. We know the gospel, but we forget it easily. After all, the minute we close our Bibles in the morning, a barrage of needs, problems, and things-to-do rushes at us! This is why we desperately NEED to keep refreshing our minds with the gospel. 

How can we help our minds not to forget? I try to think to myself, “Keep the gospel at arms-length.” (Picturing things can often be beneficial!) So I purpose to (figuratively) keep the gospel close by that I might dwell on it during mental “down-time” and have it ready for expected and unexpected encounters! After all, Ephesians 6 compares God’s word to a sword. And where is a sword kept? At our side!

Sadly, I very often fail to keep my mind on Christ and the gospel. But my goal is to grow better at this, by God’s grace! Hebrews 2:1 warns us that “we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”

Next, we need the gospel to help us fight our battles with sin and self. This goes along with what we just said about keeping the gospel (a sword) close by, as well as what was previously said about the gospel’s necessity for sanctification. Without the gospel, our battles with sin become perfectly powerless. We might try repeatedly to fight sin on our own, and this will be discouraging, because we continue to fail. However, once we realize that Christ has already fought the battle and His death freed us from the enemy, there can be victory over sin.

A final reason that we, as Christians, need the gospel is because of the lies that Satan bombards us with. Everyday actions such as going to school, browsing the internet, reading a book or magazine, listening to music, or just being out and about can expose us the worldly messages and lies from the devil. Now, this doesn’t mean we’re supposed to stay holed up in our bedrooms with only our Bible and a teddy bear! On the contrary, we are called to be bright lights in the world whether we are at home, school, work, or any other place God has us.  We are supposed to engage our culture with the good news. But we do need to be discerning and wise, because there are an abundance of subtle lies that have infiltrated our culture. The media, for instance, propagates many ideas and thoughts that are poisonous to the Christian. We must “consider carefully what is before us” before we partake of what the world has to offer. It takes a firm stance on the word of God to keep us from being swayed in our faith.

So, three reasons we need the gospel are: because of our own forgetfulness, because of the ongoing battle with sin, and because of the constant lies of the devil.
Finally, why do we need the gospel? What is it about the specific gospel message that is so necessary to remember?

The Bible contains a great of information that is helpful, including historical narratives, wisdom literature, poetry, and laws. Since God inspired all of scripture, it is indeed important to be immersed in every part of it, not just a few sections. But the gospel itself (that Jesus Christ came to earth to save sinners, creating a way for us to be right with God apart from any effort on our own) ought to be our main lens through which we read and apply scripture.  The gospel is the “big picture” that helps to illuminate the rest of the God’s word. It puts all the animal sacrifices, ceremonial laws, historical accounts, and everything else into proper perspective.
So, what is this gospel that changes everything? What is this vital message everyone on earth needs to hear? Each of us needs to have a Biblical understanding of the gospel. And the more we read the Bible, the more we learn about God’s incredible plan of salvation and how we can continue to grow in godliness.

The scriptures tell us that, on one side of the picture, we are hopelessly lost and
unable on our own to come to Christ. Spiritually dead, we are slaves to our sin until the moment God shines His light upon our hearts. Although we might seem like nice girls on the outside, God who has fashioned our very hearts knows what is on the inside. Every sin is laid bare before His eyes. This is very sobering because God does not take sin lightly. With sinking realization, we begin to grasp the severity of sin as we consider the fact that God Himself had to transform Himself into a man and die a cruel death solely on account of our sins! Since God took such extreme measures to redeem us, how great must our sinful plight be! How vital it must be have our sins forgiven!

On the other side of the picture, the Bible says, “When we were still without

strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly…” He “demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6,8) Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we are vindicated from the just punishment we deserved from God. Jesus took our place. When we place all our hope and trust in Jesus, He not only saves us from slavery to sin, but makes us alive from the dead and gives us eternal life. One of my favorite gospel verses is 1 Peter 2:24, because it not only describes the incredible sacrifice Jesus made on my behalf, but it tells us how His death and resurrection enables me to live. It states that Jesus “bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.”
We, as Christians, need the gospel because it is the lens through which we can understand and apply God’s word. We need the gospel because it’s the only thing that can show us our sin and save us!

This message is not merely for Easter, or Christmas, or Sunday, or only for the “good days.” If it did only have significance on those days it wouldn’t be the powerful gospel that it truly is. No – the gospel of Jesus Christ brings to bear its earth-shattering, life-giving message on the darkest of days, and to the neediest of people. When we fully realize our need for the gospel, we run to it in earnest, knowing that it alone can refresh us with vision, hope, and perseverance to the end.
Can we trust in the power of the gospel? Can we turn to it in times of soul-ache and downheartedness, and hold onto its message in faith? As great as our need is, so Christ and His gospel is all the more precious to us. When life around us seems dreary and colorless, may our hearts seek to be satisfied in Him alone.


  1. Love this! encouraging!

  2. Beautifully put, Lydia...I will come back to this, I know....