When Kim and I first placed our trust in Jesus Christ in 1995, we thought the Gospel was limited to that exact point in our lives when we said “I believe!” I am a whole lot older today and a little bit wiser and, by God’s grace, I have been given a much clearer understanding of the Gospel. And that can be summarized with this statement:
The Gospel is not “a” point in life; the Gospel is “the” point of life!
It is very much like the difference between a snapshot picture and a full-length movie. To be sure, the Gospel is first and foremost, the moment of new life. It is the singular moment when Jesus shows up and raises us from death to life. But in every moment after that moment, the Gospel is the momentum of life that keeps us keeping on.
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
Is this not the point of life that keeps us moving forward? Is it not enough to know there is no condemnation for those who trust in Christ alone? We must know it, trust it, and live it every moment after we are saved. The only sin we will ever slay is the sin we know has been fully forgiven through the cross work of Christ. On the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ took our guilt and shame and filth and crushed them all and cleansed them with His precious blood. All that is left for you and I to do is to receive this truth, by grace through faith.
Remembering this truth daily is the only way to live the abundant life Jesus has promised. Knowing that there is no condemnation—even when we do something that deserves condemnation—strengthens our resolve to return to the cross for the strength we need. God already condemned Jesus in our place, and He will never again count our sin against us.
Far too many Christians live defeated lives, simply because they do not understand this truth. They picture God as some kind of harsh ogre in the sky, waiting to squash them when they step out of line. And that is why they Gospel is more than a point in life; it is the point of life.
Do you get the point? Knowing that there is no condemnation frees you to live for Jesus and nothing smaller. And when you mess it up, know that you are unconditionally loved and fully forgiven. This provides the motive and motivation to honestly face our sin (rather than hide from it) and to lay it down at the foot of the cross. When we know that our sin—all of our sin, past, present, and future—has been fully forgiven, we have the strength to face it when it rears its ugly head.
One more thing: Knowing the Gospel as more than just a specific point in life is a continual reminder that God is for you every step of the way. And “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). And that, beloved, makes the Gospel the point of life.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!