The Gospel Applied
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Pastor Mike shared last Sunday five of Paul’s final charges to the Corinthians, a letter which provides us practical applications of the gospel for Christians.
- Be watchful for things that will draw you away from Christ.
- Stand fast in the faith.
- Act maturely in our lives.
- Be strong in the Lord.
- Let everything we do be done in love.
These are weighty and appropriate charges for the Christian seeking to practically apply the gospel to one’s life. Pastor Mike shared that our previous study of Romans explained what the gospel is while 1 Corinthians applies the gospel to every area of life (church order, sex, handling disputes, marriage, the Lord’s Supper, spiritual gifts, interactions with non-Christians, etc.).
Question: Can the true gospel stay as simply a state of mental understanding, never being practiced in our lives (homes, work, politics, etc.)? Paul would say emphatically, “No!” For Paul that would be a contradiction, since in his life, he sought to, “know nothing [among the Corinthians] except Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)
What could this mean for my life now?
- When an election does not go the way I thought it should for the benefit of my country, I fight the desire to fall into despair, for Christ is king over everything.
- When I am accused of wrong doing, I submit myself before God in humility and ask to expose any wrong in me rather than defiantly seeking self-defense or revenge against those accusatory words.
- When I go to work, Christ and him crucified affects the way I work, how I handle my failures in my work, and who I seek praise from in my work (Christ’s praise and not that of my boss).
- When cancer riddles my body, and the temptation to, “curse God and die” (Job 2:9) arises, I fight to hope like those living Christian heroes who say, “To stay away from Christianity because part of the Bibie is offensive assumes if there is a God he wouldn’t have any views that upset you.” -Timothy Keller (Dr. Keller is saying this of the in defense of his God who is allowing pancreatic cancer into his body. The God who is allowing this pain is big enough to trust through the cancer.)
The gospel and subsequent living in the gospel are not mutually exclusive. Living the Gospel practically is truly living out the gospel.
Live, John, Live
“Live for Christ, John, Live!”
Paul, through the Spirit, commands,
Watchful, steadfast, mature, strong,
All done with hearts of love,
Live not on a foundation built by your two hands,
Live out the gospel in all your life, full of faith,
This is the only option,
Founded on the gospel and the fruit it brings,
Know nothing but Christ in all your life,
For that Good News is a Christian’s wings.