The Gospel On The Ground
As believers, it is easy to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ affects our relationship with God. We feel and experience the effects each Sunday as we gather for corporate worship. Christ's sacrificial death frees our hearts to enjoy God's presence and respond to his Spirit in joyful submission and trust. We sing, pray, and listen to God's Word as people who have had the guilt of their sin and the fear of death removed.
Although we experience the benefits of the gospel each week in worship, it can be somewhat tough to understand how the gospel plays a role in other parts of our lives. Since the bulk of our lives are lived outside the walls of the church, this becomes an important question. How does the gospel shape our daily life? What does the death and resurrection of Jesus have to do with the routine decisions we make?
The 3 M's
Consider these concepts as you seek to grow in your understanding of how the gospel applies to all of life.
Message. When facing various decisions and circumstances in your daily life, ask yourself what part of the gospel message needs to be remembered--life in a fallen world, Jesus' sacrificial death, forgiveness, no condemnation, being filled with the Spirit, the restoration of all things, etc.
When we are faced with situations that seem overwhelming, it often helps to examine our thought processes. As humans, we will be tempted to respond to many circumstances with fear, anger, or anxiety. Simply taking the time to remember the gospel message and think about which truth applies to your present situation can help put you in the proper frame of mind--one that responds with faith, trust, and hope in your Savior.
Mission. Life is busy and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. We slip into routines and patterns that may or may not be glorifying to God. We should ask ourselves if our decisions, schedules, and routines are being used to advance the mission of Jesus--the proclamation and spread of the gospel. Often, we don't need to totally change our lives and routines (and most of the time, that is not even possible). But we do need to consider how we can infuse our lives and routines with the gospel and how the Lord may have us in places and relationships so the gospel can be proclaimed. Additionally, is there anything we need to sacrifice so our time can be spent contributing to Jesus' mission?
Once we are saved, we join Jesus on His mission. Understanding this truth gives each day, decision we make, and activity we do significant meaning. This means our daily routines and schedules are not the mundane passing of time that many claim they are. As believers, they are packed with meaning and purpose. We can be empowered by God's Spirit to display and share the hope of the gospel.
Man. Our faith is centered around a man--Jesus. Fully God yet fully human, Jesus lived the life we never could, sacrificially died in our place, and rose for our redemption. Salvation comes through Jesus alone. He is a Savior for sure, but the Bible proclaims He is so much more. Jesus is our also our King, our Lord, our Ruler, our Teacher, and our Guide. When we are ransomed from sin, we move forward with obedience to Jesus. To help us understand what obedience looks like, Jesus came to earth as a man and set the example for all believers. The gospel not only affects out eternities, it affects our present. Jesus' example and the power of the gospel fuel our obedience. To put it plainly, the gospel changes us. It changes how we treat others, talk to waiters and waitresses, respond to drivers who cut us off, discipline our children, and a thousand other examples we don't have the space or time to mention. Honestly, we shouldn't have a tough time figuring out how the gospel affects our daily lives. It's actually harder to find an area of life where the gospel doesn't have an impact.
The Gospel For Everyday Life
Like the gasoline in your car's fuel tank, the gospel fuels our forward movement. Believers are to be continually growing. This is only done when one realizes their faith should impact their lives outside of Sunday morning. The message of the gospel should impact how we respond to difficult circumstances and others, the mission of the gospel gives our lives deep meaning and purpose, and the man behind the gospel shows us what God-centered obedience looks like.