A gospel which is only about the moment of conversion but does not extend to every moment of life in Christ is too small. A gospel that gets your sins forgiven but offers no power for transformation is too small. A gospel that isolates one of the benefits of union with Christ and ignores all the others is too small. A gospel that must be measured by your own moral conduct, social conscience, or religious experience is too small. A gospel that rearranges the components of your life but does not put you personally in the presence of God is too small.- Fred Sanders, The Deep Things of God
Rather the love and grace of the gospel is the beautiful and majestic reality that we must live in, sit in and let permeate us every day. The gospel not only saves us from eternal separation from God for all eternity...but the gospel saves us to live a changed, renewed, powerful and transformed life every day.
If you are anything like me, I have short term memory loss. I can easily forget. Yet more tragic than simply forgetting where I parked the car, I can forget at times that I am loved and fully accepted by Jesus. How is that possible? It becomes possible when I allow the stresses., failures and pressures of the day to overshadow Christ's love for me. Or I choose to listen to the voices of the world and the enemy define me by their lies. That is why I must double down on the gospel. Through the Word, I need to press down into my heart that I am accepted and loved by Jesus, and that no circumstance, feeling or failure can change that fact.
I need to be reminded of what Paul said in Galatians (4:4-7) "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."
In Jesus, I am a son or daughter of the King. I am deeply loved and accepted because I am united with Jesus. I need to apply these truths to my life every moment of every day. As Elyse Fitzpatrick says in her book, Because He Loves Me
"In order to grow in Christlikeness, we’ve got to intentionally apply the gospel to everything we are and everything we long to do. We’re not to sever our obedience from [Christ's] perfect sinlessness nor disconnect our mortal life from his resurrected life. We’ve got to understand ourselves in the light of our new identity, seeing ourselves as we truly are: sinful and flawed, loved and welcomed. Only these gospel realities have enough power to engender faith, kill idolatry, produce character change, and motivate faithful obedience."Although these truths are true for every Christian, they are definitely no less true for every pastor or ministry leader. Ministry is an incredibly tough, stressful and lonely job (as we've spoken about HERE, HERE and HERE). Therefore as ministry leaders, we need to drink deeply of the gospel. The gospel must become for us a giant anchor that we constantly cling fervently to.
We can't allow the gospel to become too small. What about you, is your gospel too small?