Far too many in today’s church believe that the Gospel is only for reaching the lost. They see the Gospel as a set of truths that must be believed in order to receive eternal life—but nothing more. The problem with this view is that it limits the Gospel to the door leading into the Christian life, when in fact it is also the floor upon which to build the Christian life. Regardless of how long we have been walking with Jesus, we are never freed from our need of a daily dose of the Gospel!
After we are saved from the power of sin, we still need the Gospel to save us from the presence of sin. Sin no longer reigns, but it still remains; because of this we need a daily dose of the Gospel truth about what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. The Gospel is not only for the un-believer living in the far country, it is also for believers who wander off into the far country from time to time. We require daily Gospel-reminders to reach deep into our hearts and reconnect us with our first love, the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the things we never needed to debate as we were planting Cross Community Church was whether we wanted to gear our services toward believers or unbelievers. If the service is focused on believers, the message is crafted to strengthen them in their walk with Christ. On the other hand, a service focused on unbelievers delivers a message designed to win them to Christ. The reason we do not need to focus specifically on one group or the other is the fact that both groups are sinners in desperate need of God’s grace and rescue . . . DAILY! The Gospel is needed by everyone every day of every week.
We are not saved by the Gospel and then expected to grow up into Christ by the spiritual sweat of our brow. We are saved by the Gospel and then we are sanctified as the same Gospel is applied to our hearts daily. God pursued us with His Gospel when we were first saved, but it didn’t stop there. God continues to pursue us daily with His Gospel. Daily doses of grace are a continuing requirement for saved-by-grace sinners who are locked in the ongoing battle against sin. Without the Gospel applied to our hearts each day, we naturally tend to drift into a performance-based relationship with God. Without the Gospel applied to our hearts each day, we begin to believe that the more we do and the harder we try, the more God will love us and the more He will bless us.
But this is not for you! Thank God for the freedom we have in the Gospel! In Christ we already have the love and acceptance we long for. There is nothing we can do to make God love us any more . . . and there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us any less. We are loved because of the Beloved. Because of what He has already done on our behalf, we find rest in the knowledge of our unconditional acceptance and the unwavering assurance that once we are His, we are His forevermore!
Let us close with these beautiful words from Isaac Watts’ wonderful hymn, At the Cross:
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown,
And love beyond degree!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!