Links Daily Devotional

No Band-Aids Needed, Part 2

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-7, NIV)

Yesterday, we took a look at our need for the Gospel. It forms the foundation of faith that endures, like the fundamentals of golf, the Gospel protects us from applying Band-Aids to our sin in hopes of salvation.

But, you may say, “I already know the Gospel. I am a Christian. Now I am learning new things.”

But when Paul wrote to the Galatians, he was addressing people with this very mindset. He warned them (and us!) of abandoning the Gospel when he used the words “deserting” and “turning to” and pointed to “confusion” as a result.

So let me ask some questions to help you try to see through the lens of the Gospel:

– Is some new teaching bringing confusion?- How is the state of your heart?

– Do you have peace in all circumstances?

– Do you have joy springing like a well in your heart?

– Do you receive and give grace to others?

– Are you humble and quick to admit wrongdoing?

Dare I say I cannot stand the test of these questions myself! The truth is that our hearts need the Gospel, no matter how long we have been a “Christian.” I am realizing this is much more difficult to understand and absorb than we think. Walter Marshall, in “The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification,” wrote, “The Scriptures tell you two things about living a godly life: first, they tell you what God wants you to do (the law); second, they tell you how you can actually do it (the gospel). Which of these is easier to learn? The former.”

This is baffling because the Gospel seems so simple. Yet, it cuts deep into our hearts. It brilliantly presents both the problem and solution for us. First, the problem: sin. The Gospel tells us God demonstrated his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). “Sinners? Well, let’s not call each other names now!” That’s what we really want to say most of the time! When anyone points out a flaw in me or a mistake, I feel a pit in my stomach and want to defend myself! Pride is the greatest enemy of the Gospel, because pride aims to steal glory away from God. If we think it is possible to attain our own righteousness, then the result will be that Christ will no longer be valuable to us (Galatians 5:2).

But wait… there is a solution to this prideful dilemma! The Gospel is also Good News! God’s unmerited love and grace break the chains of pride. The simple truth that we do not deserve God’s love, and Christ’s sacrifice is what makes the Gospel so glorious! This is what produces deep rejoicing in the Christian heart. I like how Dr. Timothy Keller, in his book The Reason for God, puts it:So we can say that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope—at the very same time.” Amazing!

Even more than golf fundamentals, we can never outgrow the Gospel. It must always be in place, and always at work. It is never too simple to gaze into. No need for Band-Aids, for we have a complete solution in Christ that will last forever!

Isabelle Beisiegel

April 25, 2013

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